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NJ News - April 6, 1898 - H. I. Schanck's Patents
H. I. Schanck's Patents
His Latest Invention Is A Folding Umbrella
He Lives at Holmdel, and Has Invented and Patented Many Devices - A Fine Workshop in His Father's Farmhouse.
Henry I. Schanck, son of Lafayette S. Schanck, who lives near Holmdel, has invented a folding umbrella. Mr. Schanck's taste runs to mechanics, and although he is a young man he has made a number of inventions, some of which are not only of practical utility but have been quite profitable to him.
His latest invention, that of a folding umbrella, is designed principally for bicyclists and travelers. It can be folded up into a roll fourteen inches long and about one inch in diameter. When thus folded it can be readily packed in a grip, or made part of a touring outfit and carried on a bicycle. It requires less than a minute to fold the umdrella (sic), or to make it ready for use after it has been folded.
The ribs are of steel and are in two parts. The lower half of each rib telescopes through the upper half when the umbrella is folded. This makes the length of the folded umbrella about half the usual length of the ribs. The handle is in four parts, which can be taken apart almost at a touch. The umbrella is so constructed that it is stronger at the joints than elsewhere, and in a number of tests which have been made to discover its weak parts, the ribs and handles have given way where the parts are of ordinary construction quicker than they have at the joints. This insures an umbrella fully as strong in every part as an ordinary umbrella, and stronger than an ordinary umbrella in every part where there is a joint.
The umbrella has been patented, and several orders for it have been received. A company has been organized to manufacture the umbrella, but the company would prefer to have them made on a royalty by some umbrella manufacturer, who already has the machinery and equipment for their manufacture, rather than to go into the manufacturing line itself. The company has been incorporated with a capital of $300,000, of which about $10,000 has been paid in. The incorporators include Charles H. Ely of Orange, who formerly was the cashier of the Atlantic Highlands bank; Frank B. Rue of Atlantic Highlands; James W. Danser of Freehold; and a number of others at Freehold and Orange. The largest investors in the stock of the company are Mr. Ely and one or two other residents of Orange. The invention was completed and the company organized just before Christmas, but Mr. Schanck has been sick most of the time since, and very little has therefore been done.
Mr. Schanck has always been interested in tools, machinery and mechanical appliances. From his early childhood he has been handy with tools, and was continually devising means to make work easier. His father recognized the bent of his son's mind and he gave him a course of study in one (of) the best mechanical and technical schools in the East.
A couple of years ago Mr. Schanck invented a sprocket crank for a bicycle, whereby the power would be exerted on the outside of an eccentric, this giving much more power to the wheelman. Only a few of these were manufactured, the bicycle manufacturers, whom it was desired to undertake its manufacture on a royalty, fighting shy of it. Mr. Schanck made and sold several of the devices. One of these was tried in a 25 mile race at Trenton, and the user of it was two miles in advance of all competitors before the close of the race.
Mr. Schanck was born and brought up on a farm, and many of his inventions and appliances have been designed to facilitate farm work. One of the best of his inventions was a sprayer, for sprinkling potato vines with paris green. This was patented in 1893, after it had been tested several years. This sprayer is generally acknowledged the best in use in this section, and it has had a very large sale. A majority of the farmers of Monmouth county who use a sprayer at all use this make, and upwards of a thousand have been sold. An unexpected use to which the sprayer has been put is the spraying of tobacco plants on plantations in the South. For this use it is built with very high wheels, and it is more extensively used than any other machine.
Mr. Schanck has been engaged for the past three years in making an improved potato digger, which will be put on the market this year. Each year, during the potato digging season, this digger has been tested, and changes and improvements have been made as the tests have shown weaknesses or defects. The principal feature of Mr. Schanck's potato digger is a simple automatic device for shaking the digger and cleaning the potatoes from the dirt after they have been raised out of the ground. This device is very simple, and consists of an odd-shaped wheel just behind the digger, which makes the fingers of the digger oscillate rapidly from side to side. This digger is now being manufactured by Shangle & Son of Hightstown, who are the manufacturers of Mr. Schanck's sprayer. The digger will sell at about $60. Several acres of Mr. Schanck's father's potato crop were dug with this machine last year, and some improvements have been made to it since then. One of the greatest difficulties in making this machine was the short time each improvement could be tested in actual use. Potatoes have to be dug when they are fit to dig, and when the use of the machine in actual work showed where an improvement could be made, it was often past the potato season before the improvement was completed.
Mr. Schanck lives in a big farmhouse on the road between Holmdel and Vanderburg. He had built a room at one side of the house for a workshop. Here he has recently installed a five-horse-power kerosene engine. The engine was set up by himself, and furnishes power for running his machinery, which was formerly done by hand or foot. Mr. Schanck has a very fine equipment of tools, suited for almost every purpose connected with a machinist's work, and his workshop is kept as clean and as neat as a parlor.
The farmhouse is lighted with electric lights. The light is furnished from storage batteries which Mr. Schanck made, the power being generated by chemicals and acids. His mother's sewing machine is run with electric power from the same source. Mr. Schanck expects shortly to charge the storage batteries with electricity by power from his engine, instead of using chemicals.
Mr. Schanck has not yet made his fortune by his inventions. His receipts from his inventions have, however, paid for all his mechanical appliances and tools. He has now a very thorough equipment, and his expenses in this direction will hereafter be small. From now on he expects to make money out of his inventions.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, April 6, 1898
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