Look Back: The latest inventions

In the late 1890s the G.W. Niswaner and Co. Hardware at 517 Marker St. might have carried some of the inventions mentioned. (Photo provided by Bernie Dowler)

Digesting Coffee Pot

Mr. Abram Whiston is entitled to our thanks for one of Remington’s Patent Condensing and Digesting Coffee Pots. This invention is based upon purely scientific principles, is simple in construction and in use, answers the purpose exactly, on the score of both economy and luxury. Let no lover of good coffee neglect this opportunity of always having his “particular vanity.”

The Parkersburg Gazette

June 18, 1853


Important invention

Mr. Moses Thompson, of Richmond, Va., has invented a mode of burning tan bark and saw dust as a fuel for steam engines, and has his invention now in successful operation at the foundry of Messrs. A. and W. Denmead. It secures a perfect combustion of the tan, even when wet, the smoke from which seems to be converted into inflammable gas. It is used under a flue boiler, of a twenty-horse engine.

Mr. John Healy, of this place, builds stacks of such draught that his furnaces will burn wet tan or saw dust, without Thompson’s contrivance. He is now engaged upon a stack at Logan’s Tannery, [where] he expects to accomplish this feat and is willing to ensure others to do as much.

The Parkersburg Gazette

March 18, 1854


A remarkable new flooring

The floor cloth “Linoleum” has now been manufactured for some years, and is much commended by all who use it. It is composed mainly of finely ground cork and solidified oil. Remarkable alike for durability, beauty, and cleanliness, the demand must continue to increase. It has stood the test of time; but imitations being on the market, buyers should look on the back of the cloth for the word “Linoleum,” which on the genuine is printed on every square yard. All carpet dealers keep it.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

April 9, 1881


A French stone mason has discovered a cement which he claims to be stronger, cheaper and less liable to damage from the action of the weather than any preparation now in use. It is not a plaster, but a heavy, viscous fluid, and is applied with a brush. Its composition is kept secret.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Feb. 2, 1889


A Parkersburg inventor. (Huntington Times)

The Times man met Mr. J.B. Hastings, of Parkersburg, yesterday, who is quartered at the St. Nicholas.

The gentleman is an expert inventor in all kinds of iron and steel, having now twenty-five different patents on his inventions.

He is the original owner and patentee for a machine for the manufacture of all kinds of wire nails, from a tack to a 6-inch nail, rivets, bolts, etc., having also a device for utilizing the clippings of the nails in the manufacture of glazier’s tacks.

His most important invention, however, is that for the manufacture of steel. This process is being eagerly sought for by the leading iron men of the country, as well as those of Great Britain, who have written the gentleman importuning him for the exclusive right of his patent.

He claims for it that he can make a finer and better quality of metal and at a cost of from seven to eight dollars per ton less than it can be produced by any other system.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

July 17, 1891


A new invention

Mr. John S. Camden, the popular merchant, has invented and patented a molasses measure which promises to come into general use. He is using it now in his store and it has been put on the market. It is a decidedly clever contrivance and effectually shuts out all flies and dirt. Call and see it at Mr. Camden’s store. It is certainly a useful invention.

The [Parkersburg] Weekly State Journal

Feb. 2, 1893


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.


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