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US Patent: 393,970
Miter-cutting machine
William R. Fox - Grand Rapids, MI

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:
woodworking machines : miter machines


Fox Machine Co. - Grand Rapids, MI

Edward Taggart
Arthur C. Denison

Patent Dates:
Granted: Dec. 04, 1888

Reissue Information:
Reissued as RE11,062 (Feb. 25, 1890)

Patent Pictures:
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Fox Machine Co.
This is the first commercially successful universal miter trimmer, i.e., one where the miter angle was adjustable over a wide range. The Fox Machine Co. made it in 2-inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch versions.

The U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sixth circuit, in the case of Fox v. Perkins et al., found that the reissue of this patent was void "for want of patentable novelty, in view of the prior state of the art, as shown more particularly in the Howard patent 57,325; the Aiken patent 111,896; the Jones patent 153,343; the Nichols patent 179,944; and the Lennartson patent 202,445... If the Fox machine could be held to show patentable invention, it constitutes one of a series of improvements, all having the same general object and purpose, and the patent must therefor be limited to the precise form and arrangements of parts described... This construction of the patent is also rendered necessary by the fact that various broader claims were rejected and abandoned under both the original and the reissue applications. Large sales of a patented machine, while evidence more or less cogent of value and usefulness, are not conclusive evidence of patentable novelty and are of little weight when it appears that such sales are the result of active and energetic efforts by means of circulars and traveling agents."

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