Elrod Patents

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US 1,344,577. 1920. Brasted. "Proto-Elrod."

Issued 1920-06-22 (filed 1918-09-13). Clair H. Brasted. This machine is sort of a "proto-Elrod" developed apparently simultaneously with it (but in Cleveland, not in Omaha and Chicago where Benjamin Elrod and the Ludlow Typograph Company were). It is very much like an Elrod in principle and in overall configuration (although the mold and puller are combined in an interesting way), but is is just a bit different in most details. Assigned to the Ludlow Typograph Company.

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US 1,438,951. 1922. Elrod. Basic Patent.

Issued 1922-12-18 (filed 1917-05-14). Benjamin S. Elrod. "Making Printers' Leads, Slugs, and Rules." This is the basic Elrod patent.

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US 1,476,967. 1923. Hedly. Twin Mold

Issued 1923-12-11 (filed 1922-02-03). Arthur H.Hedly. Twin mold (but with a mold of the type generally similar to that patented by Elrod and Hector in their patent 1,567,363 (issued in 1925 but filed in 1920). Notes that twin strip casting had been tried earlier with a thin divider, but found unsatisfactory with that method.

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US 1,567,363. 1925. Elrod & Hector. Mold

Issued 1925-12-29 (filed 1920-10-14). Benjamin S. Elrod and William Hector This describes the Elrod mold as it now generally appears. Also: Three heaters. No Sealing Valve (air removed by being forced past Mold during Sealing). A sort of a Diffusion Tube with Packing (explained), but with suction (not pressure) oiling and thus a ball check valve. (The mold oil is identified simply as "heavy oil".) Water supply as in later practice. Also explains the packing in the Diffusion Tube. No Sealing Plate or Mold Cover, but instead a "guard plate" to hold mold in.

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US 1,567,431 1925. Elrod. "Pre-Seasoning" a Mold

Issued 1925-12-29 (filed 1920-04-17). Benjamin S. Elrod. "Pre-seasoning" a mold by baking mold oil on it. Mold material given as preferably cast iron. Mold oil described as "heavy mineral oil." Curiously, the mold is here called an "extrusion die, where in the original Elrod patent great care was taken to insist that the process was not extrusion. (He mentions both extrusion (pushing) and "eduction" (pulling), but says only "extrusion die" in the claims.)

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US 1,800,938 and 1,806,257. 1931. Hedly. Overall Revision.

1,800,938 issued 1931-04-14 (filed 1929-03-29). 1,806,257 issued 1931-05-19 (filed 1929-03-29). Arthur H. Hedly. This is a "light revision" of the entire machine, and a general repatenting of the entire machine based on these revisions. The machine illustrated is substantially identical to the Elrod as we know it from later practice. In particular, the strip orientation is now vertical. Heating can now be electrical, with crucible, throat, and mold heaters. There is a Sealing Valve, and a Mold Cover. The puller, holder, cutter, and material gauge now look more or less familiar. There are differences, however - the oil feed, for example, is still by suction (not pressure) with two ball check-valves, without packing in a Diffusion Tube.

These were originally filed as a single patent application. 1,806,257 was split into its own patent. It focusses on the cutting and stacking mechanism.

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Pressure Oiler?

The two Hedly patents revising the overall machine were filed in 1929. They specify a suction oiler (wihthough packing), as do some of the "mold" patents from the 1920s. Later a Pressure Oiler, with packing in its Diffusion Tube, was used instead. It is not clear to me when the Elrod Pressure Oiler was developed. I haven't been able to find any documentation, patent or otherwise, dating it. At the extremes, I know that it must have been developed after 1929 (or Hedly would have patented it then) but before 1956 (when my Elrod Model E, with a pressure oiler, was manufactured). I would guess that it was developed earlier, rather than later, within this time range - probably in the 1930s.

Edition Number 4 (undated) of the Instructions for Operating Elrod Slug and Rule Caster (at Williams Stationery / Kadet Stationery (filename: "Elrod_Manual_Model_E+F_No_4.pdf")) seems transitional. It illustrates and gives parts lists for the "suction" style of oiler, without packing in its tube, as (apparently) originally fitted to the Models E and F. The primary illustrations of the principles of the Elrod and of the Models E and F, which presumably are those originally prepared for this manual, show the "suction" oiler. However, it also illustrates the newer Pressure Oiler on a separate plate and gives a parts list for it. Moreover, it devotes a special section of the instructions to the Pressure Oiler, and suggests that this Oiler is to be preferred. (As an aside, the Pressuer Oiler described here had a Pressure Gauge, part EC1279, which was omitted by the 6th edition of the Instructions.) The serial number / shipping date list on Dave Seat's website shows serial numbers for the Models E and F starting with 1929. This suggests that these models were introduced in 1929 (obviously) coincident with the filing of the Hedly patents - and originally with suction oilers as specified in the Hedly patents. By the 6th edition of the E/F Instructions (undated) the illustrations had been changed to show only the Pressure Oiler and the "suction" oiler parts were no longer listed.

The undated parts list I have for the Model DS shows a modern-style pressure oiler with packed Diffusion Tube.

The patent by Lemieux below, filed in 1933, patents yet another intermediate stage: pressure oiling without packing (but with ribs on the mold assisting in oil distribution).

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US 2,007,301. 1935. Lemieux. Ribbed Mold, Pressure Oiling

Issued 1935-07-09, filed 1933-04-26. Frank J. Lemieux. An improved mold for the Elrod, casting strips with recessed side channels produced by raised ribs in the mold. Pressure lubrication, but without packing. This patent was not assigned to Ludlow Typograph.

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US 2,600,559. 1952. McCauley. Ajustable Mold with Internal Cooling

Issued 1952-06-17 (filed 1950-01-31). John C. McCauley. A mold with internal water cooling, designed to be adjustable in the field. Also specifies the taper within an Elrod mold.

This patent was asigned to the Ludlow Typograph Company. I don't know if such a mold was ever produced.

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