Our recent posts on the homes of Mansfield industrialists and businessmen has suggested that we again look back at some of the city’s remarkable manufacturing history.
One hundred years ago, this area was an economic powerhouse that helped fuel the national economy. Given Mansfield’s industrial base, it was only inevitable that some products would be developed or marketed here with “staying power.” Mansfield’s Tappan Company was the first to unveil a microwave for home use (in 1955), for instance. The electric retreader for tires was invented here in the 1930s, and the decade earlier saw the arrival of the Klondike Bar. What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
Those shared, there were a fair number of patents issued to Mansfield inventors and creators which did not prove quite as successful or were designed for soon-to-be-obsolete industries or trends (such as that issued in 1875 to Mark Roberts of Mansfield for improvements in horseshoes). Some of those include:
In 1889, a patent was issued to Joseph Rummel of Mansfield for “suspender improvements.” According to application for the same, the purpose of these impovements was as follows – “The leading object of the invention is the provision of an end attachment which will allow the ready and easy movement of the wearer of the suspenders without undue strain or wear on the suspenders. A further object is the provision of an end attachment which will securely hold the braids in place. A further object is the provision of an end attachment which will be ornamental in appearance, durable and inexpensive.”
It would be hard to go wrong with suspender improvements, but the same might not have been the case for the “swinging saw for sewing meets,” the subject of a 1896 patent to Mansfielder John Marshall. That apparatus was claimed “to provide a substitute for the ordinary reciprocating saw used by butchers and others in sawing meatbones; and the invention consists in a rotary circular saw mounted to be driven by hand or other power in the manner hereinafter particularly described and claimed, and capable of being erected alongside the ordinary chopping-block, counter, or other fixture.”
Mr. Marshall clearly saw a future for his product. He went on, “Now, while I have designed by my invention to provide retail butchers with a convenient and labor-saving saw, I wish it to be understood that the invention is applicable to sawing other objects than meat, bones, etc.”
Well-known residents were also inventors, particularly those assocated with growing companies. Ohio Brass Company’s Charles Kelly King, of Kingwood renown, received a patent in 1896 with another for an “insulated supporter for electric or other wires.”
Mansfielders continue to seek and receive patents. In the last few years new products include an inkjet ink for printing on fluoropolymers, a novel method to extract algae, and “a method for removing solid waste from a watercourse.”