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Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre​

33 Victoria Street North (in the town of Saugeen Shores)
Southampton, ON Canada N0H 2L0

Toll Free: 1-866-318-8889 | Phone: 519-797-2080 | Fax 519-797-2191

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Made in Bruce County

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 renewed.
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: Government of Canada:
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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 netsinkers.
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 use. 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 weight distribution. 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.
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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
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
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.
Donald MacKenzie
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, Ontario.
Frederick Cords
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 Stevens
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 drying arms.
J.H. Jackson
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.
Joseph Seiffert
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
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.
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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 refectory table.
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 new design.
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.
W.A. Gerolamy, Founder & Fanning Mill Manufacturer
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.
Wiarton Beet Sugar Factory, Beet Sugar Manufacturers
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.
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