We call the especial attention of our readers to the decision of the Commissioner of Patents, published in another column, respecting an application made by Jason Crane for a patent for a design for box for ladies' furs. This decision is a veiy important one, as it determines the full scope and meaning of the statute of 1861, which was intended to afford a wide and liberal protection to certain useful articles of manufacture, such as did not come within the exact meaning of a "mechanical invention" or of an "ornamental design." We regret to say, however, that the plain purport of this law has been defeated by the Examiner in charge. He has persistently refused, so far as our experience goes, to allow patents except for works of art, or for some ornamental configuration or design. The law of 1861, which was intended to be an improvement on the old law, has failed, either through obstinacy or ignorance of the true intent of the law, to benefit those-for whom it was enacted. It is, therefore, with great satisfaction that we record this decision. The law is expounded to mean exactly what we supposed it did mean, and we trust that the Commissioner will see that the practice of the effice-in this particular is made to conform to the decision. New Method for Working Large Ventilating Fans. A new method recently invented in England for driving the Indian " punkah," or fan, for which coolies have been hitherto employed, seems equally applicable to the driving of the large ventilating fans, used for promoting circulation in dining rooms etc., in this country. The mechanism of this contrivance is of great simplicity, and its perfect noislessness is said to be one of its chief recommendations—the faint ripple of the linen " punkah " being heard amid the complete silence of the wheels that move it to and fro. A dea weight and train of wheel work give motion to a horizontal shaft and fly wheel, a slight jerk of the fan being given at each revolution of the wheel and oscillation of the fan, by the simple device of weighting one side of the fly wheel. This action imitates with admirable nicety of effect, the movement of the wrist when the " punkah " is worked by an attendant. FOBTY mines in the White Pine (Nevada) district are named after General Grant, and nearly an equal number bear Sheridan's name in various forms. Morning Stars, Evening Stars, North Stars, and all sorts of fanciful appellations abound. Over 3,000 claims in all have been recorded.
This article was originally published with the title "Important Decision about Designs" in Scientific American 20, 21, 327 (May 1869)