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Baseball Patent

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.

Subject

Patent licenses--United States

Creator

Records of District Courts of the United States,
Record Group 21

Source

Law and Equity Case Files, Covington, KY, 1865-1911

Date

1876

Rights

National Archives at Atlanta

Format

Textual Document, 6 pages

Identifier

National Archives Identifier 1138219

Coverage

Covington (Ky.)

Original Format

Paper
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