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MAGOWAN v. NEW YORK BELTING AND PACKING COMPANY.

decided: October 26, 1891.

MAGOWAN
v.
NEW YORK BELTING AND PACKING COMPANY.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY.

Author: Blatchford

[ 141 U.S. Page 333]

 MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a suit in equity, brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of New Jersey, by the New York Belting and Packing Company, a Connecticut corporation, against Allen Magowan, Spencer M. Alpaugh and Frank A. Magowan, to recover for the infringement of letters patent No. 86,296, granted January 26, 1869, to the plaintiff, as assignee of Dennis C. Gately, the inventor, for "improvements in vulcanized india-rubber packing."

The specification says:

"My invention relates to packing of the kind for which letters patent were issued to Charles McBurney on the 28th of June, 1859. This packing, which is usually employed in the stuffing-boxes of pistons, is composed of piles of cloth or canvas, cut bias, coated with rubber, and pressed together and vulcanized. When thus made, the packing is very solid, and possesses but little elastic property, so that, as it wears, there is some difficulty in maintaining a tight joint between it and the piston. To obviate this disadvantage is the object of my invention, which consists in forming the packing with a backing of pure vulcanized rubber, or rubber of sufficient elasticity for the purpose desired, which may be covered and protected by a strip of canvas or other suitable fabric.

[ 141 U.S. Page 334]

     "In the drawing a represents the ordinary packing-band, which is backed by the rubber strip b, the whole being vulcanized together, so as to be solidly united; and the rubber may be covered, if desired, by the canvas strip c, to protect it from injury.

"When the packing is placed in the stuffing-box and around the piston, and the follower is screwed down, so as to compress the packing, the rubber strip will also be compressed, and forced against the sides of the stuffing-box, and, as it cannot expand in the direction of the follower, it acts as a spring to hold the packing against the piston-rod, and to prevent leakage, compensating for any slight wear in the packing, and making a tight joint between the rod and the packing.

"It would be manifestly impracticable to impart this quality of elasticity to the body of the packing, or that part which is in contact with, or bears against the rod, but by backing it with an elastic cushion, which, upon being compressed between the follower and the sides of the stuffing-box, acts as above described, the packing is possessed of every qualification required for its successful use, and a tighter and better joint is made than has heretofore been practicable."

The drawing is as follows:

[]

[ 141 U.S. Page 335]

     The claim of the patent is as follows:

"The combination, with the packing, such as herein specified, of an elastic backing or cushion of vulcanized india-rubber, substantially ...


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