Publication: The Journal of Electricity, Power and Gas
San Francisco, CA, United States
THE INVENTION OF "EAVE-TROUGH" INSULATORS.
One of those situations which sometimes confront editors to their great discomfiture has been brought about through the publication in these columns (1) of the claim of Mr. Fred. M. Locke that the ""eave-trough" insulator, as used by the Bay Counties Power Company, are wholly of his (Locke's) designs and patents." That this statement is a palpable error is indisputable, for on December 18, 1900, United States letters patent No. 664,301 was issued to Richard H. Sterling upon a form of so-called "eave-trough" insulator for use on high tension lines, which, from the illustrations and description appearing in the specifications of the patent, appears to be identical with the insulator which the Standard and Bay Counties companies are using to-day. This patent is now owned by the Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company, of Pittsfield, Mass., and publication of the evident inadvertance in which credit is claimed for the "designs and patents" upon which the eave-trough insulator is established, works a regretted injustice to Mr. Sterling as well as, furthermore, a serious injury to the Stanley Company.
It would seem to the disinterested observer that, unless it be checked at the outset, a controversy is likely to develop over the inventorship of this very efficient type of insulator, but it cannot be pointed out wherein such a controversy would be other than unnecessary and unfortunate. The patent stands in Mr. Sterling's name as inventor and in the Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company's name as assignee. Moreover, Mr. Locke is the exclusive manufacturer of the insulator, which is known to the trade as Locke's "No. 304" 'Victor' Combination Insulator for 60,000 Volts," and it is a reasonable presumption that he is manufacturing it under license from the Stanley Company. All is well, then, and so let it remain in peace and harmony.
(1) THE JOURNAL, Volume XI, page 264, November 1901.