Sunday, July 29, 2018

Selden's patent drawing


Above is the patent drawing of George Selden's automobile patent. George Selden was a lawyer and inventor in Rochester New York. After witnessing the huge internal combustion engine displayed by George Brayton  
at the Centennial Exposition of 1876, he developed and patented a smaller version intended for powering a vehicle (as shown above).
As automobiles started to be developed, Seldens patent remained unknown until 1899, when Electric Vehicle Co., a New York producer of electric taxis and streetcars, purchased the rights to it. Gas-engined cars had started to make serious inroads into the electric vehicle market and the company tried to profit from this sector. They formed the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers to license Selden's patent to gas engined automobile manufacturers.  Henry Ford refused to pay and was sued in 1903. The legal battle dragged on till 1911, Ford reasoning that it cost less to fight the patent than pay royalties. He lost the case but won on appeal, arguing that Selden's patent referred to the Brayton constant pressure engine rather than the Otto cycle engine which was the basis for virtually all gasoline engines at the time.  


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