Making and selling baseballs was a profitable enterprise, even in 1876. Wolf Fletcher, an inventor from Covington, Kentucky, patented a baseball manufacturing machine and used it in his business to create and sell thousands of baseballs to sporting goods stores and others. Two of his employees stopped working for him and started their own business using a copy of his machine. This prompted him to bring a lawsuit against them for violating his patent. In his deposition, Mr. Fletcher indicates that all other baseball producers in the U. S. were simply pounding their baseballs into shape using mallets and hammers. His machine appears to be a leap in the production quality of baseballs. He won the lawsuit.