Posts Tagged ‘Inventors’

Oh, My! Eskimo Pie!

January 24, 2012

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Dec 31, 1921

Eskimo Pie Inventor Makes Fortune
BY ROY GIBBONS

Chicago, Feb. 13 — Christian K. Nelson came to Chicago from Omaha 15 months ago with 19 cents and an idea.

Today the 19 cents has grown to a steadily increasing fortune of six figures. It’ll be well over a million before Nelson pays his income tax.

What did it?

The idea!

Nelson’s idea was to cover a square of cold ice cream with a layer of hot chocolate, thus caking a confection with real ice cream inside.

He got that idea while he was managing his father’s ice cream plant out in Onawa, Ia. And he furthered it while he was studying chemistry at college.

When he was graduated he peddled the idea around from ice cream factory to ice cream factory. Everybody laughed at him.

“Cover cold ice cream with hot chocolate? Man; you’re crazy!” they’d say.

But Russell Stover, manager of an ice cream plant at Omaha, was different. He thought Nelson’s idea could be put over. And together Stover and Nelson did put it over.

That’s why you see a big yellow sign advertising “Eskimo Pie” in your confectionery store window.

For Nelson’s the inventor of Eskimo Pie.

Nelson’s not making it. His company, composed of himself, Stover and others, is selling licenses to firms in other cities to manufacture the confection.

Today there are more than 1,000,000 Eskimo pies eaten daily. And Nelson’s company gets 5 cents royalty on every dozen pies.

And Nelson’s busy with an adding machine trying to figure up his income.

“Don’t lose heart,” Nelson advises others. “I kept at my hunch and plugged — that’ why I succeeded.

“Just don’t give up. It seems to me that too many folks are only too anxious to tell the world they’re licked.”

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Feb 13, 1922

Image from Emporia State University

STOVER KING OF ESKIMO PIE
“Eskimo Pie”, now figuratively and almost literally, in “everybody’s mouth,” promises to make a near-millionaire, if not a real one, out of a Johnson county boy. Russell Stover, the inventor of the chocolate and ice cream confection that bears that name, is a son of Mr. John R. Stover, a prominent Johnson county farmer, who lives one mile west of Indian Lookout, where the young candy man, who is heading the Russell Stover company of Chicago, was born.

Sure to Enrich Him

The “Eskimo pie” is destined to enrich the Iowa City and S.U.I. boy of other days, is indicated strongly by a letter Mr. Stover received from his son today. The inventor is traveling, far and near, putting in 18 hours a day, licensing manufacturers to produce his confection. He has more than 250 on the list now, and more than 40,000 retail stores are handling the article already. He predicts a sale of 2,000,000 a day, and the Stover company will get 5 cents a dozen royalty, he writes, on these. This spells $3,000,000 a year for the Iowa Citian and his associates.

To Entire World

Plans are making to ship to China, Japan, and all parts of Europe. Mr. Stover has been called to New York and New Haven, Conn., this week, to address conventions of manufacturers. His traveling secretary is General Leonard Wood’s presidential campaign secretary, Fugitt, who declares the “Eskimo” campaign is more exciting than the political fight.

Some big lawsuits may follow, as the company alleges imitators and infringers are busy violating the Stover copyrights and patents. Test suits will be instituted in the metropolises.

Some Interesting Figures

Some figures are of interest in connection with the Iowa City man’s business campaign. The company telephone bill — before breakfast — in a single day, is $160. The advertising bills are enormous. A contract for a double page in Saturday Evening Post, in February calls for $14,000.

Iowa City Press Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa) Jan 16, 1922

Inventor of Eskimo Pie Prefers His Old Job As School Teacher

CHICAGO — (Special) — Anybody’d think dipping ice cream into hot chocolate would melt the ice cream. Christian Kent Nelson discovered the way to do it, however, at just the right temperature. The result — eskimo pie.

Until he made his discovery Nelson was a poor but contented teacher at Onawa, Ia. Today money’s pouring in on him so fast that he’s scared. “I want to stay human,” he says.

He tried hard enough to market his idea before it “caught on.” Most people he approached were skeptical. Finally Russell Stover of Omaha went in with him. From that moment the golden tide began to rise. For Nelson, at any rate, it rose too high.

“Money! The more I see of it, the less I like it. I’d rather be with my books, or back on the job as teacher again,” he exclaims. He hasn’t even bought an automobile.

Perhaps wealth came a bit too fast — about a year, from a shoe-string to affluence is sudden enough to be disconcerting.

Nelson’s a graduate of Nevada University. He’s only 29. His father and mother are living and he has brothers and sisters. He’s unmarried.

When a reporter asked him, “Do you intend to take a wife?” “Maybe,” he answered.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) May 25, 1922

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Mar 2, 1922

Image from D-Lib Magazine Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

The Modern Trend

How times do change,
Oh, me! Oh, my!
We ne’er hear now
Of Eskimo pie.
— Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser.

And customs too,
Have changed, my lan’!
Nobody ev —
Er shoots the can.
— Macon, Ga., Telegraph.

Ah, yes, ’tis true,
Only gran-pap
Knows the meaning of
The word, “Gid-dap!”

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 10, 1925

Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 14, 1922

*****

A native Chinese might be amazed at the sight of chop suey as it is known in America, but probably no more than an Eskimo on seeing his first Eskimo pie.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 26, 1929

Daily Review (Haywood, California) Sep 12, 1949

Image from the American History Archives CenterTHE ESKIMO PIE CORPORATION RECORDS, 1921-1996

Getting Rich
[excerpt]

The more people you assist or entertain, the greater your income.

Often you comment along these lines: Einstein, a super-scientist of the sort that appears only once in centuries, makes less money than the inventor of some trifling thing like the Eskimo pie, ice cream cone or safety pin.

The answer to this is that Einstein serves only a small and limited number of customers — scientists — while the other inventors serve millions, each contributing his mite to the inventor.

In any scheme to get rich, don’t forget the importance of doing something that will serve a great multitude.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Mar 2, 1922

A highbrow is a person who wants his Eskimo pie a la mode.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Mar 16, 1922

Told Cop To “Get Out With His Eskimo Pie”; Aggie Wanted a “Fag”

NEW YORK, Aug. 17. — Aggie Kelley, aged 14, was advised to go back to her father and stay with him by Recorder Kane in Bayonne, N.J., today, when she was brought before him.

Policeman Bonlin found the girl yesterday sitting on a curbstone crying.

The lieutenant sent a policeman to buy ice cream for the little girl, mean while putting her in a room by herself. When he came back he was met at the door by Aggie, who was smoking a cigarette. She told him to get out “with that Eskimo pie.”

“If you want to do me a favor,” shed added, “you might bring me a small pack of cigarettes.”

She told the recorder she had a good home with her father on a canal boat and she wanted to go there as quickly as she could.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 17, 1922

Image from The Public “I”

YE OLD TYME TOURNAMENT

The hoi-polloi
With shouts of joy
Doth group abut
In twos and bunch
and munch the festive Eskimo pie
And chew on other lightish lunches.

Cease your talk
For down the walk
Come all the buxom corn-fed maidens;
Hearken to their dissertation —
“I says to him — he says to me –”
The corn’s all right — so are the maidens
But Gawd forgive the combination.

With close shaved necks
And sunburned beaks
In phalanx come
The village shieks!

Who is the cent of this group
Whose checkered vest has spots of soup?
He hold the power of life and death!
Two-foot watch chain, eye of eagle
Look him o’er — the local Kleagle!

With Beech-nut filling
Up his jaw
Here comes the long are
Of the law
His uniform is slightly tight,
(‘Twas made for some less portly wight).
Constantly, at greatish rate,
The Law, he doth expectorate.
And every time he spits by chance
He breaks a city ordinance.

‘Tis after nine,
The crowd is gone,
All but the shieks
Who linger on
Within some lowly pea-pool den,
And dissipate and drink pink pop
‘Til oft’ as late as half-past ten.

The Vidette Messenger (Valparaiso, Indiana) Mar 1, 1929

Alvan Clark: Artist, Astronomer – Telescope Maker

August 18, 2011

SKILLED IN OLD AGE.

THE LATE ALVAN CLARK, FAMOUS TELESCOPE MAKER

The Story of His Useful and Busy Life.

How He Became an Astronomer — How His Telescopes Were Manufactured — His Honors at Home and Abroad.

Alvan Clark, whose death at Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 83, was recently recorded, did more to advance astronomical science than any other person of this century. As a telescope maker his reputation is world wide. when Dom Pedro, of Brazil, visited this country some years ago he said there were three persons in Cambridge whom he wanted much to see. These were Longfellow, Professor Agassiz and Mr. Alvan Clark.

At the age when most persons think they are too old to begin any new business or learn anything, or even go on energetically with what they do know, Mr. Clark began the work which made him famous. He did not so much as know anything about it. Nor did he ever see a lens in process of construction outside of his own shop. He lived on a farm until he was 22 years old. His early education was such as the common schools afforded. In his 23d year he went to Lowell and became a calico engraver. He had a talent for drawing which he developed unaided. For nine years Mr. Clark was a calico engraver. Meanwhile he took up portrait painting. He located in Boston and painted heads for twenty years, earning over $20,000 with his brush, without ever having been taught anything about art. Though he grew famous in quite another field, it was to his days of artist life that he always went back in memory with the most affection. And during his later years he again took up the brush and found pleasure and recreation in the work of his young manhood.

He was more than 40 when he became interested in telescopes. Assisted by his two sons he afterward produced the most accurate and the two largest instruments in the world. His oldest son, George B. Clark, while in college at Andover read a treatise on “Casting and Grinding the Speculum.” Inspired by that he conceived the idea of making a telescope. He consulted his father, who at once became deeply interested in it. They worked together at the experiment, and from this small beginning came the great work which brought them fame and wealth. Both sons were later included in the business, and the firm was known as Clark & Sons, and they worked together nearly forty years.

Grinding lenses is a work which requires the utmost nicety. Often, after months of careful labor, a flaw is found and all the work must be lost. Once when Mr. Clark was giving the final polishing to a lens upon which a year’s time had been expended, it fell to the floor and was broken. Looking woefully at the fragments a few moments in silence, he stood up saying: “Boys, we will make a better one.” The unlimited patience, which enabled him to be cheerful under such a disaster was his chief characteristic. And he was ever cheerful and companionable.

Mr. Clark was the first optician in the United States to make achromatic lenses, each completed lens being composed of two pieces, one of crown and the other of flint glass, and he invented numerous improvements in telescopes and their manufacture, including the double eye piece, an ingenious method of measuring small celestial arcs. He made the 18.5 inch glass now in the Chicago observatory; the one of 24 inches aperture for the Washington observatory, and the 30 inch refractor for the Imperial observatory of St. Petersburg, for which the honorary medal of Russia was awarded — the only one ever conferred upon an American. The last and greatest work of Mr. Clark and his sons was the construction of a 36 inch refractor for the Lick observatory on Mt. Hamilton, in California. This will be finished in a few months, and will be the largest in the world. Mr. Clark was also an astronomer of note, and made some valuable discoveries, for which the Lalande gold medal was awarded him by the French academy. The cheapest telescope Mr. Clark ever made cost $300, while the National he sold for $16,000, and the Lick glass will cost $50,000 without the mounting. The objectives alone to these instruments are worth $25,000 each, and are capable of a magnifying power of 2,000 diameters, and of increasing the surface of the object viewed to 2,500,000 times its natural size. It takes a month’s solid labor to make a good 4 inch objective, and a year for an 8 or 10 inch one.

In recognition of his great contributions to science degrees were conferred on Mr. Clark by the universities of Harvard, Amherst, Princeton and Chicago, but he had worked at telescopes for ten years without receiving the slightest recognition or encouragement from any official, scientific or educational quarter. And yet these ten years were those of the revival or foundation of practical astronomy in the United States. To Mr. Dawes, a scientific divine of Europe, is due the credit of bringing out this telescope maker. At the time Mr. Clark began a correspondence with Mr. Dawes there was not in all England an establishment which could grind a large object glass into accurate shape. England had lost the art of shaping object glasses, but rough glass of the necessary purity and uniformity was cast there as in no other country. Mr. Clark for some time imported his rough disks to fill the orders he received from Mr. Dawes, who was a telescope fancier, always on the lookout for improvements in construction and mounting.

Only the very largest lenses are ground by machinery. The tools for grinding a lens are very simple — merely round plates of cast iron, about three feet in diameter, hollowed out to suit the curves of the lens. They look like huge, shallow saucers. Three of these tools are necessary, one nearly flat for the inner surface of the flint glass, one convex, for its outer surface, and one concave, for the crown glass. The surface of the tool is covered with coarse emery and water, the glass is laid upon it, and the grinding is carried on by sliding the glass back and forth on the tool. While sliding, the glass is slowly turned around, while, at the same time, the operators continually move around in the other direction, so that the strokes are made successively in every direction on the tool. By these combined motions every inequality, either on the glass or the tool, is gradually worn away, and both are reduced to portions of nearly perfect spheres. Then finer emery is used until the surface becomes quite smooth. Then comes the polishing. The whole tool is covered with a thin coating of pitch, which is pressed, while still warm, into the proper shape. It is then covered with a layer of water and the polishing rouge, and the glass is again laid upon it, and kept in motion in the same way as in the fine grinding. Thus each surface of the two glasses is speedily brought to a high polish. Then the glass is tested to find the defects. It is set up on edge, facing a luminous point at a distance equal to ten or fifteen times the focal point. The image of the point formed in the focus of the glass is then examined with an eye piece of high power. The glass is then taken back to the tool and the polishing process is recommenced, only pressing upon those parts of the glass where it has to be ground away. It is tried again, and again goes to the polisher.

So far no extraordinary skill on the part of the workman is required; but as the size of the glass is increased the process becomes more difficult and tedious, and the difficulties of judging what the defects are increase enormously.

The telescope is by no means finished with the glass. It must be tubed properly. It must admit of being moved by clock work in such a way that as the earth revolves from west to east the telescope shall revolve from east to west with exactly the same velocity, and thus point steadily at the same star. The details of the machinery for attaining these and other results have required a large amount of thought and care.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Sep 8, 1887

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
ALVAN CLARK, OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS.
IMPROVEMENT IN TELESCOPES.
Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 8,509, dated November 11, 1851.

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, ALVAN CLARK, of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Telescopes…


UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
ALVAN CLARK, OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS.
MOVABLE LOADING-MUZZLE FOR RIFLES.
Specification of Letters Patent No. 1,565, dated April 24, 1840.

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, the undersigned, ALVAN CLARK, of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, artist, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Rifles, which I call a “Loading-Muzzle,” …

Richard M. Hoe: Celebrated Inventor

March 24, 2009

richard-m-hoe-pic

THE LATE MR. HOE
ONE OF THE CELEBRATED INVENTORS OF THIS CENTURY.

A Name That Will Remain Inseparably Connected with the Development of the Printing Press — The Simple Device Which Brought Him Fame.

The recent death of Col., Richard M. Hoe in Florence, Italy, closes the career of one whose name is known wherever the newspaper is used to spread intelligence. He was senior member of the firm of printing press makers, and one of the leading inventors and developers of that great lever of public opinion.

Col. Hoe’s father was the founder of the firm. He came to this country from England in 1803, and worked at his trade of carpentry. Through his skill as a workman he was sought out by a maker of printer’s material named Smith. He married Smith’s sister, and went into partnership with Smith and brother. The printing presses of those days were made chiefly of wood, and Hoe’s skill as a wood worker was valuable to the firm. In 1822 Peter Smith invented the hand press, of which we give an illustration, and which will be recognized by many an old printer, though many are in use to this day.

smith-press1

This press was finally supplanted by the Washington press, invented by Samuel Rust in 1829. From the manufacture of the Smith presses, Hoe made a fortune, as the inventor died a year after securing his patent, and the firm name was changed to R. Hoe & Co. The demand for hand presses increased so that then years later it was suggested that steam power might be utilized in some way to do the pulling and tugging necessary in getting an impression. At this time the late Col. Hoe, one of the sons of the founder of the house, was an attentive listener to the discussions in regard to the possibility of bringing steam power to aid the press. Young Richard M. Hoe was born in 1812. He had the advantage of an excellent education, but his father’s business possessed such a fascination for him that it was with difficulty he was kept at school. He was a young man of 20 before his father allowed him to work regularly in the shop. He  had already become expert in handling tools, so that he soon became one of the best workmen. He joined with his father in the belief that steam would yet be applied to the printing press, and the numerous models and experiments they made to that end would, in the light of the present day, appear extremely ridiculous. In 1825-30 Napier had constructed a steam printing press, and in 1830 Isaac Adams, of Boston, secured a patent for a power press. These inventions were kept very secret, the factories in which they were made being guarded jealously. In 1830 a Napier press was imported into this country for use on The National Intelligencer. Old Maj Noah, editor of Noah’s Sunday Times and Messenger, was collector of the port of New York in those days, and being desirous of seeing how the Napier press would work, sent for Mr. Hoe to put it up. He and Richard succeeded in setting up the press, and worked it successfully.

The success of the Napier press set the Hoes to thinking. They had made models of its peculiar parts and studied them carefully. Then, in pursuance of a plan suggested by Richard, his father sent his partner, Mr. Newton, to England for the purpose of examining new machinery there and to secure models for future use. On his return with ideas Mr. Newton and the Hoes projected and turned out for sale a novel two cylinder press, which became universally popular and soon superseded all others, the Napier included.

Thus was steam at last harnessed to the press, but the demand of the daily papers for their increasing editions spurred the press makers to devise machines that would be worked at higher speed than was found possible with the presses which the type was secured to a flat bed which was moved backward and forward under a revolving cylinder. It was seen then that if type could be secured to the surface of a cylinder, great speed could be attained.

sir-rowland-hills-device-1835

The above diagrams illustrate Sir Rowland Hill‘s method of accomplishing this. The type was cast wedge-shaped; that is, narrower at the bottom. A broad “nick” was cut into its side, into which a “lead” fitted. The ends of the “lead” in turn, fitted into a slot in the column rules and these latter were bolted to the cylinder. Anyone who knows anything about type will see the difficulty of using such a system. The inventor, Sir Rowland Hill, the father of penny postage in England, sunk, it is said, L80,000 in the endeavor to introduce his method.

In the meantime, Col. Hoe had succeeded to his father’s business and was giving his attention largely to solving this problem of holding type on a revolving cylinder. It was ??? ???? 18?? that he hit on the method of doing it.

After a dozen years of thought the idea came upon him unexpectedly, and was startling in its simplicity. It was simply to make the column rules wedged-shaped instead of the type.

rm-hoes-device-1845

The above diagram furnished by Mr. S.D. Tucer, the surviving head of the firm of Hoe & Co., is a facsimile of the original drawing in their office. It was this simple device, by the introduction of “lightning presses,” that revolutionized the newspaper business of the world, and made the press the power it is. It brought Hoe fame and put him at the head of press makers. His business grew to such dimensions that he has in his employ in his New York factory from 800 to 1,500 hands, varying with the state of trade. His London factory employs from 150 to 200 hands.

And yet the great daily presses craved still faster presses. The result was the development of the web press, in which the paper is drawn into the press from a continuous roll at a speed of twelve miles an hour. The very latest is a machine called the supplement press, capable of printing complete a paper of from eight to twelve pages, depending on the demand of the day, so that the papers slide out of the machine with the supplements gummed in and the paper folded ready for delivery.

Of late years many other remarkably ingenious presses of other makers have come into market, but still the genius of R.M. Hoe has left an indelible mark in the development of the printing press.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 19, 1886