Before Hon. Charles J. Ingersoll, New Haven, Conn. THE GREAT HAT BODY CASE. This is a case involving great value, and which has excited much interest. It is one of several suits involving a controversy between re-issues of an original patent granted to Henry A. Wells, and owned by H. A. Burr & Co., and subsequent patents granted to Alva B. Taylor. It was a suit in equity in the United States Circuit Court in the district of Connecticut, on two patents, one for machinery, and the other for a process, and both of which were re-issues of original patents granted to Henry A. Wells on the 25th of April, 1846, one of the re-issuos being for improvements in making hat bodies, consisting of the combination of a feeding apparatus to feed the fur to the rotating picker, to be received and thrown by the picker into a guiding and distributing race-way, having a peculiar delivery aperture, to distribute the disintegrated fur upon a revolving perforated conical vessel or former, having the air exhausted from within it, so as to cause the fur so distributed to adhere by the pressure of the air to its surface ; and the other re-issue being for hardening the bat while on the cone where so deposited, by covering the same with an outer cone also perforated, and immersing the whole into hot water, so as to remove it from the cone without injury, and thus form a fur bat of a conical shape, suitable for being made into a hat body. The suit was brought by H. A. Burr & Co., the proprietors of the Wells' patent, against George E. Cowperthwaite, engaged in the manufacture of hat bodies in Danbury, Conn., and whom it was claimed, worked according to Letters Patent granted to Alva B. Taylor, and which the complainants claimed was an infringement upon their patent, both in the machinery and in the process employed. The cause was argued last fall in New York at great length, before Justice Nelson and Judge Ingersoll, sitting as chanoellors, by Charles M. Keller for the plaintiffs, and by George Gifford and George Harding for the defendant. The case was then held under advisement by the judges, and on Tuesday the 27th inst., at the opening of the court in New Haven, was decided in favor of the defendant by a lengthy and able opinion from Judge Ingersoll, in which he announced that Judge Nelson concurred.
This article was originally published with the title "United States Circuit Court" in Scientific American 13, 36, 286 (May 1858)