Sewing machine improvements
Otis Avery, Wayne County,1855. His patent in 1852 improved the sewing machine. His specific improvement involved the chain stitch adding pieces to the machine which regulated the length of stiches with a weight, moving the cloth forward. His original model is in the Smithsonian.
Sewing Machine (19th Century) by SmithsonianPennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Model sewing machine
Matthias W. Baldwin, Philadelphia County, 1854. His patent in 1842 helped locomotives and other steam engine trains adapt to curves along tracks. His addition of a pin/pivot to the frame of the engine helped the following cars adjust to the undulations of their paths.
Locomotive Improvements (19th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Design for the locomotive improvements
Railroad crossing safety gate
Albert J. Oaks, Cambria County, 1915-1916. His patent in 1930 created an early model of a railroad crossing safety gate. Unlike other models from the era, this invention allows entrapped vehicles to escape from the gate arm.
Twine treating mixtures
Clarence L. Ederer, Montgomery County, 1927-1936. His patent in 1955, along with the Ederer Corporation of Philadelphia, made twine stronger for use in a loom. The addition of starches and beeswax or other waxes ultimately made the thread stronger and more water resistant.
Twine Recipe by Clarence Ederer
“In carrying out my invention, I prepare a new treating mixture by mechanically stirring a quantity of colloidal graphite into cold water, and by incidentally adding quantities of a suitable starch or starches, beeswax and/ or other waxes.
A mixture produced with ingredients of the following proportions has given highly satisfactory results in practice.
4 lbs. of colloidal graphite dispersion in 1% gallons of water.
10 lbs. of potato starch.
10 lbs. of tapioca starch.
4 lbs. of beeswax.
2 lbs. of carnauba wax.
Hook and eye closure
Burd P. Evans, Montgomery County, 1923 to 1926. Prior to his House career, Evans submitted a patent in 1900 for improvements to the hook and eye closure. Evans suggested that the eye closure be made longer that when attached to the hook it had less chance of detaching.
Hook and Eye Closure (20th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Design for hook and eye closure improvements
Ruth C. Rudy, Centre County, 1983-1996. In 1995, her patent was approved for a Face Shield. This item was designed to protect one’s face when spraying hairspray.
Corpse Cooler and Preserver (19th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Henry C. Johnson, Crawford and Warren Counties,1863 to 1864, 1870. His patent in 1884 created improvements to a corpse cooler. These changes included a coiled pipe with stop clocks to allow regulation of gas from the generator, ultimately provided prolonged cooling as needed.
Combined Cheese Press (19th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Combined press for cheese and other products
Christian C. Musselman, Somerset County, 1863 to 1864. In 1867, Musselman proposed combining a clothing wringer, fruit and cheese presses with a sausage stuffer into one piece of equipment, as seen in his proposed model. This invention would help make daily tasks more efficient.
Daniel H. Fliehr, Lehigh County, 1905- 1906. He filed in 1890 for improvements to a can lid lifter. These improvements helped strengthen the edge to withstand the pressure by the handle of the lid lifter. It also provided a lever so that the lid could lift in a pivoted position.
Alvin S. Haines, Lehigh County, 1905-1908. Prior to his House career, Haines submitted a patent in 1887 for improvements to mail bags. His proposed sliding strap closure made it easier and quicker to open the mail bag flap while maintaining safety.
Mail Bag (19th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Mail bag safety improvement design
Portable security system
David J. Steil, Bucks County, 1993-2008. He was the patent holder of a portable security system in1991. The system includes radio transmitters with batteries allowing signals to indicate hazardous environmental conditions, and other warning messages to a remote location.
Noah J. Shull, Bucks County, 1851-1853. Prior to his political career, Shull received a patent for a cultivator in 1836. Shull’s improvements would attach the hoes or teeth of the cultivator to the front of the beams so that objects would not clog in the front, but instead rise and pass over the top of the harrow.
Tipping hand tool
Joseph W. Parks, Blair County 1935- 1936. Parks filed a patent in 1921 for a tipping hand tool which provided shoelace ends with stiffening tips. He claimed that the invention helped provide inexpensive shoelace tips at home.
Tipping Hand Tool (20th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Design for the tipping hand tool
Adjustable barber shears
Clyde H. Turbett, Juniata County, 1943-1945. He received his first patent in 1955 for adjustable barber shears. Turbett’s invention would allow the clipper plates to be adjustable as the clipper is being used.
Can Opener and Strip Guide (20th Century) by U.S. Patent OfficePennsylvania House of Representatives Archives
Can opener key and strip guide
Turbett received his second patent in 1953 for improvements to the can opener. His new can key and strip guide allowed for uniform winding of a metal strip which protected the hands when twisting to open the can.