APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.
Augustus Day filed his bill in equity against the Fair Haven and Westville Railway Company in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Connecticut, allegaing an infringement of the fourth claim of reissued letters patent No. 8388, dated August 27, 1878, for an improvement in track clearers.
The defence was that the claim lacked patentable novelty, unless construed to contain parts not mentioned in it, and if so construed, then that there had ben no infringement. The Circuit Court, Shipman, J., decided, that the claim did not cover patentable novelty, Day v. Fair Haven &c. Railway, 23 Fed. Rep. 189, and dismissed the bill accordingly, and from this decree the cause was brought to this court by appeal.
So much of the specification as is necessary to be quoted here states that:
"The nature of this invention relates to an improvement in the construction of railway-track-cleaning devices and the means of operating them, being more especially designed to be attached to horse-cars for the purpose of removing snow, ice, mud and other obstructions from the rails and immediately at the sides thereof; and it consists in the combination of a pair of independently acting scrapers, pivotally secured to the floor of a car, and resting upon the track, when in operation, wholly by their own weight, with means for raising and lowering such scrapers simultaneously; in the combination, with an independently acting scraper resting, when in operation, wholly by its own weight upon the track, of a draw-bar in the direct line of draft and a supplementary and diagonal draw-bar, which at the same time acts as a brace, the forward ends of both of said draw-bars being secured on the same axial line; in the peculiar construction and arrangement of a cast-shank with relation to the scraper, which is secured thereto, and the draft-irons, which connect it to the under side of the car; in the pendent guards, which lift the scraper from the track on meeting with an obstruction on the outside of the rail, and deflect outwardly
from the track, and in a peculiar crank for operating the shaft which raises and lowers the pair of scrapers at each end of the car, as more fully hereinafter set forth.
"In the drawing, A represents my scraper, being a plate of sheet metal of the form shown, slightly curved in cross-section. The front end of this scraper is rounded off at its lower edge, as shown in the drawings, to allow it to pass, without jar or danger of breaking, over the ends of rails that may be projected above the plane of the adjacent rails. The lower edge of the rear part of the wing of the scraper is cut away, as shown, to allow it to pass over pavement or earth at the side of the track which projects above the rail, thereby preventing such projecting matter from lifting the scraper proper from the face of the rail. B is the shank, to which it is secured by the bolts a a. This shank is a casting in the form shown in Fig. 2. It is formed with a pair of longitudinal ribs, b, on top, to receive the end of the draw-bar, C, whose other end is pivoted to a hanger, D, pendent from the car; or it may be pivoted directly to the sill of the car.
"The shank is also fitted or cast with diagonal studs c on top of said ribs b to receive the outer end of a diagonal brace, E, whose other end is pivoted to a hanger, D', parallel with the hanger D, but near the longitudinal centre of the car, both draw-bar and diagonal brace being thus pivoted on the same axial line, so that when it is desired to raise and lower the scrapers, the same will be done without disturbing the vertical position thereof with relation to the track, as would be done were there but one pivotal point. While the scraper and the parts to which it is attached are free to move in a vertical plane, this brace E effectually resists any lateral pressure to which the scraper may be subjected in moving obstructions from the rail, its own weight being sufficient to keep it down on the rail. The draw-bar and brace are securely bolted to the shank, and by the described arrangment of the ribs and studs perfect accuracy in the 'set' of the scraper is secured -- an essential feature of my invention."
The claims were nine in number, of which the first four are as follows:
"1. In a railway car, a pair of independently acting scrapers, pivotally secured to the floor of the same, and resting upon the track, when in operation, wholly by their own weight, in combination with means for raising and lowering such ...