Ann Vong sent me two patents (courtesy of freepatentsonline) of grading machines which sent me off on a three hour tear. All told, I found about 20 of them along with other items of note. Who knew there had been so many? All I’d known of were the two major players (Sunny Young and Grad-o-meter). Melita told me about a Swiss machine called the Variator (previous entry) which looked a lot like the Sunny Young.
Of course, anytime you look at patents, you run into some pretty goofy things that should never have been granted a patent. For example, this method patent issued in 1988 is for what amounts to the concept of making another pattern from a fitting shell block pattern. Yes indeedy. By my accounting, we all owe this guy plenty of licensing fees. I’m sure you’ll rest easier after sending your check in the mail.
Some gadgets…you just have to admire the amount of time and thinking that went into an incomplete solution. My favorite of them all I call the Foosball grading machine (1975 4004346) and the picture at right will tell you why. So, while we can all guffaw at this contraption, it does represent a technological advance with respect to mechanical machines. Namely, it used a slotted channel bar system with crosswise linkages as opposed to the slop inherent of one-sided rack and pinion. Speaking of, did I ever mention I invented a grading machine? It featured a dual steel rod assembly to traverse fixed distances but otherwise looked similar to the Sunny Young. The name of this sort of mechanism escapes me now.
Another patent (Method of grading patterns 2689402) from 1954 was similarly difficult to enforce having entered -and exited just as quickly- the workrooms of aspiring pattern makers cum industrial engineers. It’s an idea that I think most of us have tried at one time or another but it isn’t practical due to the difficulty of keeping multiple layers of folded oaktag pieces aligned with any degree of accuracy. I include the links because it could be helpful to kindred who are hell bent on self-destruction determined to best technology for just this one little project. Seriously, look it over. I think the patent could be useful if you’ve have difficulty absorbing grading concepts.
Registration is required to view patents on the site but I’ve been registered since the site’s inception and have never gotten any untoward email from it.