Not to be confused with the
identically-named Columbia Wagon
Co. of Columbia, Missouri who also manufactured farm wagons in the late
and early 20th centuries. Also unrelated to the Columbia Body Co. /
Body Corp. of Detroit, Michigan who offered a similar product line of
bodies during the teens and twenties. The Detroit firm used the phrase
Bodies' in their advertising and surviving examples feature a small
Columbia script underneath the lower front seat cushion.
An early Columbia Wagon Co. catalog listed
their address as
'Plane and P. R. R., Columbia, Penn., and stated they were
wholesale dealers of farm wagons, dumping wagons, municipal trash
& sleighs. The catalog offered a full line of "Columbian,"
"Eli" and "OK" farm and freight wagons; and "Columbian"
dumper, carts, contractors' wagons, and bob sleds.
Columbia's founder, William Tredenick
Garrison, was born
September 26, 1849 in Salem, Salem County, New Jersey to Daniel J. and
Tredenick) Garrison. Of English origin, our subject's father, Daniel J.
was born on November 29, 1811 to William T. Garrison (our subject's
a wealthy Salem County real estate dealer. During the War of 1812 our
grandfather served as Captain of a local militia. He married Ann Curry
union was blessed with the birth of three children of whom Daniel J.
the father of our subject - was the second in order of birth. Daniel J.
educated for the ministry in the Episcopal Church at Cambria College,
after which he attended New York City's Episcopal Theological Seminary.
graduation he filled the pulpit for only a short time, deciding he was
suited to the life of a farmer. He married Rebecca Brinton and returned
Salem County, N.J., their union being blessed by the birth of five
Emily Eloise (1842-1905); Josephine A. (1844-1919), Daniel - a
physician of Penn's Grove, N.J. (1847-1909); William T. – our subject;
Virginia Caroleen (1852-1898) Garrison, the wife of William T. King of Mt.
Clair, N.J. Our
subject's father, Daniel J. Garrison, preceded his wife in death, passing away on
T. Garrison received his elementary education from a private tutor
after which he attended Andalusia College in Bucks County,
Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in1869. Soon afterward his father
developed a serious illness and 20 year-old William was placed in
charge of the family's 200-acre Salem County estate. His father slowly
recovered and in 1881 William joined the Parvin Iron
Co. of Penns Grove, New Jersey as treasurer. The wagon works was
founded by Robert C. Parvin, a prolific
who patented an all-iron wagon gear (US Pat. No. 231082) in 1870
1880). During Parvin's lifetime he was awarded the following patents –
to agricultural implements: US65263, US119878; US122848; US122849;
US125843, US231082. Penns Grove was located directly across the
from Wilmington, and maintained a large customer base in Delaware's
Garrison married Jane - aka Jennie - Smith
daughter of James and Lucilla (Blackfan Fell) Remington. The
couple remained childless for the next 13 years, but on June 20, 1892
their union was blessed with the birth of a
Remington Garrison (b. 1892 - d. 1973).
In 1889 Garrison resigned his position as
treasurer of the
Parvin Iron Wagon Co., and relocated to Columbia, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania where he established the Columbia Wagon Company. Gotlieb
president of the Columbia Brewery, graciously provided the ground on
factory was located and H.H. Heise, a local banker and farm implement
distributor, solicited the citizens of Columbia to subscribe to the
initial offering of stock, which by 1893 had grown to $50,000 in
At that time the firm occupied two 2-story
48 x 100 ft. brick
buildings which were supplied by their own foundry, kiln and
1895 Report of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Factory Inspectors lists the
with 50 employees, all of whom worked a 60 hour work week, with an
72 wagons being produced each week under the watchful eye of factory
William H. Platt.
Columbia also had a long-established a
employing 30 mechanics in New York City, which occupied Nos. 422- 426
Fifteenth Street. An 1894 document lists the following board of
Andrew Garber; John C. Forrey; H.F. Yergey; J.H. Herr; Mart Strebig;
Gotlieb Young; J.B. Hutchinson; and W.T. Garrison. Garrison also served
of the Columbia Flint Co.
The September 30, 1897 edition of the
Trenton Evening Times
included a description of the firm's display at the 1897 New Jersey
"The Columbia Wagon Company, of Columbia,
some of their farm and road wagons, contractors' wagons, dumpers and
business wagons, &c. The agent in this section is W. J. Bowland, of
The September 30, 1898 edition of the
National Democrat (Indiana):
"ARMY WAGONS Received at Factory and Then
"Two hundred army wagons at the
are likely to be returned to the builders because they are not up to
One-hundred were built at Toledo, O., by the Milburn Wagon Company and
others were made by the Columbia Wagon Company, of Columbia, Pa. Each
worth about $100. Capt. J.M. Brinkman and J.A. Risdon, inspectors in
of the Government, visited the depot yesterday and inspected the
although the vehicle s had been received by them from the manufacturers
they were placed on the cars.
"Mr. Risdon was seen last evening and he
wagons were not accepted at the depot because of a variation in
It amounts virtually to nothing. Assistant Quartermaster General Moore,
Washington, inspected those made at Columbia, Pa., and he said they
right. The wagons were made after a sample pattern, and the officials
Jeffersonville depot had not been notified of the change. We will get
the inspection Wednesday.'
"As far as Col. Barnett, Assistant
is in temporary charge of the Jeffersonville depot, is concerned, the
it is understood, will not be received by him unless the authorities in
agree to their acceptance. Mr. Brinkman inspected the wagons made in
Biographical Annals of Lancaster Co., 1903,
"H. F. Yergey is treasurer and manager of
Wagon Company, at Columbia, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania."
A jeweler by trade, Yergey was also
treasurer of the
Columbia Telephone Co.
In 1904 Columbia touted an annual production
capacity of 7,000
October 17, 1906 issue of Municipal Journal
WAGONS ON EXHIBIT All Styles Shapes and
Sizes of the Dump
Variety Shown at Carriage Dealers Annual Exposition New York City.
"The Columbia Wagon Company, Columbia, Pa.,
rear end dumper. The manufacturer reports a demand for wagon of this
work where the drop bottom cannot be used, accordingly they make a very
wagon strongly ironed for hard usage. Another wagon, the Josiah F. Day
bottom dumper, has chain hinges - the bottom raised by crossed chains
rear operated from and under the driver's seat. A new bottom dumper
chain running under both doors and over an equalizer in the rear and
winding point under the seat was also exhibited."
Good Roads Year Book, Volume 4, pub. 1915:
"Columbia Wagon Company: W.T. Garrison,
Yergey, treasurer and manager; Edward B. Smith, secretary; Columbia,
"Columbian - Trade name given to dump wagons
manufactured by the Columbia Wagon Company, Columbia, Pennsylvania.
"The Susquehanna - Trade name given to a
manufactured by the Columbia Wagon Company Columbia, Pennsylvania."
A 1907-1908 Columbia Sleigh catalog is in
the collection of
the Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, Delaware:
"Illustrated catalogue of the Columbia Wagon
line of cutters, business sleighs, business bob-sleds, farm and heavy
In 1910 Columbia launched a lawsuit just
after the turn of
the century against the Eagle Wagon Co., of Auburn, New York. The suits
all based around the premise that US patent No. 699,262, issued May 6,
to Matthew Van Wagenen, founder of Eagle, was issued in error.
president, William T. Garrison, argued that a nearly identical device
raised the doors of a dump wagon) had been used in the railroad
to Van Wagenen's patent application. William T. Garrison as president,
sued Eagle in 1910, the results of which were reported in the August 6,
edition of the Syracuse Herald:
"PATENT ON EAGLE WAGON SUSTAINED BY COURT
"A decision has been handed down by Judge
the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern district of
holding a patent owned by the Eagle Wagon Company of Auburn to be valid
infringed upon by the dumping wagon manufactured by the Columbia Wagon
of Columbia, Pa. The patent covers a device for the raising of the
doors of a
dump wagon and, it is said, that practically all wagons in use employ a
mechanism substantially like the one in controversy.
"The patent was issued to Matthew Van
Wagenen who for
many years conducted a factory in this city. At his death the patent
will of his business was sold by his widow to the Eagle Wagon Company,
later was moved to Auburn."
Garrison / Columbia Wagon, appealed the
decision and were once
again thwarted, the March 9, 1914 edition of the Syracuse Herald
"Van Wagenen Patents Sustained By Court
"Justice Charles M. Hough of the United
State court for
Southern district of New York has sustained the patents obtained by the
Matthew Van Wagenen of this city on devices for emptying dump wagons
His decision was handed down in the suit of William T. Garrison,
the Columbia Wagon company of Columbia, Pa., against the Eagle Wagon
Auburn, successors to Mr. Van Wagenen.
"Mrs. Van Wagenen sold out the patents and
to the Eagle works in 1902, after the death of her husband. The Eagle
moved the business to Auburn. Some time later they sued the Columbia
company for infringement on patent rights and were sustained both in
District court and in the Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Mr. Garrison next attacked the exclusive
rights of the
Eagle company to the patent, claiming that there had been a similar
on railroad cars for dumping before the Van Wagenen device was invented.
"In his decision dismissing this second
Hough declared that the new evidence was weak and did not warrant a
the Circuit court, which would have been an unusual and extreme course
a trial court, to pursue.
"Parsons, Bell and Bodell represented the
A feature article on the Columbia operation
was included in
the June 1914 edition of the Carriage Monthly:
"Columbia Wagon Company
"Wagon optimism has been the keynote of the
vehicle situation throughout the past year. The confident feeling in
trade entered with the new year, and when the early spring selling
opened up, the sales, both in city and country, exceeded the most
expectations. Summer has arrived, but there has been no abatement of
and the result is that wagon factories manufacturing a product of
worth are having all the work they car to handle.
"There is every reason to believe in the
prosperity of the wagon industry—a prosperity that is shared by
and dealers alike. The expansion in the trade is yet on the increase,
buying has not yet reached its height.
"Encouraging as were all the conditions in
the trade at
the beginning of 1914, there were not even at that time so many reasons
anticipating a prosperous year as are now to be discerned.
"Reports from jobbers whose territories dot
from Maine to Oregon and from the Canadian boundary line to the Gulf,
the optimism born of certainty, that big things are in store for the
trade for the rest of this year and in the year to come.
"Dealers are equally optimistic, a
proportion of them having already arranged for their stocks for fall
there is an active inquiry concerning lines of standard makes.
"The sales manager of a Philadelphia
selling to wagon makers, recently returned from a trip that embraced 16
tells us he found only one locality where the wagon business could be
poor, and this condition was caused entirely by local circumstances.
else he found wagons selling as they have not sold for some time past.
"The Columbia Wagon Co., Columbia, Pa,
always in touch
with the developments of the industry, is experiencing the biggest year
its history. The demands of the trade are heavy and exacting, but the
facilities oi the immense factory plant are equal to the task of
thousands of 'Columbian' wagons that are
being sold through American vehicle dealers as well as the considerable
quantity that are regularly exported to foreign countries.
"The office force and the field
comprised of picked men who understand the wagon proposition 'from A to
in the best possible shape both to assist you in ordering just the kind
goods you want and in seeing to it that you get the goods when you want
"In a rush season a great deal depends on
deliveries, and the hundreds of dealers who have 'tied up' for years
Colombian goods know the promptness oi Columbian service. They know
orders will be shipped when promised, no matter how busy the factory,
when the goods arrive they will be 'right' in every particular. The
trade-mark is a 'seal of confidence' in the wagon trade.
"The several illustrations on this page show
the departments of the big Columbian factory at Columbia, Pa.
"Wheel Department, Columbia Wagon Co.
"The blacksmith shop, shown in one of the
views, is 125
feet long by 90 feet wide. In it can be found all the latest devices to
facilitate this branch of the work, such as drop hammers, tire setters,
punching machines, wheel boxing, threading and bending machines.
"The woodworking department is equipped with
latest improved machinery designed for the rapid and perfect execution
woodwork. This department is equipped with electric motors, each
having its own separate motor.
"The painting department of the Columbia
Wagon Works is
right up to date, furnished with the most modern devices
calculated to secure
best results in appearance and durability of the paint surfaces.
"The entire plant is equipped with an
sprinkler system with two sources of water supply, one of them a
"Over one million feet of lumber is carried
seasoning sheds, so that there is always on hand an abundance of
and high-grade material.
"W.T. Garrison is president of the Columbia
and has held this office ever since the organization of the company in
Yergey, treasurer and manager, has been connected with the company
past 15 years. Edward B. Smith, secretary, entered the employ of the
1890, and served in the capacity of bookkeeper for eight years,
was elected secretary.
"The sales department is under the direct
of the president of the company, W.T. Garrison, who looks after the
the factory. New York and New England trade is in charge of V.D.
Broeck and H.R. Capen, New York City, Long Island and New
well as a part of Pennsylvania, are visited by J.I. Biddle, while
Bertolet takes care of northeastern Pennsylvania and a portion of
October 24, 1914 edition of the Washington
"ALLIED GOVERNMENTS PLACE ORDERS FOR ARMY
"Firms in Lancaster, Pa., Receive Large.
France, Great Britain, and Russia.
"Lancaster (Pa.) Dispatch to New York
Tribune - Firms
in this country have received two orders from the French, English, and
governments which will keep large forces or men busy for a long time.
English and French have ordered 3,000 wagons from the Columbia Wagon
The Lebzelter company has received from the Russians an order for
of wooden material for use in wagons and automobiles."
Although the firm was mainly known for their
municipal wagons, starting in the late teens the Columbia Wagon Co.
a line of low-budget commercial bodies designed for the Model T Ford.
Although some very early Ford trucks were
commercial bodies, Ford discontinued the program in 1913 to concentrate
production of chassis. For the next ten years Ford literally gave away
truck body business to independent builders around the country.
Many local carriage makers and truck body
furnished bodies for Ford's amazing Models T, and for well over a
Model T was the most popular commercial car chassis in the world.
late Teens and early Twenties Ford sold over 50,000 chassis annually to
thousands of domestic coachbuilders. But in 1923 Ford decided to stop
generous, and implemented a new fully equipped Ford Truck sales program
starting with the 1924 model year, that featured bodies designed and
Prior to that time Columbia Wagon offered a
full line of
products for the Model T ranging from enclosed truck cabs, delivery
bodies and stake racks to ambulance and hearses. They also offered
delivery bodies for the Model T roadster, the latter being 200 lb.
boxes that fit
behind the tonneau compartment residing where the turtle deck formerly
During 1915 Model T ambulance production
from chassis production) exceeded 20,000 units, with most of the
sent to Europe prior to the US's involvement in WWI. This statistic
the Model T the world's most famous professional car chassis, ever.
1918 Columbia commercial bodies available
for converted Ford
Model T chassis included a Light Weight Stake Body, an ambulance body,
funeral car body, and a number of delivery vans ranging from compact
for parcel delivery up to huge furniture and moving van bodies, all
with a choice of open or closed (vestibule) cabs.
With the introduction of Ford's new Model T
in 1918, commercial body builders like Columbia finally had a standard
dimensions to work with and they soon started to offer bodies designed
specifically for the new Ford chassis. Up until 1918 many of their
built for various truck conversion kits, whose size and quality varied
manufacturer to the other.
Columbia built wood-bodied suburban bodies
for Model T
chassis starting in the late teens and as late as 1926 continued to offer
similar bodies for both the Ford Model T and TT chassis. The bodies for stock Model Ts
and shorter than bodies designed for the TT, but followed the same
Columbia's delivery bodies were available
vestibule body) or without (open-front panel body) a closed cab.
manufactured light express bodies with a choice of open or closed cabs.
express bodies were a predecessor to today's pick-up trucks. Express
were offered with and without roofs and could be fitted with screen or
sides, depending on the application. They were also built in different
and were often used in conjunction with aftermarket frame
conversion kits offered by dozens of manufacturers through the 1930s.
brands were the Smith Form-A-Truck, Union-Ford, Longford, Perfect Car
(Convertible Equipment Co.),etc.
May 8, 1918 Automobile Industries:
"Orders Placed by War Department
"WASHINGTON, May 2. The War Department has
following orders: McCord Mfg. Co., Detroit, radiators, $30,139.46. Reo
Co., Lansing, MI, spare parts, $30, 867.64. Kelly-Springfield Motor
Springfield, O., rear parts, $34,971.00. Standard Steel Casings Co.,
wheels, $72,688.02. Briscoe Motor Corp., 1 set tools, 5,000
$1,279.91. Richmond Forging Co., axles, $167,.538.80. Lexington Motor
1,000 10-ton trailers, $74.882.57. Dort Motor Car Co., crating chassis,
$1,738.17. Columbia Wagon Co., escort wagons and wheels, $52,342.94.
Wagon Co., escort wagons and parts, $63,146.81."
Jennings Patent Automatic Dump Body for Ford
(July 15 1920 CCJ ad pp 266)
Lebanon Semi Weekly News February 16, 1920:
"COLUMBIA WAGON COMPANY IS IN THE HANDS OF
"The Columbia Wagon Company, of Columbia,
one of the
largest in the East, and well known in Lebanon by reason of the fact
of its product finds sale here, and some Lebanon men have been employed
plant, passed into the hands of a receiver, on Friday at Lancaster.
fixed at $100,000. The bill in equity was filed by the Philip Lebzelter
Sons, Company, on a note of $5,000 due today, and a large bill for
The bill also states that the company has a large floating debt, has no
capital and is indebted to its workmen for wages. The answer to the
signed by State Representative Michael R. Hoffman, president of the
admits the business has been conducted on borrowed money. B. F.
Conoy township - his brother, is named as the receiver."
Lebanon Semi Weekly News February 19, 1920:
"Columbia Wagons Are Being Built Faster and
"M. L. Bachman, the implement dealer, at
and Lebanon, Wednesday paid a visit to the Columbia Wagon Company, at
to personally investigate unpleasant rumors circulated in these parts.
them all grossly exaggerated. The Columbia Wagon Company of today is
one of the
most substantial concerns in this part Of the state and their large
pressed to the limit to turn out this popular vehicle. Mr. Bachman last
ordered two car loads of wagons and haybeds and these will be delivered
for his monster spring sale on Wednesday, March 24. He was so well pleased with the work that he
immediately placed an order for another car load of wagons for later
This is gratifying news to the many people who contemplated buying
wagons and they will be furnished their favorites by Mr. Bachman is
some disgruntled competitors. The Bachman wagon is a dandy just now and
Bachman is very anxious for this consignment to prove his assertion."
William T. Garrison passed away on November
26, 1921, at
which time Henry F. Yergey, the firm's longtime manager and treasurer,
Columbia Wagon Co.'s presidency. Unfortunately Yergey, who was born on
11, 1851, and a jeweler by trade, passed away six months later, on June
1922, leaving the firm without an experienced hand to lead it. The
chief creditor soon became aware of the firm's unstable condition while
testifying during a lawsuit filed against the Wagon Co. by its main
supplier (Philip Lebzelter & Son, Co., vs. Columbia Wagon Co.).
Michael R. Hoffman, the Wagon Co.'s
realized the sorry financial condition of the firm. Hoffman, a onetime
of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1907-1909), was a senior
in the Lancaster County-based Hoffman Leaf Tobacco Co. and was also a
of the Columbia Flint Co. of which W.T. Garrison was formerly treasurer.
In order to protect his investment, Hoffman
spearheaded a reorganization
of the firm, and in early 1924 founded the Columbia Body Corp., the
1924 issue of Automotive Industries reporting:
"Wagon Company Acquired by Columbia Body
"COLUMBIA, PA., March 17 - The Columbia Body
been organized to take over the Columbia Wagon & Body Co., whose
are reported to be worth $500,000. Michael R. Hoffman, owner of the
Wagon & Body Co., also holds all of the stock in the new company,
he has been named as president. M.R. Hoffman, Jr., is treasurer and Guy
Hoffman secretary. George W. Hall, formerly vice-president of the
Co. of York, Pa., is general manager and sales agent. The corporation
continue the manufacture of horse-drawn vehicles but will bring out a
commercial automobile bodies which probably will constitute
Hoffman was likely unaware a similarly-named
firm was also
manufacturing truck bodies in Detroit – a fact which continues to cause
confusion to this day. The Detroit-built truck bodies feature a
Columbia script burned into the heel board directly underneath the
seat cushion of the cab – the Pennsylvania firm reportedly used a
although I couldn’t locate an example. Hoffman's firm constructed very
bodies after its 1924 reorganization, and most of them were sold in and
central Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
The reason for the decline in sales was
directly related to
Ford Motor Co.'s reintroduction of factory-supplied coachwork for its
Model T and TT commercial vehicle lineup. As stated earlier, Ford
early Model T's with commercial bodies, but discontinued the program in
the next ten years Ford literally gave away what could have been a
sideline to independent builders like Columbia who were located in
population centers around the country. In 1923 Henry decided to stop
generous, implementing a new fully equipped Ford Truck sales program
with the 1924 model year.
Some of the 1924 Ford brand commercial
bodies were built at
Ford's Highland Park plant while others were outsourced from various
who included Budd and Simplex Manufacturing. The first body made
an all-steel express body, a canopy express body became available later
year in three popular styles; totally open, screen-sided or with
The new Ford bodies were stocked by larger
could be ordered individually through regional Ford distributors by
dealers, who couldn't afford to keep them in inventory.
Ford also introduced an enclosed cab to go
along with their
open cab in their new truck body program during the same year. The Ford
easily identified by its sloping windshield and half moon openings in
quarters. By the middle of 1924 Ford had 8 distinct fully equipped
chassis & body) light trucks available across the nation. Within 5
many of the small commercial builders found themselves out of business,
larger ones prospered, providing that they were official Ford body
In 1925 Ford introduced an optional body for
which attached to the chassis in place of the rear deck. That body was
first production Ford pickup truck, a vehicle that eventually
most popular motor vehicle in North America, and remains so today. The
name of the vehicle was the "Ford Model T Runabout with Pick-Up
Body", and it sold for $281 fob Detroit. It featured four stake pockets
an adjustable tailgate, and required a 9-leaf rear spring.
Severely declining wagon sales and the
sudden loss of their
Ford commercial body business caused Hoffman to pull the plug on the
operation a little more than two years after he took over the firm, and
the Columbia Body Corp. withdrew from business and the property was
over for storage facilities for his prosperous tobacco business, which
later reorganized as the American Cigarette & Cigar Company.
Columbia's factory complex, built between
1889 and 1920,
survives today and includes seven contributing buildings. They are
brick factory buildings with heavy timber frame construction. Six of
buildings are arranged in an "H"-shape. The buildings range in height
from one to 3 1/2-stories. Between 1994 and 1996, the complex was
house 60 apartments.
A refurbished Columbia Wagon (circa 1900) is in the collection of the Wrightsville
309 Locust St., Wrightsville, Pa.
© 2015 Mark
Theobald for Coachbuilt.com
Eagle Wagon Works vs. Columbia Wagon Co.
EAGLE WAGON WORKS V. COLUMBIA WAGON CO.
(Circuit Court, E. D. Pennsylvania. August 3, 1910.) No. 32.
1. PATENTS (§ 26*)—INVENTION.—NEW
COMBINATION OF OLD
ELEMENTS. A new combination, with a new mode of Operation, may be
even if all the parts thereof are old, and even if the function of the
combination is also old. [Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Patents, Cent.
27–30; Dec. Dig. § 26.*]
2. PATENTS (§ 26*)—NEW COMBINATION OF OLD
oE INVENTION. While a new combination of old elements often appears
where there was a prior defect which was thereby overcome, and the new
Was immediately recognized, and went into extensive and general use, it
persuasive that more than mechanical skill was required in bringing
the elements in such a combination to each other as to bring about the
[Ed. Note.—For other cases, see Patents, Cent. Dig. §§ 27–30; Dec. Dig.
§ 26.* Patentability
of combinations of old elements as dependent on results attained, see
National Tube Co. v. Aiken, 91 C. C. A. 123.]
3. PATENTS (§ 328*)—VALIDITY AND
INFRINGEMENT—DUMP WAGON. The Van Wagenen patent,
699,262, for a dumpwagon, while for a combination of old elements,
obviates prior defects and discloses patentable invention.
Also held infringed by the device of the Garrison patent,
it contains patentable novelty, is for an improvement only in
element of the Van Wagenen combination.
In Equity. Suit by the Eagle
against the Columbia Wagon Company. Decree for complainant.
Parsons, Hall & Bodell, for complainant.
M. W. Sloan and Hector T. Fenton, for respondent.
HOLLAND, District Judge. This is a bill of
charging an infringement of patent No. 699,262, issued to M. Van
May 6, 1902, for an improvement in dumping wagons. The defenses
Noninfringement; (2) want of patentable novelty.
The patent is for a combination of devices,
all of which
have been in prior use, either in the form in which they appear in this
combination, or embodying substantially the principles involved. The
improvements relate to that class of dump wagons in which the bottom
the receiving chamber consists of movable sections hinged to the
walls of the box and having the adjacent free ends adapted to meet
substantially midway to said side walls; said movable bottom sections
elevated by a suitable drum and cable and adapted to open or drop by
when released, and should either chain, for any reason, become
either door obstructed while being closed, the invention has
a rocking member or device in the rear of the wagon body for
up the sag in either chain resulting from an inequality of movement of
doors. The claim in the patent in which it is alleged the
infringed is as follows:
*For other cases see same topic & $
NUMBER in Dec. &
Am. Digs. 1907 to date, & Rep’r Indexes
“4. The combination with a
dump wagon having
movable bottom sections hinged to its side walls, a rotary drum at one
the movable Sections, a rocking member at the other end, cables or
connected to said drum and to said rocking member at opposite sides of
the intermediate portion of said cable being connected to the bottom
and means for rotating the drum.”
The wagon body is boxed shape, and
the bottom has
two long doors or sections, which are hinged longitudinally
to the side walls of the wagon body so that the
will meet; a winding drum located at the front of
the wagon body and
having mechanism for rotating it, arranged in convenient reach of the
means to rotate the drum with the ratchet and pawl mechanism,and
rocking member pivotally mounted on the rear of
the wagon body, and
two separate chains, or two lengths of a single chain, each individual
of the doors and extending in a lengthwise direction beneath the same
with and adjacent to, its free side edge; the front ends of the chains
connected to the winding drum, and the rear ends thereof being
respectively, to the rocking member on opposite sides of its pivot.
enables a driver to dump his load and to close the bottom doors. The
individual to each door is so contrived that, if one of the doors is
from its upward movement, the companion door may be further raised
doors are brought to a closed position, or, should one chain be longer
other, the compensating mechanism in the rear, together with the
will take up the sag and enable the driver to bring both sides closed
tight fit. The defect in prior closing mechanisms used on this class of
was that, where each door was raised by its own run of chain, any
inequality in their length of lifting action, caused by sagging or
would prevent a tight closing of the doors. This defect was obviated by
of the pivotally mounted rocking member placed upon the rear
Wagons previously manufactured of this kind
contained two of
the elements of claim 4, to wit, movable bottom sections hinged to the
walls, and a rotary drum at one end of the movable sections. The ends
chains at the rear were immovable, and there was no means of providing
inequality in length of chain, or any means by which the sag of the
resulting from an inequality of movement in closing the doors could be
up. This was a defect which was recognized, and it was overcome by the
combination worked out and placed upon this class of wagons by the
is not claimed that there is any new principle involved in any of the
used in this combination; but it is claimed that it is a new
combination of *
old elements, resulting in a new mode of operation. The elements are
they have never been found correlated in the same way as the patentee
case has combined them, nor has there been any device placed upon these
which would close the bottom doors in the same way and so
satisfactorily as the
device found in the patent. A new combination with a new mode of
be invention, even if all the parts thereof are old, and even if the
of the combination is also old. Walker on Patents, p. 40; Steiner &
Hardware Co. v. Tabor Sash Co. (C. C.) 178 Fed. 831.
In order to establish the defense of a lack
novelty, three patents have been introduced, showing the state of the
to the issuance of the complainant's patent: The Weber, the Blake, and
Lawrence patents. The Weber patent is for a cart, and, in order to dump
is necessary to tilt the whole body. In the Blake patent, we find the
bottom section hinged to the side walls of the body, with two runs of
each door, to independently lift and close the hinged doors, a winding
the wagon forward of the doors, to wind up the two runs of
and means to operate the drum, but no rocking member. The
patent is for a dumping device on a railroad car, provided with a
and this hopper bottom at about the middle thereof is provided with an
designed to be closed by two hinged doors, which are arranged
the car, and are of a less length than the width of the bottom. A
is arranged beneath the bottom of the car and parallel to the sides of
door, and there are two pulleys spaced at a distance apart from each
over which is guided the intermediate parts of the chain, the lengths
of which extend transversely of the two doors, each length or run being
to both doors and co-operating directly with both doors for raising the
The pulleys are not located at the ends of the doors, but are mounted
the bottom of the car, and are spaced a distance from the hinged side
one of the doors. These two pulleys, placed at the rear of the doors in
Lawrence patent, embody exactly the same compensating
principle found in the rocking member placed on the rear of
of the wagon in the patent in suit. There is no difference
so far as the operation in both is concerned. In the Lawrence patent
result is attained by two pulleys that is accomplished by the rocking
used by complainant. There is no pretension on the part of complainant
there is any difference in principle. While it is true that none of the
elements entering into this device is new, yet they are put in such a
combination that they bring about the result which is regarded by the
public as a great improvement in dump wagons. The old mechanism failed
satisfaction, and the combination brought out and perfected by the
this case overcame the difficulties and objections theretofore
we think it is such a correlation and combination of old elements as to
an exercise of the creative faculty of the inventor, and not merely the
ingenuity of the skilled mechanic, and that there is patentable
novelty involved. It appears very simple now, after what has
accomplished by Van Wagenen.
Patents for the combination of old elements
found in the
prior art are usually susceptible of the attack of want of novelty,
the apparent simplicity of the combination after success has been
where there was a prior defect long suffered, and an immediate
the new device, which immediately went into general and extensive
it is persuasive that more than mechanical skill was required in
together the elements in such a combination in relation to each other
as to bring
about the success. Johnson v. Forty-Second St., etc. (C. C.) 33 Fed.
Regent Mfg. Co. et al. v. Penn Electrical & Mfg. Co., 121 Fed. 83,
57 C. C.
A. 334; McMichael & Wildman Mfg. Co. v. Ruth, 128 Fed. 707, 63 C.
304; Los Alamitos Sugar Co. et al. v. Carroll, 173 Fed. 280, 97 C. C.
Expanded Metal Co. v. Bradford, 214 U. S. 381, 29 Sup. Ct. 652, 53 L.
“Now that it has succeeded, it may seem very
plain to any
one that he could have done it as well. This is often the case With
of the greatest merit. It may be laid down as a general rule, though
not an invariable one, that if a new combination and arrangement of
elements produce a new and beneficial result, never attained before, it
evidence of invention.” The Barbed Wire Patent, 143 U. S. 283, 12 Sup.
450, 36 L. Ed. 154.
The defendant further sets up
the defense of
non-infringement, and claims that it is manufacturing
its wagon under
a patent issued to Garrison on April 30, 1907. An
examination of this
patent shows that it is an exact duplicate of
the wagon manufactured
by complainant; the dumping mechanism being exactly similar, excepting
rocking member is eccentrically pivoted, “having arms of unequal length
unequal weight, the longer and heavier arm acting at all times to
shorter and lighter arm in elevated position,” which enables one door
moved upwardly toward its closed position after the companion door has
its closed position, and after its closing position has been arrested.
The Garrison patent, if it contains
patentable novelty, is
an improvement on the rocking member employed by the complainant; and,
may be entitled to protection for this discovery, he has ingrafted it
patent belonging to the complainant, and it cannot be regarded other
improvement on the complainant's invention, and does not avoid the
of the claim in issue, which is directly readable upon his structure.
& Haak v. 1900 Washer Co. (C. C.) 163 Fed. 299; Underwood
Typewriter Co. v.
Typewriter Inspection Co. (C. C.) 177 Fed. 230; Cantrell v. Wallick,
117 U. S.
689, 6 Sup. Ct. 970, 29 L. Ed. 1017.
The complainant, having shown invention and
entitled to an injunction and an accounting as prayed for in the bill
Let a decree be drawn in accordance with this opinion, with costs.
Case No 2: 229 Fed. 159
GARRISON et al. v. EAGLE
WAGON WORKS et al.
(Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
Patents <S=328—Validity And Infringement—Dumping Car.
The Lawrence patent, No. 645,816, for a
dumping car having a
hopper bottom with hinged doors swinging downward to discharge the load
double run of equalizing chain to hold them securely in place when
to the latter feature was not anticipated and discloses patentable
also held infringed.
Appeal from the District Court of the United
States for the
Southern District of New York.
©=jFor other cases see same
topic & KEY-NLMBER
in all Key-Numbered Digests & indexes
Suit in equity by William T. Garrison and
the Eagle Wagon Works and William Deveson, for .infringement
patent No. 645,816, granted March 20, 1900, to George H. Lawrence, for
dumping car. Decree for defendants, and complainants appeal. Reversed.
The following is the opinion of the trial
In this action complainant asserts that
the Lawrence patent for a dumper freight car by manufacturing a
dumping wagon, intended to be drawn by horses, or at all
to be self-propelled.
Defendant's wagon is constructed
with patent 699,262, issued May 6, 1902, to Van Wagenen.
In Eagle Wagon Works
Wagon Co. (D. C.) 181 Fed. 150, the defendant in this case sued
alleged to infringe theVan Wagenen patent. In that suit the
patent was cited as an anticipation of the Van
Wagenen invention. The
defense was held not good, and the result affirmed in 183 Fed. 772, 106
A. 137. Unless this trial court is to take the unusual and extreme
disagreeing with the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,
action must fail, provided the record be not so very different as to
This is the contention of present
complainant, who asserts
that the record in the Third circuit case "contained no proof that road
wagons of the dumping type were frequently constructed with bottom
transversely, instead of longitudinally, and were perfectly operative."
my judgment it is very doubtful whether the present record does contain
evidence that road wagons of the dumping type with doors transversely
were "perfectly operative." It is even more doubtful whether such
road wagons, even if operative mechanically, were so successful as to
door of invention to those devising wagons of the kind manufactured by
It does not infrequently happen that a new
record in a new
case requires the abandonment of earlier decisions on the same patent.
But it is
also true that the first decision on a patent furnishes a species of
which evidence may be directed in future litigation. Such evidence
ought to be
critically considered, and unless it is very strong earlier decisions
adhered to. I do not think that the new evidence before this court is
strong, and I am sure that it is not sufficiently compelling to require
trial court to disagree with the appellate tribunal of the Third
H. T. Fenton, of Philadelphia, Pa., for
Frederick G. Bodell, of Syracuse, N. Y., and A. E. Parsons, of
Syracuse, N. Y.,
Before LACOMBE, WARD, and ROGERS, Circuit
LACOMBE, Circuit Judge. The improved dumping
car belongs to
the class in which the load is dumped by opening the bottom. The bottom
composed usually of two hinged doors, which normally are closed and
closed position by some device; when released they swing downward, and
falls or slides out; thereafter the doors are again raised into place
car is ready to receive another load. The specification states that car
"simple and durable in construction and arranged to permit of
opening and securely closing the doors without danger of unequal
closing of said
doors and a consequent loss of the loaded material." The structure in
its details is very clearly set forth. Figs. 2 and 3 here reproduced
the description easy to understand. Fig. 2 is a plan view of the bottom
car viewed from below. Other figures and the use of the word
"hopper" indicate a car with sloping sides running down to the doors,
so that when the latter are open the loan will readily slide down to
aperature of discharge. Figure 3 is a sectional slide elevation on the
line 3,3 indicated
on Figure 2.
The patentee states that the hopper bottom
with usual doors C C" connected by
hinges D D', with the hopper-bottom, so as to readily
an open position when released. At one side of the
hinge D for the door C is
arranged a framework E, in which is journaled a transversely
extending winding shaft F, provided at one outer end with a
offset F' for the frame of a crank arm or other device to
operator to turn the shaft; the shaft being provided near the
offset F' with a ratchet wheel G, adapted to be
a pawl G' to lock shaft F against accidental
"On the shaft F wind the ends of a
chain H, extending longitudinally of the car and transversely
the doors G C and under pulleys 7, journaled in suitable
bearings, at or near the free ends of the doors C C at
side thereof.' The chain H then extends to and passes over
pulleys J journaled in suitable bearings in the
framework E secured to the hopper bottom A at one side of the hinge D."
The patentee then describes a method of
pulleys / and their journals, so that when the doors are closed there
"a truss chain for securely holding the door." This feature is
referred to only in claim 4, which is not involved in this suit.
specification then proceeds to detail the processes of opening the
releasing the pawl and of closing them by turning the shaft F and
up the ends of the chain. These are so apparent from a glance at the
that description may be omitted. The patentee then points out the
his structure as follows:
"Now it is evident that in case there is any
one of the runs of the chain it is readily equalized owing to the chain
over the pulleys J, spaced apart on the car body and on the
the doors opposite to that on which the shaft F is located.
two runs of the chain push equally on the doors, near the ends thereof,
consequently both doors are swung properly into a closed position and
in this position against accidental opening or against sagging at one
the door owing to the equalized chain, the ends of which are uniformly
on the shaft F, the latter being locked against rotation by
pawl O' engaging the ratchet wheel (?)."
The claims in controversy are:
"1. A dumping car, provided with a winding
located on the under side of the car and at one side of the dumping
an equalizing chain arranged for winding at its ends on said shaft, the
extending transversely across the dumping doors and having a traveling
connection with the car, to allow the chain to equalize, substantially
"2. A dumping car, provided with a winding
shaft on the
under side of the car body and at one side of the dumping doors, an
chain arranged to wind at its ends on said shaft, the chain extending
across the dumping doors and car body, and pulleys on the car body at
of the doors opposite that at which the shaft is located, the chain
over said pulleys, to allow the chain to equalize, substantially as
"3. A dumping car, provided with a winding
shaft on the
under side of the car body and at one side of the dumping doors, an
chain arranged to wind at its ends on said shaft, the chain extending
transversely across the dumping doors and car body, pulleys on the car
the side of the doors opposite that at which the shaft is located, the
passing over said pulleys, to allow the chain to equalize, and door
the under side of the doors at or near the free ends thereof, and under
chain passes from the winding shaft to the car body pulleys,
shown and described."
It often happens that a patentee's
description will indicate
in detail the points in which his device differs from those of the
There is no such detailed indication here. It will therefore be
refer to the prior art as disclosed by the record to ascertain just
what it is
which Lawrence showed by way of improvement: when that is disclosed we
whether it constituted patentable invention. Vehicles with dumping
used on ordinary roads and on railroad tracks; so far as the
opening or closing their dumping doors are concerned they belong to the
art. This prior art may be considered in the order in which it is given
One Deveson identified a sketch of what he
style Watson wagon," which he said he had dealt in—presumably
prior to the patent in suit. We find no such sketch in the record, but
testimony it is apparent that it had two chains with no equalizing
Watson patent, 378,272, February 21, 1888, shows a
dumping wagon in
which the bottom of the wagon box is divided lengthwise
center, the two hinged parts swinging downwardly to discharge the load.
doors are swung up into place and held there by four separate chains
two drums, each chain is independent of the others. Each door is held
by a pull upward and at each outside corner, no chain runs under either
crosswise or lengthwise. The Johnson patent, 474,744, May 10, 1892,
bottom doors opening transversely; it has a single chain which runs
transversely across the middle of the doors. There is no equalizer and
chain crossing the doors once only, there is nothing to be equalized.
131,248, September 10, 1872; Hoadley, 183,396, October 17, 1876;
303,518, August 12, 1884, and 295,174, March 18, 1884, show equalizing
for whiffletrees. Haas, 293,167, February 5, 1884, shows a machine for
metal bars in which there is an equalizing device. Scherer, 451,173,
1891, has an equalizer in a burial apparatus. It needed no reference to
remote arts to establish the proposition that the mechanic art was
various devices for equalizing the pull of cables, ropes, and what-not.
Lawrence was the first to place under the bottom of a dumping car two
chain across both doors so located as to hold them efficiently and to
such an equalizing of the pull on the chain, when wound up, that the
presses uniformly against both doors, we do not see why he should be
of the fruits of his ingenuity because he employs one or more common
devices in carrying out his method. That he was the first to do this is
manifest from the record. Indeed upon the argument defendant's counsel
that the use of an equalizer in connection with a dumping car the
which is held up by runs of chain was new with Lawrence. We find no
in the record, nor any action in the Patent Office which would call for
modification of the claims in controversy, which in plain language
simple and apparently useful device which Lawrence disclosed. Does the
defendant's device infringe? It has the two hinged doors, the single
underrunning them twice and an equalizing device at the side opposite
on which the ends of the chain are wound, such equalizing device
Lawrence's does and accomplishing the same result. It is contended,
that infringement is not shown for the following reasons.
1. Defendant's wagon is not a
railroad car for
dumping coal; it is a road wagon for dumping dirt or stone.
anything that appears in the record this is a single art; so far as the
and closing of the doors is concerned there is no difference between a
car and a dumping cart. At the opening of his specification the
that his invention relates to railroad coal-cars of the hopper bottom
had already stated that he had invented a new and "improved dumping
car." There is nothing in his drawings to indicate that the device is
adaptable for carts as well as cars. In his claims he does not confine
to railroad cars, in each of them referring to the vehicle in which his
arrangement is to be placed as a "dumping car."
2. That in defendant's car the opening
between the doors
runs fore and aft, instead of transversely. For some sort of dumping
method may be preferable to the other, but the chains of
cross the doors fore and aft near their free edge, work in the same way
plaintiff's and are equalized in their effect just as plaintiff's are.
3. As an equalizer the defendant sometimes
uses a single
large wheel instead of the two small wheels //; sometimes it uses a
pivoted centrally as here shown to the ends of which the chain is
These are manifest equivalents.
4. That defendant's device is patented. It
is made under
patent to Van Wagenen, 699,262. May 6, 1902 (application
1901), a junior patent to Lawrence's. But a junior patent may have some
additional feature of improvement, which will be found patentable over
senior patent, and nevertheless a structure made under it will infringe
includes the patentable feature of the senior patent. This Van
Wagenenpatent was sustained by the Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in
brought by the present defendant against the Columbia
183 Fed. 771, 106 C. C. A. 137. In that suit the Lawrence patent was
an anticipation. We do not know what the record in that suit disclosed;
the same question were presented to us on the record here we should be
inclined to reach a different conclusion. The Third Circuit laid much
the circumstance that in the Lawrence patent the runs of chain extend
transversely across the dumping doors, whereas in Van
run across the doors near their meeting edge. This is a necessary
result of the
one set of doors opening fore and aft while the other opens across. The
says nothing at all about the equalizing of the chain stress, which
seems to us
the really important contribution of Lawrence to the art. However the
of the patentability of the Van Wagenen patent is not here;
the suit in the Third Circuit the defense of non-infringement was not
It may be noted that in a later Van Wagenen patent, 779,891,
10, 1905, the equalizing yoke is eccentrically pivoted; this secures
such a modification
of action that one door is closed a trifle sooner than the other. If
modification subserves a useful purpose the later Van
would no doubt be patentable despite the Lawrence patent, but it would
nevertheless infringe that patent since its equalizer operates just as
Lawrence's does to keep an equal strain on both doors when closed,
more firmly in position than the single unequalized chain of the prior
the plurality of independent chains which obviously required careful
to insure a constant equal pressure by each chain.
The decree is reversed, with costs, and
cause remanded, with
instructions to enter decree in accordance with this opinion.
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