April 13, 2009

Steel Wheel Glass Cutter - Google SG Patents 1

Last weekend, as a simple afternoon diversion, I started looking up stained glass related patents on Google Patents, especially older patents from the time of the revival and boom of stained glass in America, from around 1865 to 1910.

Well, it turns out I found quite a few more interesting patents related to stained glass than I expected, so I'm splitting this into multiple parts to do it justice.

First up, the humble steel wheel glass cutter. My blog post on glass cutting provides some background on glass cutting and different types of cutters.

This webpage about the History of the Fletcher Terry Company mentions some patents that I could not find [update August 18, 2009 - I did find an OM Pike patent from 1868 - it's the first petent below the fold], but does mention this Samuel Monce patent from 1869 - Improvement in Tools for Cutting Glass, Samuel Monce, 1869.

This is the earliest one I found and it fits in well with the Fletcher Terry page. Not too far from the basic tool we see today, though with a wider shaped bone handle and a wider steel wheel.

more patents with a little comment in the full post...

[update - early patent, though seemingly and curiously pre-steel wheel -
patent # 85396, issued to Ozi M. Pike, Dec 29, 1868]

Improvement in Glazier's Tools, Samuel G. Monce, Bristol, Connecticut, 1870
Earliest multitasking steel wheel cutter? First appearance of the grozing 'teeth'. I doubt this ever went into production. I've certainly never seen anything like it.

Improvement in Steel Glass-Cutters, by Henry Clarke, Washington DC, 1875
The handle looks close to what we have today, with the grozing 'teeth' up close to the wheel, but the steel wheel is still much wider.

Revolving Glass Cutter, 1880, by B.F. Adams, Springfield, Massachusetts.
This is what the profile of most steel wheels on glass cutters looks like to this day.

Apparatus for Cutting Glass, Samuel Monce, 1890
This looks to be a cutting jig for cutting straight lines and strips. I've built a few of these for my studio and others, but never with this kind of springy mechanism.

Mounting for Glass Cutters, Samuel Monce, 1917
After the basic shape of the wheel was figured out, most patents after this seem to focus on mechanisms for making the wheel changeable, so it can be replaced firmly and easily after it's worn out.

Glass Cutter, Samuel Monce 1917
Pretty wacky looking head fro a glass cutter. I'm not quite sure what the purpose is for the odd shape.

If you are interested in more recent oddball cutters that never made it to market, look at this one that bizarrely rethinks how to cut glass, and this one that turns a standard cutter into a pistol grip, and this one that puts a big knob around a standard cutter, and this convoluted constant pressure cutter.

Posted by Tom at April 13, 2009 08:02 PM