(by Mariah Robertson, Archivist)
Patent no. 318,859 was designed by Alphonzo B. Bowers and patented in 1885 via the United States Patent Office. Bowers was originally from Maine and moved to the San Francisco area in 1853 and began to design machinery engineered to advance the development of the Bay Area just after the Gold Rush. Nearly 85 years after his passing, the Alphonzo B. Bowers Papers were donated to the Historic Documents Department and have been processed and are open for researcher use.
A very interesting aspect of this collection is it seems to be an accepted fact that Von Schmidt was the inventor of the hydraulic dredge. But according to the court documents contained in the collection, in 1888, Bowers sued Colonel A.W. Von Schmidt for infringement and won. This suit was the basis for many future lawsuits regarding infringement of his patents. Some of the companies sued were Williams & Bixler, the Golden State and Miners' Iron Works, the San Francisco Bridge Company, the Pacific Coast Dredging and Reclamation Company (San Francisco), L.W. Bates of Chicago, and the New York Dredging Company. An 1897 appeal case ruling declared Bowers to be the inventor of the hydraulic system of dredging. He spent the rest of his life in litigation regarding infringement lawsuits in the United States, Cuba, and other countries.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Mirrored from Full Fathom Five (it lacks an rss feed & commenting):