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In this the committee are unanimously of opinion that the Comptroller was entirely wrong. The act says nothing about duties; it was one-half of one moiety of the appraised value of the goods seized, and not of the duties which might have been assessed upon them, to which said Proctor's legal representatives were clearly entitled. The committee being of opinion that the existing law, if executed agreeably to its plain and manifest intent and meaning, would give to the legal representatives of said Proctor the identical relief provided by the bill referred to them; and as they are not aware that the proposed act is any plainer in its terms, or more easily understood, than the act already passed for the relief of said Proctor before recitedand they are not aware that any additional act could express more plainly what they believe to be its plain purport and meaning-do not see the necessity of any additional legislation in a case where the existing law is amply sufficient for the purposes sought by the proposed new law. Entertaining these views, the committee recommend that the bill be laid on the table.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
May 5, 1852.
Mr. NoRRis made the following
Which was considered by unanimous consent, and concurred in.]
The Committee on Patents and the Patent Office, to whom were referred the memorial of Thomas G. Clinton, praying Congress to require of the Palent Office the reasons which influenced Chief Examiner II. Renwick, to grant to his brother, E. S. Renwick, a patent agent, a patent for a wrought-iron railroad chair in 1850, in face of the rejection of William Wheeler's application for letters patent for an identical invention in 1847-8, and also the memorial of P. H. Watson and the said E. 8. Renwick in answer thereto, report :
That it appears from the documents and evidence laid before the committee, that in 1847-8, William Wheeler made application to the Patent Office for letters patent for a “new manufacture of bolts for doors," claiming as new therein, and desiring to secure “by letters patent the making the whole of the instrument, with the exception of the sliding-bolt itself and the staple that is to be fastened to the door, from one piece of maleable metal by bending the same, and by making a perforation therein to receive and to allow of the play of the knob.” It also appears that some two or three years afterwards Edward S. Renwick made application to the Patent Offre, claiming letters patent for “a wrought-iron railroad chair with lips formed from that portion of the chair on which the rail is usually supported."
It further appears from the documents and evidence on file in this case before your committee, that on the 23d day of October, 1847, a patent was granted to the said William Wheeler for the identical invention for which the said Clinton alleges a patent was refused.
It is proper to state that the subject matter of each of these patents is a merchantable commodity, are articles of trade, and not a machine or process for producing the commodity. It is also worthy of note, that machinery specially fitted for making either article, would not be adapted to the production of the other. Wheeler's bolt-case, according to his specificatior., is produced by four operations by the aid of different machines. The first operation is to cut out a plate of metal of the proper size; the second, is to punch holes in the plate for the knob of the bolt to play in, and to receive fastening screws or nails; the third, is to bend the plate into a particular, form which partially shapes the case ; and the fourth, is to bend the plate still further, until it is reduced to the shape required for the finished bolt-case. Renwick's chair, according to his specification, is made complete of a single piece of bar-iron, by a single stroke of a punch.
Wheeler's bolt-case consists of a cylindrical tube for the bolt to slide in, divided longitudinally by an open joint on the under side, with a flange on each side of the opening. These flanges form a divided base by which the case is attached to a door. The case thus made surrounds the bolt, and if large enough to admit a rail, would surround that also.
To make a bolt-case pass round the bolt, adds to the security and value of the fastening; but to make a chair surround the rail, would render the surface for the car-wheels to run on so uneven, that the shock and strains produced by the passage of a train of cars over it, would inevitably damage, if not destroy the rails, chairs and cars. Moreover, the base of the bolt-case being divided, its chief strength is above, and it would not, if made large enough for a chạir, afford a sufficiently firm support to the base of the rail to be of any service. Hence, while the bolt-case is an ingenious and useful contrivance for the purpose for which it was designed, it could not be used as a railroad chair.
Renwick's chair, instead of being made like the bolt-case with an arch to pass over the rail, and a divided, weak base, consists of a broad plat and strong plate for the rail to rest on firmly, with narrow lips set up which merely embrace the lower side or base of the rail, leaving its upper part entirely unobstructed. It is an exceedingly simple, strong, and durable railroad chair, but does not appear to be constructed on a plan that would admit of its use as a door bolt-case. The door-bolt and the chair are beyond doubt widely different inventions, for totally dissimilar uses, and each properly the subject of a separate patent; Wheeler's invention, therefore, does not embrace anything that would have justified the refusal of a patent for Renwick's chair. The committee therefore submit the following resolution :
Resolved, That the committee be discharged from the further consideration of said memorials.
The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred certain documents in re
letion to the claims of Captain George E. McClelland's company of Florida volunteers, have had the same under consideration, and report :
It appears that, some time in February, 1840, during the excitement growing out of the Indian hostilities, a public meeting of the citizens of Columbia county was held, and a military company was formed and organized by the election of officers. On the 5th March Captain McClelland addressed a communication to the governor of the Territory, informing him of the organization of the company, and desiring him to receive them into the service of the Territory. Governor Reid replied, on the 11th April, that it was out of his power to comply with the request at that time, but he would refer the matter to the War Department. On the 15th July the company was received into the service of the United States. This claim is for the time that elapsed between the organization of the company, on the 5th March, and their being mustered into service, on the 15th July, a little over four months.
In 1843 a board of United States officers, then in service in Florida, consisting of Major L. Thomas and Captain Waggaman, was appointed to investigate the merits of this claim, who proceeded to take the testimony of Captain McClelland and several other officers and privates of the company. After a full examination the board reported that,
«The claim of Captain McClelland is for one half of the time included between March 3 and July 14, 1840, being sixty-seven days. The company was received into the service of the United States as a part of Brigadier General Reid's brigade, July 15, 1840. The claim is founded on the Decessity for additional force to protect the settlements in which the members of the company reside. The evidence fails to establish the necessity for the service, and besides, the most advanced portion of the settlements lay midway between two military posts, Nos. 16 and 17, garrisoned at the time, each by half a company of infantry. The advanced settlements were not more than ten or twelve miles from either of those stations. Two other posts, on the frontier of Columbia county, were garrisoned.
“Captain McClelland claims pay for one half the period embraced in the roll, on the ground that that much service was performed. The evidence shows clearly that one fourth of the company was ordered out at a time to
perform a week's service, and that of this time not more than three or four days of actual service was rendered, reducing the whole of this service to one eighth of the time. This appears to have been a neighborhood company, the men, when not on duty, remaining at their homes, attending to their business.”
The committee think that this opinion of the board of officers is fully sustained by the evidence in the case. It was a mere neighborhood assocition, organized for the purpose of mutual defence, such as has often been resorted to under similar circumstances, and such as any prudent community would be likely to adopt that happened to be located in the vicinity of hostile savages, but for which it has not been usual for the government to make compensation in the manner prayed for.
The committee recommend the adoption of the following resolution: