We notice among the recent proceedings in Congress that Bancroft Woodcock, of Wheeling, Va,, and J. A. & H. A. Pitts, of Buffalo, N. Y., have presented petitions to the Senate for the extension of their patents. Mr. Woodcock has had several patents for improved plows, one of which was extended in 1851, and will therefore expire this year, and we presume this is the one upon which he is seeking to obtain additional protection by a special act of Congress. The Messrs. Pitts are patentees of a machine for threshing and cleansing grain, which is well known to the public, and there is not much doubt that it has richly remunerated its inventors. This patent was originally granted June 29, 1837, and was extended by the Commissioner for a period of seven years beyond its original date. It will therefore expire on the 29th of June next. These petitions were referred to Senator Trumbull, of Illinois; and in each case he has submitted adverse reports, which were concurred in. To say that we are gratified at the result would be only reiterating sentiments well known to our readers. We hope it is but an augury of the intention of the Committee in relation to other cases which are now before them. There is much more real merit in these cases than in Colt's ; and it would redound more to the honor of Congress to extend them than to tolerate the demands of the rich monopolist of revolving fire-arms, whose claim to Congressional protection has scarcely a shade of merit to recommend it. Sinee the above was put in type, we learn that the Committee on Patents of the House of Representatives have reported strongly against the extension of Colt's patent, notwithstanding the tremendous pressure that has been brought to bear. The same committee have also reported against an extension of the patent of Sickles' cut-off. It is supposed that the large number of similar cases before the committee will share the same fate. The Senate Committee on Patents met on the 26th instant, to decide on the india-rubber cases of Hayward& Chaffee, and in our next issue we will endeavor to give their decision and an abstract of its grounds.
This article was originally published with the title "More Favors Wanted from Congress by Patentees" in Scientific American 13, 34, 269 (May 1858)