Wednesday, April 04, 2018

"Edisons" of Pennsylvania

The feature article of the March/April 2018 issue of CelebrateGettysburg is Meet the Original Inventive Minds of Adams County which observed that

In Adams County, the first patent application was filed by Abraham Weaver in April 1807. His patent declared he had a new design for distilling whiskey. Likewise, Antonie Boucherie in 1809 took up the thread of distillation and filed a patent for making cordials and gin liquors from sugar and molasses, a process that involved intricate copper tubing, kettles, and a cooling tub.

There was a reference to the "Edison of Adams County":

But by far the most prolific inventor was George W. Palmer of Littlestown. Palmer would qualify as the Edison of Adams County. In his time, Palmer invented a bone meal grinder for fertilizer, a plate connector used by every railroad in America, a water lifting pump, the adjustable double-flanged railroad car wheel, and a chemical process of treating and preserving telegraph, telephone, and railroad timbers.

Outside the scope of the article would be the "Edison of Cumberland County," Daniel Drawbaugh, described in Wikipedia:

Described as a bearded rustic tinkerer from Yellow Breeches Creek, Pennsylvania, he claimed to have invented a telephone using a teacup as a transmitter as early as 1867, but had been too poor to patent it then. In a lower court his case was well-financed by the People’s Telephone Co. and brilliantly argued in court by Lysander Hill. But he “blew it” by drawling in court "I don’t remember how I came to it. I had been experimenting in that direction. I don’t remember of getting at it by accident either. I don’t remember of anyone talking to me of it." The lower court findings were confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1888, as noted in The Telephone Cases.

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