Sunday, August 09, 2015

CBS Sunday Morning on August 9, 2015

Charles Osgood, in a pastel rainbow tie and blue pinstripe suit, introduced the stories for August 9, 2015.

Of note for patents, Almanac began with an
image of US patent 25,076 issued to Nathan Ames on August 9th, 1859, for a form
of escalator. Ames was a graduate of Phillips Andover and
Harvard, and a lawyer of sorts who serves as a counterpoint
to George Selden. Work of Charles Seeberger and
Jesse Reno on the escalator was also mentioned by Sunday Morning:

In 1895 an inventor named Charles Seeburger was the first to use the term
"escalator," combining the Latin words "scala" (for steps) with "elevates" (for rise).

In 1896, a different inventor, Jesse Reno, installed one of his designs at
New York's Coney Island, where it was billed as a kind of thrill ride.

By the early 1900s, the Otis Elevator Company had acquired most of the escalator
patents, and the moving staircase was quickly becoming a familiar sight in department stores and other public places.

CBS Sunday Morning did not get into the details of the patent and trademark
stories surrounding the escalator.

The Ames patent did not lead to a commercial product.

Jesse W. Reno patented the "Endless Conveyor or Elevator" on March 15, 1892 [US patent 470,918]
Reno installed a working embodiment at the Old Iron Pier at Coney Island, New York City in 1896.
Reno founded the Reno Electric Stairways and Conveyors company in 1902

George A. Wheeler patented his ideas for a moving staircase, more like those we know today [US patent 479,864 issued August 2, 1892; later US 617,788 issued January 17. 1899 ]

Charles Seeberger bought Wheeler's patents in 1899, and worked with Otis to generate a working model by 1899.
Seeberger and Otis produced the first commercial escalator which won the first prize at the Paris 1900
Exposition Universelle in France. Seeberger obtained US patent 617,778 issued January 17, 1899.

Both Reno and Seeberger sold out to Otis: Charles Seeberger sold his patent (and trademark) rights for the escalator
to the Otis Elevator Company in 1910, who also bought Jesse Reno's escalator patent in 1911.

As to trademark rights, wikipedia notes:

Charles Seeberger created the word "escalator" in 1900, to coincide with his device’s debut at the Exposition Universelle. According to his own account, in 1895, his legal counsel advised him to name his new invention, and he then set out to devise a title for it on his own. (...)

In 1950, the landmark case Haughton Elevator Co. v. Seeberger precipitated the end of Otis's reign over exclusive use of the word "escalator", and simultaneously created a cautionary study for companies and individuals interested in trademark retention.Confirming the contention of the Examiner of Trademark Interferences, Assistant Commissioner of Patents Murphy’s decision rejected the Otis Elevator Company’s appeal to keep their trademark intact, and noted that "the term 'escalator' is recognized by the general public as the name for a moving stairway and not the source thereof", observing that the Otis Elevator Co. had "used the term as a generic descriptive term…

One notes that Reno did produce a working prototype, but sold his patent to a larger entity, Otis. Seeberger worked with Otis.
Patents served as a mechanism for a smaller entity to deal with a larger entity.

See also:

** Of the cover story for August 9, Mark Strassman on farm workers,
Anthony Mason on Jason Isbell [noting: Last week, Isbell's latest album,
"Something More Than Free," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's rock, country
and folk charts], Tracy Smith on
rusting cars in Georgia [Dean Lewis and Old Car City USA, in White, Ga.],
Mo Rocca on Jon Stewart [Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"; somewhat recycled from
November 9, 2014],
Serena Altscul on pizza boxes (recycled from February 1, 2015 ), Chip Reid, Steve Hartman, Faith Salie on "She Sheds".

The farm piece (titled: ​The growing demand for "fair food") alluded to Edward R. Murrow's
Harvest of Shame and Rather's Legacy of Shame. [ In 1960, CBS News broadcast "Harvest of Shame,"
Edward R. Murrow's groundbreaking documentary, which exposed the conditions on farms in rural
Florida, North Carolina and New Jersey (...) But little changed. America's farms kept producing
harvests of shame, as Dan Rather reported from Florida in 1995. ] The town of Immokalee, Florida
was much discussed [ The population of towns like Immokalee, Fla., swells every winter when migrants
and their families move here looking for work. "There's a lot of mistreatment going on,"
said Gerardo Reyes. "A lot of intimidation from the bosses." ]

The Moment of Nature (Spiriva) was at Custer State Park in South Dakota, featuring pronghorn antelope.
IPBiz notes that Sunday Morning had done Custer State Park on May 12, 2013.

CBS Sunday Morning on Mothers Day, May 12, 2013

Moment of nature. Bison in Custer State Park in South Dakota. Bison moms and offspring doing just fine.


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