MESSRS. EDITORS—I see by the Scientific American that the judges of the " Ray Premiums " have at last made their report,—and what is it ? Why, they have awarded a premium for a brake that was patented November 25, 1851—six weeks before the premium money was offered, and more than two months before it was advertized in your paper. The advertisement reads thus:—"The premiums will be open for competition from this date [Jan. 1,18521 until the next Annual Fair of the American Institute, when they are expected to be on exhibition ; and no invention already introduced to the public will be entitled to compete for the prizes." Regardless of these specific terms, they have given a premium to an invention which had been patented at least six weeks before Mr. Ray made his offer with the above stipulations. Now this Mr. F. A. Stevens, of Burlington, Vt., is no more entitled to a premium, if the advertisement means any thing, than the man who first made a railroad brake. I think the whole business has been conducted, from beginning to end, in a very unfair and ungentle-manly manner. And as one of the competitors, I do most decidedly object to the award being given as it has been, not because he had not the best brake, but because he was not a lawful competitor. T. S. I. k [The conduct of the American Institute has been very blameable in this mafter, and that of Mr. Ray none the less so. He made the conditions, the committee were only appointed to carry them out. These conditions have been set aside. Was this act done by the authority of the maker of these conditions; if not, he should not pay over the money. The whole business has been a disgrace to all those concerned in offering and deciding on the prizes. Letthe competitors meet in this city, this summer or fall, and express their opinions respecting the conduct of the " Institute."
This article was originally published with the title "The Ray Premiums—A Shameful Act"