Any Workman, However Unskillful


The unlimited field which is open to inventors, and the boundless fertility of ideas which is constantly busy in filling this field, are both strikingly illustrated in the invention here represented. In working wood by carpenters and others, a great deal of labor is expended in sawing boards lengthwise—“ripping” them, as it is called—and this work requires not only a true eye and hand, but a certain measure of skill which is the result of long training. By this machine, the operation is performed by any boy, however inexperienced, or any workman, however unskillful.

The saw, A, is strained between the ends of the two levers, B B, the opposite ends of these levers being connected by the cross bands, C C, and the straining rods, E. Each lever has its fulcrum on the rocking bar, D D, and the upper cross bar, C, serves as a handle for the workman, by moving which up and down he operates the machine, giving motion to the saw. The stuff rests upon the roller, F, by the rotation of which it is fed along to the saw; the roller receiving motion from the lower rocking bar, D, through the intervention of the rod and ratchet wheel, as shown. The weight, G, rests upon the stuff to hold it down, while the guide, H, keeps it in place as it slides along.

The advantages of this machine are thus stated by the inventor:—”It can be manipulated to good advantage in shops where woodwork is carried on to any extent, where steam or water power has not been introduced, for ripping up plank and boards into different widths. One man will do as much work on one of these machines as three will with the ordinary hand saw in the same time, and the work is not nearly so laborious.”

“It is self-feeding, and gages the width as it saws, and always leaves a square edge on the stuff which needs very little dressing afterward with the plane. It occupies but a very small space in a shop—3×6 feet. In ripping long stuff, there should be two trussels—one before and one behind the machine—with rollers to carry along the stuff. It cannot easily get out of order, can be worked by any person who is not a mechanic; even a boy fifteen years old will operate it. Lastly, the price brings it within reach of every mechanic who has a shop.”

The patent for this invention was granted, through the Scientific American Patent Agency, on Dec. 11, 1860; and further information in relation to it may be obtained by addressing the inventor, D. B. Bartholomew, at Lancaster, Pa.

Since the above description of Mr. Bartholomew’s Sawing Machine was in type, we received the annexed letter from the inventor, which we take the liberty of appending:—

Messrs. Munn & Co.—This morning I came into possession of my Letters Patent for the Hand-sawing Machine, for which you will please accept my thanks. You have been very successful in prosecuting my case before the Patent Office, and bringing it to a satisfactory termination by giving me ingenious claims that are not likely to be invaded. Your ingenuity and skill in executing drawings and drawing up specifications is a model piece of work, in my judgment, not to be equalled by any other attorneys in the country.
I feel proud in saying that we have such an institution as “Munn & Co.’s Patent Agency,” through whom inventors can always receive justice at the Patent Office. This is the second patent I have received through your agency. Should I be so fortunate in the future as to invent anything worthy of a patent, I shall procure your services in preference to any other.
     I remain, yours truly
                                                                                                                              D. B. Bartholomew.
                                                                                                                              Lancaster, Pa., Dec. 13, 1860.

Scientific American – January 5, 1861

—Jeff Burks

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6 Responses to Any Workman, However Unskillful

  1. Trying to comment on any of the Word Press topics is a frustrating pain in the ass. I log in with my password and open my Word Press account. Then before I can comment I have to log in with my Facebook account. Then after all that my comment is deleted.
    It’s not that my comments are that important to anyone but me. What pisses me off is how many people are turned off from reading my blog and commenting due to the complicated mess verifying my account is.
    Is anyone else having this issue?

  2. gburbank says:

    The leverage on this gizmo would not work well in the operators favor. However, tabitha babbit would shortly thereafter discover if she just sharpened up that gear thingy on the side and spun it fast that a truely remarkable ripping machine could be made.

  3. Now that is a snazzy cap!

  4. wb8nbs says:

    I know how to make that cap!

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