The American Clay Bird

Discussion in 'History Buffs' started by Trap3, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Trap3

    Trap3 Well-Known Member

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    HB... The American Clay Bird patent July 10 1888. Is there more than one variation of this early clay target...

    Trap3

    IMG_2051.JPG
     
  2. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Look a little more closely Trap3. I think you'll find the patent date to be 1883.

    It was Nicholas Fischer, of Cincinnati, OH who was granted the patent on these clay birds manufactured by the American Clay Bird Company.

    PATENT 281,183, Fischer Target.jpg


    Mr. Fischer also manufactured the Fisher Trap.

    PATENT 281,356, Fischer Trap.jpg

    In 1885, Philip Marqua, of Cincinnati, patented a target holder and carrier arm which he assigned to the American Clay Bird Co.

    PATENT No. 313,220-1, Marqua to American Clay Bird Co.jpg

    Fischer Tongueless Clay Pigeon

    The Fischer Tongueless patent clay pigeons were given an exhibition trial in Cincinnati on the 13th inst. They were not considered a success by the majority of the shooters. The principle, the idea, though is a good one, and with birds a particle heavier and thicker throughout, would, it is thought, give a steadier and longer flight and much better satisfaction. Of the many patent pigeons now upon the market the one mentioned is the strongest rival the Ligowsky has as yet to contend against.
    [ SPORTING LIFE, September 24, 1883, page 2 ]



    Yes, the American Clay Bird Company advertised different variations. I have seen two. The No. 1 and No. 2 target.

    The first target produced was later called the No. 2.

    TRAP & CLAY BIRD.jpg

    Your target was produced later (near the end of 1885) and was identified as No. 1.

    AMERICANCLAYBIRD900.jpg

    I believe the Trapshooting Hall of Fame has both of these targets.

    Some time ago I sent the below article to them for their files on the first (No. 2) target.

    AMERICAN CLAY BIRD-Donated to THOF, T&F, OCT1967p55.jpg
    CLAY BIRD No.2-First Target, The Breeder & Sportsman, 1885.jpg

    The American Clay Bird Company had its share of troubles. They were involved in a few patent infringement suits. The sued the Ligowsky Clay Pigeon Co. for infringement of their target and lost.

    The finding of the court is that Ligowski was the first to make the device covered by the patents. If it be said that he was anticipated by his own patents of September 7, 1880, and August 30, 1881, the answer is that Fischer was also so anticipated. A decree will be entered declaring and adjudging Fischer's patent, No. 281,183, void.

    Upon the cause for infringement of patent No. 311,768, (the Ligowski patent,) the court finds that it is anticipated by the patents before referred to, being No. 231,919, dated September 7, 1880, and patent No. 246,401, dated August 30, 1881; and the bill is dismissed, at the costs of the complainant.


    In 1887 the Ligowsky Clay Pigeon Co. sued the American Clay Bird Co. for infringement of their trap and won. This took the ABC Co. trap out of production and all they sold then were clay pigeons. They had 4 versions of traps.

    The Trigger

    The patent suits of the Ligowsky Clay Pigeon Company vs. The American Clay Bird Company, which have been hanging fire in the United States Court at Cincinnati for several years, came to an end June 3, by Justice Matthews and Judges Jackson and Sage entering a decree declaring the American Clay Bird patent void.
    [ SPORTING LIFE, June 15, 1887, page 4 ]


    Finally in the latter part of 1888, there was no more American Clay Bird Company.

    The Cleveland Target Company has purchased the American clay pigeon, and that bird is no more.
    [ SPORTING LIFE, January 2, 1889, page 8 ]


    I hope to provide an important update to the history of the Fischer patented clay target in the near future. I've requested information from the Trapshooting Hall of Fame on a target they displayed in the old wall case in Vandalia. I believe the below target to be manufactured under the Fischer patent by either Fischer or the American Clay Bird Co. It's a wonderfully unique target, the only one I've ever seen.

    targetsinwallcabinet001.jpg

    Enjoy Our History !

    HB
     
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  3. History Seeker

    History Seeker A NoBody Official Historian Founding Member

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    HB:

    I had to re-read this once again. I certainly could spend a lifetime searching for some of these Rare targets for my meager collection.

    Thanks once again for the history lesson !



    B's F MINI-MU  AND PARSONS (2).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
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  4. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Active Member

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    Unfortunately I don't have the date of this ad, but it lists No.1 No. 2

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Squigie

    Squigie Member

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    The archivist in the patent archives has told me that the patent interference case for Ligowsky v Fischer is estimated at about 2,000 pages. Would this be of interest to anyone else?
    I still don't know how much we can get our hands on, but figured I'd test the waters.
    He has also offered to dig into the interference cases for Ligowsky v Peters and Hisey; and Spangler v Kirkwood, Teipel, Moore, and Marqua. However, this is, again, something that can't happen until the building is reopened. There are digital catalogs for the cases, but the documents are still physical copies only.

    Which brings up a question for me: Who are Peters and Hisey?
     
  6. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    Patent infringement case of Standard Cartridge Company with Charles S. Hisey against Peters Cartridge Company. The suit was over who invented the first cartridge loading machines.

    Several prior cases were cited as examples. One of which was Ligowsky vs American Clay Bird Co.
     
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  7. Trap3

    Trap3 Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Ligowsky placed monthly ads "Warning" of liability of infringement... 1881

    Trap3

    IMG_5786 (2).jpg
     
  8. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    I must correct my previous post.

    The patent infringement case of Ligowsky vs Peters & Hisey was not regarding targets and traps.

    It was actually regarding improvements to cartridge reloading machines that Ligowsky was granted patent No. 464,883 on December 8, 1891, just after he died. At the time the patent was granted, Ligowsky had sold it to the Peters Cartridge Co., of Cincinnati, OH.

    Charles S. Hisey was granted patent No. 480,015 on August 2, 1892, selling his patent to the Standard Cartridge Co., of New Jersey. Mr. Hisey assisted Standard with the infringement case which was ruled in Ligowsky's favor, only to be overturned on appeal and finally in favor of the Ligowsky patent in 1895.

    HB
     
  9. Squigie

    Squigie Member

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    I had wondered if it was Peters Cartridge. That makes some sense.

    So no further interest in Ligowsky v Fischer?
     
  10. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff State HOF Official Historian Member State Hall of Fame Founding Member Forum Leader

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    While some years back I did record the infringement cases for Ligowsky, I never took time to read over the findings of the LIGOWSKY vs AMERICAN CLAYBIRD CO. & Mr. Fischer case. I only noted the results of the patent challenge in which the American Clay Bird Co. won.

    FISCHER CLAY PIGEON
    Invented by Nicholas Fischer
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Later became The American Clay Bird


    Fischer Tongueless Clay Pigeon

    The Fischer Tongueless patent clay pigeons were given an exhibition trial in Cincinnati on the 13th inst. They were not considered a success by the majority of the shooters. The principle, the idea, though is a good one, and with birds a particle heavier and thicker throughout, would, it is thought, give a steadier and longer flight and much better satisfaction. Of the many patent pigeons now upon the market the one mentioned is the strongest rival the Ligowsky has as yet to contend against.
    [ SPORTING LIFE, September 24, 1883, page 2 ]


    AMERICAN CLAY BIRD

    The AMERICAN CLAY BIRD COMPANY, Of Cincinnati, Ohio, apparently purchased the target and trap patents of Nicholas Fischer, same place. Fischer’s target patent No. 281,183 granted July 10, 1883 and No. 281, 356 ball trap.

    AMERICANCLAYBIRD902.jpg

    THE NEW AMERICAN CLAY BIRD
    IN THE LEAD
    TWO BIRDS THIS SEASON

    NEW BIRD – No. 1 and OLD BIRD – No. 2.​


    Perfect breakers. Flight unequaled. Rain or dampness does not affect them. One-half cheaper than any other flying targets. The only birds of clay or composition that do not destroy themselves when slightly upon the ground.

    Our New Bird for clubs preferring easier shooting. Our Old Bird for clubs preferring hard shooting.

    Address THE AMERICAN CLAY BIRD CO.
    8th and Glenway Avenue., CINCINNATI, OHIO

    J. E. MILLER, General Manager
    [ AMERICAN FIELD, January 1, 1887 ]


    THE AMERICAN CLAY BIRDS,
    The Cheapest and Best of all Targets

    NEW YORK – Von Lengerke and Detmold. BALTIMORE – A. G. Alford & Co. DAYTON – James Dodds.

    SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Stevens Arms Co. BOSTON – John P. Lovell’s Sons. PHILADELPHIA – J. C. Grugg & Co.

    DETROIT – Ducharme, Fletcher & Co. ST. LOUIS – Simmons Hardware Co. NEW ORLEANS – Febiger & Co.

    CINCINNATI – J. C. Bandle & Son, Kittredge Arms Company, Powell & clement. PORTLAND, OREGON – Riley & Fellows. OMAHA – Penrose and Hardin. ATCHISON, KAN. – Louis Erhardt & Co.

    ADDRESS The American Clay Bird Co., 8th and Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio.
    PETER KESSLER, Manager
    [ AMERICAN FIELD, August 11, 1888 ]

    The American clay pigeon is no more, the Cleveland Target company having purchased their patents.
    [ THE GAZETTE, (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), December 19, 1888, page 8 ]


    The US Patent Office documents on this case would be interesting and could provide information that we are unaware of.
     
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  11. Squigie

    Squigie Member

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    I'll update when I have something, then.
    For now, we must wait out Covid closures.

    And thanks for sharing. I was aware of the background and legal issues involving Ligowsky, American, and Fischer. But I didn't have some of those specific citations.
     

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