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According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, creativity is the
ability to create, whether it be thoughts, ideas, or artwork.
Invention is any product of the imagination, and innovation
is the introduction of something new, or a change to an
existing product, idea, or field. In essence, innovation is
invention and creativity in motion. Inventors get all the
congratulations; however, it is innovators that continue to
grow and build those ideas, often making improvements to
the originals. Through time, Bruce County has had its fair
share of inventors and innovators.
For centuries before European settlement, Bruce County’s
Indigenous peoples were also inventing and innovating
products for utilitarian, decorative and ritual use. In the early
days of European settlement, small and large tasks on the
farm, in the home or in business occupied most of a settler’s
time and energy. Being resourceful, settlers created new,
inventive, and innovative ways to deal with daily challenges.
For as long as Bruce has been a County, people have been
inventing, and applying for and receiving patents. Research
has uncovered more than 260 registered patents between
the years 1869 and 1940 to Bruce County residents, but
evidence from the Collection shows Bruce’s people were
also creating devices to make their lives easier without
going through the patent process.
What is a patent?
For as long as Bruce has been a County, people have been inventing and applying for, and receiving patents. Research done by museum staff has uncovered more than 260 registered patents between the years 1869 and 1940 to Bruce County residents, and the museum’s collection boasts several items created, but not patented, by Bruce County people. A patent is a licence, issued by the government, giving
inventors a right or title to something for a set period. These
rights, are usually sole rights, meaning the inventor has the
right to stop others from making, using, or selling an invention,
for a set length of time. Today in Canada, a patent lasts 20
years and then can be renewed. Records indicate early
patents only covered a five-year term before needing to be
What can be patented?
According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office,
patents are issued for products that are either new (the first
like it), useful (functional and operative), or inventive
(showing ingenuity). The invention that is being patented
must also be either a product, a composition, a machine,
a process, or an improvement of any of these. Patents
cannot be issued for ideas, scientific principles, methods in
medical practice, forms of energy, printed matter, and other
concepts such as an artistic aesthetic.
Canadian patents, both modern and historical, can be searched using online databases through Library & Archives Canada and the Government of Canada’s Canadian Patents Database.
Library & Archives Canada: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/patents-1869-1919/Pages/canadian-patents-1869-1919.aspx
Government of Canada: https://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/search/basic.html?wt_src=cipo-patent-main
Tradition & Innovation
With resourcefulness, creativity, and skill, the Saugeen Ojibway and their ancestors have fashioned raw materials into products for utilitarian, decorative, and ritual uses
Lithic materials possess characteristics that can serve a
variety of functional and symbolic purposes. The knowledge
of what is now known as geology and physics was essential.
Chert is a variety of quartz that formed hundreds of millions
of years ago from the silica skeletons of sponges and other
marine animals that lived in the area’s tropical seas. It is now
found as nodules and beds in the County’s bedrock. Because
chert fractures in a predictable way, it can be shaped through
a process of chipping, known as knapping, into cutting,
drilling, scraping and piercing tools with very sharp edges. It
can also be struck to produce sparks.
Other sedimentary rocks, such as catlinite, shale and
siltstone, were cut, ground, and drilled to form beads,
pendants, and smoking pipes.
The last glaciation pushed very hard igneous and
metamorphic rocks southward from the Canadian Shield.
Some cobbles were used as hammerstones to make chert
tools. Others were pecked and ground into chopping and
woodworking tools. Still others were notched for use as
Deposits of clay accumulated on the bottoms of the post-glacial lakes. As lake levels dropped and watercourses carved valleys, beds of clay were exposed.
By about 800 BC, three important features of clay came to be recognized by southern Ontario residents:
1. moist clay can be shaped and will retain a form when dried; 2. Fire and/or heat – typically between 600º and 1,000º Celsius, permanently hardens clay; and 3. Adding different materials (temper) to clay improves its natural properties and reduces shrinkage and cracking during firing.
The production of ceramic containers and smoking pipes is not a simple process. It’s a delicate marriage of chemistry and pyrotechnology. If practised by the inexperienced, the results can be explosive!
While animals are a source of food, they also supply an abundance of raw materials – nothing that was killed was wasted. Animal bone and antler, and shells – freshwater and marine, were fashioned into a variety of tools, decorative items, and ritualistic objects.
Beginning in the Middle Archaic period – ca. 3,500 – 2,500 BC, Great Lakes groups were heating Lake Superior copper nuggets at low temperatures and then cold-hammering them into utilitarian, ornamental, and ritualistic items. With a melting point of 1083º Celsius, a sufficient amount of heat could not be produced to melt and cast native copper.
With the introduction of European goods into the area in the late-16th century, a new supply of copper-based metals was introduced. Recycling was born.
Endowed with the same symbolically-charged properties as native copper, European copper and brass kettle scrap was re-worked into ornamental and ritualistic items. Brass – being harder than pure copper, was formed into projectiles.
As had native copper nuggets, bars and musket balls of soft European lead were being hammered and cut into various objects.
And with the introduction of low-melting point lead (327º Celsius) and pewter (170º - 230º Celsius) during the 18th century brooches and decorative inlays were being cast by Great Lakes groups. A new technology made its appearance.
Sustainers of Life
Fragments of containers recovered from within Bruce County come from vessels of different sizes and shapes, and are made from a variety of materials. While vessels can serve many functions, they all share one primary purpose – to sustain life. Foods to be cooked and served. Maple sap to be reduced. Seeds, prepared foods and water to be stored and transported.
To produce ceramic bowls (14) of identical shape and size, a mechanized arm with an attached profile template is lowered on a centered ball of clay within a spinning mould. A product of the Industrial Revolution, the technique is called “jolleying”. The template forms the bowl. It is removed from the mould, air-dried, then subjected to stages of kiln-firing, an assortment of possible decorative techniques, and glazing.
European-made kettles from the 16th through 18th centuries (12-13) were hand-hammered from sheet copper or brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) into the desired shape by “basin-beaters”. The mouth is trimmed and its lip rolled. Cut and folded-over brass or hammered iron lugs are then riveted to the rim to receive a wrought iron handle.
Indigenous-made vessels from the Late Woodland period – post-ca. AD 600 (1-11), were hand-formed using the paddle and anvil technique from a mixture of clay and various tempering materials. Decorated with impressed designs while wet, they were then sun-dried and slow-fired using bark.
The women make them taking suitable earth which they sift and pulverize very thoroughly, mixing it with a little sandstone. Then when the lump has been shaped like a ball they put a hole in it with their fist, and this they keep enlarging, scraping it inside with a little wooden paddle as much and as long as it is necessary to complete the work. These pots are made without feet and without handles, quite round like a ball, except for the mouth which projects a little. There is a great assortment of shapes and decorative techniques represented amongst the Indigenous-made ceramic vessel fragments recovered. This shouldn’t be unexpected considering that pottery was being made here for more than 1,000 years. The differences, however, are not exclusively stylistic changes over time.
Two distinctive and coincident ceramic traditions are present – one from the upper Great Lakes area of Michigan and Ontario; the other from south-central Ontario. With Bruce County being located at the interface of these geographic areas, the movement of people – or at least ideas, is reflected in the mixed ceramic assemblage.
Ceramic vessels first appeared in southern Ontario during the Early Woodland period-ca. 800-300 BC
Indigenous peoples across Canada created watercraft that
suited their needs and reflected local materials and customs.
These craft included umiaks, kayaks, and canoes (both bark
and dugout) and were used for hunting, fishing, travel, and
along established waterway trade routes.
Birchbark was an optimal material as it is smooth, hard,
lightweight, and waterproof. As birch bark travels around the
tree trunk, rather than up the length of the tree, it can also be
expertly removed and shaped by the canoe builder. The
knowledge to make birch bark canoes was passed through
generations of master builders. The dimensions of the
canoes differed based on cultural traditions and intended
Early European explorers such as Jacque Cartier, quickly
realized how ingenious birch bark canoes were, understood
that European boat styles could not navigate the Canadian
wilderness, and adopted the use of the canoe during
exploration. Birch bark canoes became the watercraft of
choice for voyageurs and fur traders. The canoe seen
hanging here was built in 1934 at the Canadian National
Exhibition. Its maker is unknown.
Snowshoes were developed by Indigenous peoples across
Canada for winter travel. Created in various shapes and
sizes, snowshoes help to distribute the weight of the wearer
over deep snow, allowing them to travel atop the snow, with
minimal sinking. Traditional materials for snowshoes include
ash or birch (for their flexibility), animal hide, and rawhide.
Rawhide is used as lacing within the frames and allows for
The shapes of snowshoes varied regionally and according to
use on different terrain. Tear-shaped shoes were often used
for heavy, deep snow. Shoes with wide feet, upturned toes,
and narrow tails (known as beavertail) work well in open
woodland and rolling terrain. Bearpaw snowshoes which are
lightweight and round in shape, are ideal for mountainous or
densely wooden areas.
Like canoes, snowshoes were readily adopted by European
explorers, voyageurs, fur traders and settlers. The snowshoes
seen here were made locally for Mrs. J.M. White of Elsinore
ca. 1880. The maker is unknown.
Samples of Innovation
Bruce County has always been full of innovative individuals,
and patent agents were in the area early on. By 1869, two
patent right agents, John McCosh and John Peterbaugh,
had set up offices in Kincardine. Some individuals created
items, such as stump pullers, out of necessity, and never
decided to patent their creations. They were a means to an
end. Others created improvements for things they saw as
part of their occupation. For example, Alexander Luttrell of
Kincardine, a baker, patented “Improvements on Egg Beaters”
in 1881, and John Boyd of Lucknow, an artificial limb
manufacturer, patented an adjustable leg splint to
accommodate different sizes of legs in 1898. Others were
innovative with things that affected their daily lives such as
John W. McDonald of Paisley, a tinsmith, who created a new
stove pipe damper and ventilator in 1886, or Louis Sees, of
Port Elgin, who patented a fire escape in 1885. Innovation and patents were not exclusive to men. Bruce’s
women were also innovators and several patents issued to
women can be found. Ladies were improving upon things
that affected their daily lives. Annie Hawke of Tara created
and patented a portable ironing table in 1890, featuring
different leaves that allowed the board to change shape to
match a garment, and fold away when not in use. Women
also created items to resolve issues or improve their
occupations such as Helen Braid Leadbetter of Kincardine,
a schoolteacher, who patented a “Supplemental Stopper
for Ink Bottles” in 1895 that went on top of an ink bottle
and, if tipped, prevented the ink from spilling and also acted
as a wiper when a pen nib was dipped in. Florence Piche
Foster of Wiarton created a music teaching apparatus in
1907 to improve her ability to perform in her occupation.
Albert Strome of Teeswater was a garage owner and machinist by trade. Wanting to have a “safe, efficient, and durable apparatus for measuring gasoline and delivering it to suitable receptacles”, Strome patented the inner workings of a gasoline pump in 1915 (Canadian Patent 168677). His design featured a fuel measuring mechanism located outside the dispensing tank. It also had a hose below the dispensing tank, rather than at the top. In this way, Strome’s design utilized gravity to dispense fuel through the hose rather than by further manual pumping (fuel had to be manually pumped from the main holding tank to the dispensing tank and then out). At the top of his drawings issued to the patent office, the pump is titled “Measuring & Dispensing Apparatus for Gasoline and the Like”.
Royal Gawley, born in Hastings County, Ontario, was living in
Bruce Township before 1870 and was a farmer there when he
married Anna Maria Smith. By 1881, he and his family had moved
to Elsinore where he was the general storekeeper. His wife died
shortly after the birth of their son Chesley, and after Anna's death
(Feb. 6, 1888) Royal was suddenly stricken blind. To make a living,
Royal made things for his neighbours such as wooden butter
ladles and troughs, and pie lifters. The pie lifters are said to have
been his own innovation (never patented), so women did not
have to lean into the oven or use their aprons to remove warm
pies. These he gave to neighbours who helped him or sold them
for ten or fifteen cents.
Gawley’s ingenuity carried on to his son, Andrew, who during his
mid-teenage years fell into a sawmill and lost both hands and
forearms. Not content with the prostheses available, he designed
his own prosthetic hands and continued to improve them over
time. His design was multi-functional; he could tie his shoes as
well as throw and catch a ball. Andrew became known as the
“Man with the Iron Hands” and travelled with Ripley’s Odditorium,
through the 1930s, showcasing his hands and ability to pick up a
Ford engine block with one hand. He settled in Meaford and ran
a bicycle and lawn mower repair shop. According to a newspaper
article dated 1921, Andrew was also aiding Meaford area First World
War veterans and made several hands based on his design. The
prosthetic pictured here belonged to Andrew Gawley and is part
of the collection of Grey Roots Museum & Archives.
In 1926 Donald MacKenzie of Teeswater filed a patent
(Canadian Patent 273438) for a hockey stick, which was
granted in 1927. The stick was designed with a bend in
the shaft, just below where the user would grip the stick.
The object of the design was to “prevent the hockey stick
from having so much tendency to turn in the hand of the
player, thereby giving more control of the stick and more
speed and efficiency in play.” Called the “MacKenzie”
and marketed as the “Balanced Hockey Stick,” the sticks
were manufactured by Robert Mowbray of Whitechurch,
Fred Cords was raised in Brant Township in the vicinity of
Elmwood. By 1921, he and his family had moved to Elmira
where he was a farm labourer. He later became a fruit
grower and farmer in Jordan Station. During his time in
Bruce County, Fred was issued nine patents, either as a
co-inventor, or by himself. His inventions included bag
holders and trucks, a cattle guard, a gate, a clothes reel,
a clothes dryer, and an ironing board. This bag holder,
Canadian Patent 75323, was his first patent, issued in 1902.
The objective of his invention was to provide “a simple,
cheaply constructed, and easily operated device whereby
bags of different sizes may be held while being filled and
further make such device adjustable for holding bags of
various lengths and also to be used conveniently by people
of various heights.” The arms on this bag holder can be
adjusted vertically to adjust for the height of the bag or the
user, and the arms can be spread to hold a bag open. On the
patent letter, Cords states he is living in Bentick Township,
Grey County, but the machine itself boasts his name and
Walkerton, which is where he likely had the device made.
Later in 1910, he and George Redford patented another bag
holder (Canadian Patent 126094). Again in 1912, Cords,
along with Henry Horton Miller, he patented an improvement
to his design of a bag holder and truck
(Canadian Patent 139728).
Harry was born at Gillies Hill in 1872, where his father
William ran the store and post office. After 1891, he moved
to Toronto, and by 1911, he had moved to Chesley and
worked as a dry goods store clerk at C.J Halliday's store.
Shortly after 1911 Harry went to work for Great West Life
Insurance as an agent and underwriter. In 1914 he patented
a new design for an indoor clothes drying rack (Canadian
Patent 158759). The objective of his design was to “provide
improved means whereby the post supporting the clothes
may be adjustable positioned within the guiding and
supporting frame.” Another objective of the design was to
“provide means of supporting the supporting arms, at the
head of the post, so that the said arms and supporting
means therefor may be folded down against the drier so
that the drier may be compactly crated.” This piece of
Stevens’ rack is the top section comprised of the head and
James Henry Jackson was born and raised in Sullivan
Township, Grey County. By the turn of the century, he
was a blacksmith in Keady, and by 1906 he was living in
Saskatchewan. During his time in Grey County, he
patented several things including a bob sled (Canadian
Patent 41917), wagon (Canadian Patent 47492), bolster
stake (Canadian Patent 52625), sleigh (Canadian Patent
64188), vehicle wheel (Canadian Patent 70203) and a
root puller (Canadian Patent 84452). These root pullers
have “J.H. Jackson Allenford Ont” forged into them, and
they match the drawings in the patent schematics. The
root pullers were designed to be used to harvest turnips,
mangles, and other root vegetables, and the new part of
the design is the concave nature of the “grappling jaws”
which are meant to rest around the vegetable, while
allowing the user to wrest it from the ground more easily.
They would have been manufactured by Jackson while
living briefly in Allenford between 1903 and 1906.
J.H. Seiffert was a blacksmith and farmer who lived on
Part Lot 8, Concession 1, Saugeen Township. In 1908, he
applied for and received a patent for a collapsible sleigh
(Canadian Patent 121505); one that could be easily taken
apart for storage and shipping and “…at the same time so
construct the sleigh that it will run easily and smoothly
over uneven portions of the road and with a minimum
amount of strain on the sleigh.” The hammer seen here
was made by Joseph Seiffert and given to Albert Schell,
a sawmill and store owner in the Oliphant area.
William John Washburn
After his marriage in Brant Township, William Washburn
settled in Chesley where he was a bricklayer. By 1911 he
was a patent agent with an office in Chesley. Washburn
wasn’t just an agent. He was an inventor himself and
received three patents: a stove pipe fastener (Canadian
Patent 36129) in 1891, a device for measuring oats
(Canadian patent 81290) in 1903, and along with Charles
Ewin Biehn, a clothes reel (Canadian patent 114935) in
1908. This device is a miniature version of Washburn’s oat
measuring device which allows the user to “measure the
quantity of oats fed to an animal so that there will be a
minimum amount of waste thereof, and essentially
consists of a receptacle, constructed of any suitable
material, and of such size as to be conveniently placed
within an ordinary manger feedbox.” Within there is a
movable partition that would allow the user to measure
out an amount of feed, turn the partition and let the oats
fall into the bottom feed box.
Reverend Robert George McKay
Revered Robert George McKay first came to Bruce in in
1925, where he was the Reverend of Walkerton Presbyterian
Church until 1931. He returned to Bruce County in 1947 and
was the Reverend of Tiverton Presbyterian Church 1952.
During the 1920s Reverend McKay purchased property and
built a cottage at Bruce Beach. According to family lore,
Reverend McKay created this style of stump puller, which
works by placing the hook around the stump and the long
handle through the block, atop the iron pin. The handle
can then be pulled down, acting like a lever and wrench
the stump out. The further the stump is removed, the
handle and pin can be moved up the holes or levels, until
the stump is full removed from the ground. This stump
remover design was never patented and was likely devised
out of a need to clear his cottage lot, where the puller was
stored for many years.
Roderick John Cameron
R.J. Cameron arrived in Lucknow and began working as a
pump maker in the late 1890s. In February 1898, he received
a patent for “Cameron’s Force, Lift & Spray Pump”
(Canadian Patent 58932). In Cameron’s design water is
“forced down through the cylinder and up through the pump
rather than being drawn or sucked up through the cylinder
and pump.” The objective of this design was that “the pump
could be worked with much greater ease, will throw a better
stream of water, will not freeze, will last longer, and will take
water from a deeper well than other pumps.” The handle of
Cameron’s pump was also in a different position designed to
allow for greater leverage. The top of the pump was designed
to no let air out so that it would force a more constant stream
of water, and the design of having the check valve above the
plunger rather than below it. Cameron continued to make
pumps until between 1903 and 1910. On display is the patent
certificate issued to R. J. Cameron for his pump.
Elhanan Bowman was born in Woolwich Township, Ontario
and moved with his family to farm in Saugeen Township by
1881. By 1901 he was living in Bentick Township, near
Elmwood as a photographer. In 1904, he patented a train
snowplough (Canadian patent 87516), which was designed
to work on single or double tracks. Bowman later became
an electrician and began working for the Elmwood
Telephone Company. In 1912, he patented four devices for
telephones (Canadian patents 139417, 141332, 141573, 145346).
One device or apparatus was designed to give people the
same privacy on a party line as a single line, and others were
improvements to the telephone components for less wear
and tear and ease of use. Bowman built the Elmwood
Telephone exchange using parts from Northern Electric,
and is the switchboard seen here.
M.A. Halliday and Henry Hardcastle
M.A. Halliday came to Chesley, prior to 1881, and became a
merchant. He continued to operate the store until around
the turn of the 20th century when he became a financial,
insurance and loan agent. In 1901, along with Henry
Hardcastle, a mechanic in Chesley, he patented a hay
mowing machine (Canadian patent 73971). The mower
was designed with two sets of knives moving in opposite
parallel directions with the aim of reducing the jarring of
the machines, reducing the need for heavy guards, and to
create a lighter cutting bar.
Henry Hardcastle was granted three other patents, including
one for an ink stand, a stone picker, and a pulverizer
attachment for land rollers (Canadian patents 59606, 66720,
56820). Records indicate that though he invented and
patented the ink stand, Louis Robinson became the owner
of the patent, suggesting that Hardcastle sold the patent
rights to Robinson.
The lawn mower seen here is based on Halliday and
Hardcastle’s mowing machine patent and was made by
Batte of Walkerton.
Innovation in Bruce County
In the early days, both small and large tasks on the farm, in the home, or in business, occupied much of a settler’s time and energy. Settlers were resourceful individuals and constantly created new, inventive, and innovative ways to deal with the challenges faced daily. For centuries prior to European settlement, Bruce’s Indigenous peoples were also inventing and innovating products for utilitarian, decorative and ritual use.
Innovation and patents have played a large part in the
business and industrial world. Patents for products and
even the processes to make products, ensure businesses
have a competitive product, and that no others can be
made like it, giving them an edge over others creating
similar products. Like other industrial individuals, not all
industrial or manufacturing innovation was patented, or
even applied for. Oliver Carlaw of Paisley, owner of
Carlaw’s Woodenware, was noted for creating several of
the machines in his factory, but there are no patents
issued in his name. Another example of this is Jacob
Hergott of Mildmay, who designed the cider and apple
butter machinery in that town’s cider mill. Using his
designs, he later went on to manufacture cider mills
and apple evaporating apparatus.
McLean Brothers, Brickmakers
Brothers Murdock and Angus McLean moved with their
parents from Nova Scotia, where they were born, to
Kincardine by 1861. By 1869 they were running one of the
three brickyards in Kincardine. In 1871, Murdock and
merchant Duncan Cameron applied for, and were issued,
a patent for “Composition of matter for the making of fire
brick, and in the art of burning the same” (Canadian patent
899). With this patent, McLean and Cameron had patented
a particular composition, or recipe, for their own fire brick
as well as the manufacturing process, giving them sole rights
to manufacture using that specific method. Different from
building bricks, fire brick was used to line the inside of kilns,
fireplaces, and train steam engines, as the bricks were made
to withstand high temperatures. By 1876, Angus seems to
have left the business, but Murdock remained and is listed
on that year’s directory as a brickmaker in Kincardine.
By 1880, Murdock and Angus’ younger brothers, William and
John, had taken over the brickyard in Kincardine, and neither
Murdock nor Angus are listed. On the 1881 Census, Murdock
along with his mother and brothers are indicated as living in
Winnipeg. John is listed as a brickmaker; Murdock is listed as
a carpenter, suggesting that either his patented composition
and process for fire brick was not successful as a business
venture, or that perhaps someone purchased the rights from
him, and it was manufactured elsewhere.
Ebenezer Fisher & Ira J. Fisher & Co., Foundryman
The Ira J. Fisher & Co. foundry was established in Kincardine
before 1867 and through its time, the firm manufactured many
items including stoves, farming implements, carriages, and
boilers. One early partner in the firm, Ebenezer Fisher had
several patents issued to him and his co-inventors.
The first titled “Machine for chipping Boiler Plate” was issued
in 1872 (Canadian patent 1539). In this, he had a partner,
Walter Clark, who was also an owner of the patent. The
second called “Machine for Cutting Boiler Plate” was issued
February 1876 (Canadian patent 5655). It’s likely this invention,
and the machine created by Fisher and Clark, were used at
Ira J. Fisher & Co., as the firm was listed as making boilers in
the 1880 Gazette & Directory of Bruce County.
The next three patents Ebenezer Fisher received in 1879
(Canadian patent 10368) and 1880 (Canadian patents 10898
and 11426), named John Watson as a patent co-owner. These
pertained to improvements to steel horse collars as well as the
process to manufacture them. The collars were called “The
Steel Excelsior Horse Collar” as per the patent, and it is very
likely these were also manufactured at Ira J. Fisher & Co. The
horse collar seen here features the bottom fastener which was
the design of Fisher and Watson.
Krug Bros. Co. Limited, Furniture Manufacturers
From early on in their history, Krug Bros. Co. Limited, founded
in 1886, were innovators, and their records show how they
used patents within their business. For example, J.E. Merriam
of Chesley patented a baker’s cabinet in 1889 that featured
special drawers for housing flour, etc., as well as a drop-down
baker’s board, which was manufactured by Krug Bros. In 1892,
Krug Bros. sold the rights to this patent to Union Furniture &
Merchandise Company Ltd. for $150 plus twenty-two cents
royalty per cabinet sold, or a flat payout of $1,000. In 1908,
for $100, Krug Bros. purchased from H.C. Lorenz of Chesley,
the rights to his design of knock-down dovetail joints for
rocking chairs and davenports. At the time of sale, the patent
was pending, and it doesn’t appear the patent was approved.
In 1911, for one dollar they purchased the rights to
manufacture “Becker’s Automatic” a folding ironing board
that featured a space for an iron and a small board for
clothing sleeves affixed to the top. The fee for the right to
manufacture was small; however, the contract shows they
had to give fifteen cents royalty on each unit sold and they
were to manufacture no less than four thousand boards per
year. Not just in the business of purchasing patents for product
use, Krug Bros. Co. Ltd. also had innovative owners and staff.
In January of 1890 Christian Hauser patented an extension
table that featured leaves that slid out from under the main
table surface. This table became known as the Hauser
Krug Bros. Co. Limited, Furniture Manufacturers
Another patent was issued to Christian Krug in 1902. This
patent related to the drawer sliders or guides. According
to Krug his invention made a drawer slide “with but little
friction, run smoothly in operation, and to simplify
construction, lessen mechanical labour, and thereby
cheapen manufacture.” This dresser, model number
498 5/8 was one of the first models to be offered with the
Stevens-Hepner, Brush & Broom Manufacturers
The business known as Stevens-Hepner Co. Limited was
created through an 1883 re-organization of an earlier
company known as the Port Elgin Brush Co. Both Herbert
Henry Stevens and John Hepner have multiple patents in
their name and were likely using them in the manufacture
and design of their products.
Hepner’s three patents are the "Art of Making Brushes" in
1892 (Canadian patent 39265), "Broom and Whisk" in 1900
(Canadian patent 67138) and "Means of Securing Handles
to Brushes" in 1919 (Canadian patent 189888). The “Art of
Making Brushes” was an important design, as it differed
from the way brushes were constructed at that time. His
design featured holes only partially bored through the body
of the brush and specially bevelled tacks inserted into each
hole to secure each set of bristles, allowing them to be better
secured to the body of the brush than others being
manufactured at the time. The brush seen here, made by
Stevens-Hepner far later than the patent date, features the
same basic design.
Stevens-Hepner, Brush & Broom Manufacturers
Stevens was issued two patents, one for a brush in 1910
(Canadian patent 125170) and the other for a brush handle
in 1919 (Canadian patent 192137). Stevens’ brush patent
“consists essentially of the novel construction and
arrangement of parts, whereby the fibres are disposed
uniformly around the inner wall of the metal band
surrounding the head of the brush and held securely by
a metal strip engaging the looped portion of the fibres.”
These paint brushes, made by Stevens-Hepner and used
to paint the first courts of the Southampton Tennis Club,
appear to feature this design.
William Augustus Gerolamy was an iron founder and joined
a fanning mill foundry in Tara run by John and James Tobey
around 1857. Gerolamy has been described as an inventive
genius who made improvements to all kinds of agricultural
implements that he manufactured. He received a patent in
1868 for perforated zinc sieves in fanning mills. The mills
became world famous as they won prizes at the World’s Fair
Chicago in 1893, and World’s Fair Paris in 1900.
This fanning mill is made from several different woods and
has bronze fittings. It was made in Tara and is the one taken
by W.A. Gerolamy to the World’s Fair Chicago in 1893.
In 1896 it was decided to build a beet sugar factory in
Wiarton, as the Ontario Agricultural College had proved
there were several places in Ontario where sugar beets
would do well. Construction began in 1901 and the
cornerstone was laid in 1902. The equipment was of the
newest technologies, but the factory didn’t thrive. A Mr.
Miller, who had experience in the beet sugar business was
brought in to help the factory back on its feet around 1903.
The business continued until 1905.
During that time there were several patents applied for and
issued to residents of Wiarton for beet sugar making process
(Canadian patent 82889) in 1903, sugar making apparatus
(Canadian patent 83196) also in 1903, and beet sugar diffusion
apparatus (Canadian patent 93219) in 1905. On all three of
these patents is the name of Martin Hocker Miller, who is
thought to be the Mr. Miller mentioned in the history of the
beet sugar factory.
Interestingly, the patent for the sugar making apparatus is a
co-patent with several well-known Wiarton names including
Alexander McNeil, Dr. A.H. Hough, and David Huether. It is
unknown whether any of these patented apparatus or the
sugar making process were used in the Wiarton Beet Sugar
Factory before it closed.
Elias & Noah Russwurm, Threshing Machine Element
In the mid-1930s, brothers Elias and Noah Russwurm, farmers
in Carrick Township, approached Jacob Hergott of Mildmay
regarding a straw cutter they had built onto the blower fan of
a thresher. Hergott, who manufactured the Lion threshing
machine was interested in the creation, and being innovative
himself, began working with the brothers to further hone the
design. Once a design had been settled upon, a patent was
applied for, and granted in 1935 under the name “Combined
Fan and Cutter” (Canadian patent 348929), and in the names
of Elias and Noah Russwurm. According to “History of the
Lion Thresher,” Hergott wanted to purchase the rights to the
patent to use exclusively on the Lion threshers, however they
decided not to outsight sell their patent rights and instead
settled on a royalty basis of $15 for each machine it was
installed in. Noah and Elias received another patent for a
“Combined Fan and Cutter Improvement” in 1938. It appears
the combined fan and cutter did not have much commercial
success and it was used almost exclusively on Lion threshers.