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John Leigh Bradbury

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of Manchester.

1824 Patent re threads. [1]

1824 'COURT OF CHANCERY. - THURSDAY. INFRINGEMENT OF A PATENT. BRADBURY V. PERKINS,-
An injunction had some time since been obtained against the defendants, Messrs. Perkins and Heath, for the iniringement of the plaintiff, Mr. John Leigh Bradbury's patent, consisting of "a new mode of engraving and etching metallic rollers" for printing cotton and woollen goods.- Mr. HORNE, assisted by Messrs. SUGDEN and ROUPELL, now moved for the dissolution of the injunction upon two grounds :- First, That the patent was really no new invention; and secondly, That even if the patent could be supported, there had been no violation of it by the defendants. As to the first point, the language of the specification was extremely singular. It was there stated that the plaintiff had discovered "a new mode of engraving and etching metallic rollers used for printing cottons, &c." This was neither more nor less than declaring that it was a new mode of doing that which it had already been discovered: it was not the application of an old principle to a new subject, but it was a new mode of engraving and etching these rollers - a discovery which had been made long before the, plaintiff took out his patent. The firm of Blacklock, Appleby, and Co. had frequently used it in their manufactory, and the house of Clayton and Co. in Manchester, had adopted the same principle Iong before the date of the plaintiff's patent in 1821. The affidavit of Mr. A. Perkins (corroborated by many others) stated, that in the years 1817 and 1818 the deponent's father applied the principle of engraving to metallic rollers, for the purpose of printing cotton, woollen, and other cloths. The affidavit then described the manner in which the impression of the pattern was made upon the roller. The copper roller was first covered with a thick coat of varnish, and then engraved upon; the roller was then emersed in a trough filled with a mixture of pure water and aquafortis, until the engraving was sufficiently bitten. This was precisely the saime principle for which the plaintiff had taken out a patent in 1821, and which patent, it was now asserted, had been infringed.- The Learned Counsel subsequently read a variety of affidavits to the same effect, for the purpose of supporting the second ground upon which it was sought that the injunctisn should be dissolved, viz. that there had in fact been no infringement of the patent, inasmuch as it was no new invention.
Mr. SHADWELL and Mr. COE, in support of the injunction, maintained that the invention was perfectly new, and that it had been wholly misunderstood by the Counsel on the other side. The invention was the application of the known art of etching on rollers of metal - an art which was previously confined to flat plates.
The LORD CHANCELLOR thought that the specification was expressed in such a manner as to render it unintelligible to every one who read it. If it had been stated that it was a new mode of preparing rollers for engraving and etching, then it would be easily understood; but then the question was whether the plaintiff’s invention justified such an expression.
Mr. SHADWELL apprehended, that in order to give a clear idea of the patent to the public, it was requisite to state the invention, as it appeared upon the specification. The plaintiff would undertake to bring an action immnediately to try the patent, and he conceived that the question was one not within the jurisdiction of his Lordship to decide. A Court of Law could alone determine the question. He hoped in the meantime an account of the profits would be directed to be kept.
Mr. HORNE having shorly replied;
The LORD CHANCELLOR thought, that upon the face of the affidavits, it was quite clear that engraving at least upon rollers, was well known before the patent was taken out by the plaintiff; and he doubted much whether the patent "for engraving and etching upon rollers" could be sustained. All he could do at present, was to leave the plaintiff to bring his action, and he would reserve the costs until the trial had taken place.- Injunction dissolved.' [2]

1825 Listed as a calico printer, Ancoats Print Works, 20 Medlock Street, Pin Mill Brow, Ancoats [3]

1827 By the order of the assignees of J L Bradbury, a bankrupt on the premises at Ancoats the whole of the printing utensils. These included printing and dyeing machines and calendar by Parkinson and a 10 HP steam engine by Sherratt's [4] (Bateman and Sherratt or J. and T. Sherratt)

1829 Death Notice: 'On Sunday last, in Manchester, very suddenly, Mr. John Leigh Bradbury, calico printer, aged 44. He was a most valuable member of society, an excellent son, brother, husband, and friend; a very ingenious mechanic, to whom the country is indebted for many very useful inventions, amongst which was a mode of printing calicoes both sides precisely alike, another for silk-throwing, and another for the present approved mode of manufacturing pins. He also produced some beautiful specidmens of engine-turning engraving, which were much admired by the managers of the Bank of England. He was the son of Mr. John Bradbury, whose travels and botanical researches in America are well known to the scientific men of all countries.'[5]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Mechanics Magazine 1824/08/21
  2. Morning Chronicle - Friday 20 August 1824
  3. History, Directory, and Gazetteer, of the County Palatine of Lancaster, Volume 2, 1825 By Edward Baines
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 3rd March 1827
  5. Liverpool Mercury - Friday 9 January 1829