Washington, George (1732-1799) [Patent for George Chandler's improvement in making nails]
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06040 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Document signed Date: 12 December 1796 Pagination: 2 p. ; 35.6 x 30.2 cm.
Signed by Washington as President. Countersigned by Timothy Pickering as Secretary of State and Charles Lee as Attorney General. Chandler's written description of his improvement is signed by J. Churchman and Peter Barker as witnesses. Includes a paper seal and light blue ribbon.
Document clearly spells the inventor's name "Chandlee." While some sources confirm this, most references to the inventor spell his name "Chandler."
Signer of the U.S. Constitution.
The United States of America
To all to whom these Letters Patent shall come:
Whereas George Chanlee a citizen of the State of Maryland in the United States, hath alleged that he has invented a new and useful improvement in making nails, which improvement has not been known or used before his applications, has affirmed that he does verily believe that he is the true inventor or discoverer of the said improvement; has paid into the Treasury of the United States, the sum of thirty dollars, delivered a receipt for the same, and presented a petition to the Secretary of State, signifying a desire of obtaining an exclusive property in the said improvement, and praying that a patent may be granted for that purpose: These are Therefore to grant, according to law, to the said George Chandler his heirs, administrators, or assigns, for the term of fourteen years from the tenth day of the present month of December the full and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using, and vending to others to be used, the said improvement, a description whereof is given in the words of the said George Chandlee himself, in the schedule here to annexed, and is made a part of these presents.
In testimony whereof, I have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand, at the City of Philadelphia this Twelth day of December in the Year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six and of the Independence of the United States of America, the Twenty-first.
By the President,
Timothy Pickering, Secretary of State
City of Philadelphia: to wit:
I do hereby certify, That the foregoing Letters Patent, were delivered to me on the 12th. day of december in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six to be examined; that I have examined the same, and find them conformable to law. And I do hereby return the same to the Secretary of State, within fifteen days from the date aforesaid, to wit: On this twelth day of december in the year aforesaid.
 The schedule referred to in these Letters - Patent, and making part of the same containing a description in the words of the said George Chandlee himself of an improvement in making nails.
Specification of a Machine for cutting and heading nails, spikes, or brads. - A solid piece of Iron forms the bed or permanent part into which the under steel cutter or die is fixed with a dovetail, removable at pleasure; the upper cutter or dies is fixed in like manner in an Iron lever that works on a steel joint or socket at one end, with a spring fastened to it to throw it up (when forced down while [inserted: in] motion) to the said Iron lever is also secured a side cutter for cutting off the rods at the same time the cutter or die cuts and shapes the nails, spikes or brads which are diagonally cut head to point one the thickness of the nail spike or brad below the other: and either of them are headed by concave dies fixed in two mortices to receive a tenon fitted on the center bolt, held firm by a pin, to each of these levers are springs to throw them back after heading the nails, spikes or brads: to each lever are also regulating screws to adjust them, or the heading dies.
These machines are worked by hand, water or other power. The lever holding the upper cutter or die, is forced down, by an arm in a shaft, cutting the nails, spikes or brads lengthwise of the rod while hot on the cutter or die; holding them fast while the side or horizontal levers force up the heading dies, which action is by means of secondary levers, or by the axis of a wheel, which as it revolves, the cutting and heading levers are disengaged at the same moment, at which period the nails, spikes or brads are pushed out by springs, and the rods whether for nails, spikes or brads are pushed forward by hand in constant succession.
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