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Patzer's Piano Lamp Piano Lamp
William Patzer
Pat'd. Nov. 15, 1887
Pat. No. 373,303
One of Patzer's three patents for piano or organ lamps ass'd. to Meriden Bronze.

    a brief historical profile of     
The Meriden Bronze Company

Augustus Jones
Augustus Howard Jones

Augustus Howard Jones was born in New York City on December 21, 1851. He entered into the business as an apprentice in a brass foundry in 1866, where he served four years learning his trade. He became an expert core maker and a contractor in the manufacture of locks. In 1876 he moved to Meriden. He was employed by The Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company as a foreman in their brass foundry. Two years later he left to start his own foundry; this business venture proved unsuccessful and within two weeks, he had returned to Bradley & Hubbard, who apparently "enticed" him to return to their employ.1 Between 1881 and February, 1882, Jones collaborated on four patents which were assigned to Bradley & Hubbard.

The Meriden Bronze Company, "one of Meriden's most thrifty concerns," was organized by Augustus H. Jones and other partners in 1882 as the Foster Hardware Company, succeeding the plant and business of S.H. Foster & Company. A year later a brass foundry was added to the plant and the manufacture of ornamental brass goods was begun, which soon became the principal product of the company. In 1884 the company was incorporated as The Meriden Bronze Company with a capital of $65,000.00.2 Augustus H. Jones became president of the company in 1891.3

From the patent drawing for Franz Yokel's Fount Holder
Patent No. D23,276, Patented May 15, 1894

"The new organization at once took steps to increase the variety of their products, which had heretofore consisted chiefly of ornamental gas fixtures."4 Their expanded product line included a variety or artistic gas and electric fixtures, cabinets, tea and call bells, onyx and gold tables, music racks, easels, silk and linen shades, and last but not least, the celebrated Meriden piano, banquet, princess and table lamps, of which they are sole manufacturers. Overall, the company was prosperous and provided employment to many local people and added materially to the business prosperity of Meriden.5 In 1896, they employed around two hundred fifty people.6 Financial depression forced The Meriden Bronze Company out of business in the late 1890's; Augustus Jones' personal loss amounted to $100,0007 - a substantial amount of money in those days.

The Meriden Bronze Company was assigned at least thirty-eight lighting-related patents between November 15, 1887 and December 15, 1896. See the patent table below for details. Of merit were the contributions of Franz Yokel, a key innovator for Meriden Bronze. He has fifteen patents assigned to the company. All are design patents for components for banquet and table lamps - fount receivers and lamp bases. Mr. Yokel had a particularly busy day on August 20, 1895 when he was granted a total of eleven patents, numbers D24604 through D24614!

Another notable inventor was John C. Miller. Mr. Miller has at least twenty-nine patents to his credit and a clear pattern of employment or loyalty develops as you research the chronological order of his patents. From 1889-1891, he had eight patents, all assigned to the Meriden Bronze Company, Meriden, Connecticut. From 1892 through the beginning of 1898, all patents were assigned to The Matthews & Willard Mfg. Co. Miller's patent dated November 1, 1898 and his two 1899 patents are all assigned to The Miller Manufacturing Company of Torrington, Connecticut. Read more about the company John C. Miller founded.

Augustus H. Jones was involved with nine Meriden Bronze patents, collaborating with Nis Johnson on three of them. Johnson also has one on his own. (Nis Johnson had four additional patents in 1901 assigned to the Incandescent Petroleum Lamp Co., St. Louis, Missouri). Jones has many other lighting patents to his credit, including four assigned to Bradley & Hubbard, one to Charles Parker, and three unassigned.



Patents assigned to Meriden Bronze between November 15, 1887 - December 15, 1896
453865 564017 564018 573223 424714 476541 554935 554936
395912 396946 403768 407100 414948 421184 430871 456334
373303 373304 388218 389005 408135 554038 541281 D21723
D23276 D23778 D23777 D24604 D24605 D24606 D24607 D24608
D24609 D24610 D24611 D24612 D24613 D24614
[ more? ]
D = Design Patent, RE = Reissue of an earlier Patent

To view any of the above patents, enter the number in the box below and select Query USPTO Database. This will take you to the specific patent images on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Database. Learn more about the USPTO here.

Enter Patent Number ?/B> 


End Notes/References
  • 1 Gillespie, C. Bancroft, A Century of Meriden, Meriden, CT: Journal Publishing Company, 1906.
  • 2 Davis, William T., ed. The New England States, Their Constitutional, Judicial, Educational, Commercial, Professional and Industrial History, Volume II. Boston, Mass: D.H. Hurd & Co., ca 1896.
  • 3 Gillespie.
  • 4 Davis.
  • 5 Gillespie.
  • 6 Davis.
  • 7 Gillespie.

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