APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN.
MR. JUSTICE SHIRAS delivered the opinion of the court.
Letters patent of the United States, No. 204,216, were granted, on May 28, 1878, to Richard T. Hambrook, for an improvement in refrigerators, and by various assignments the ownership thereof became vested, in 1885, in the Belding Manufacturing Company.
In March, 1889, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of Michigan, a bill in equity was filed
by the Belding Manufacturing Company against the Challenge Corn Planter Company, alleging infringement by the defendant of the complainant's rights, as owner of the Hambrook patent, and praying for relief. The Challenge Corn Planter Company appeared and answered. The cause was put at issue, a large amount of evidence was put in by the respective parties, and, after argument, on June 25, 1890, a final decree was entered dismissing the bill of complaint, from which decree this appeal was taken.
We have been aided in our consideration and decision of this case by very full and able arguments, oral and printed, on behalf of both the parties.
Hambrook's invention was described by himself as follows:
"The nature of my invention consists in the construction of a refrigerator having the ice chamber constructed in such a manner that the air will impinge upon the top, bottom, and sides of the ice, and that the continuous volume of cold air generated by the melting of the ice will descend, in a dry state, to the provision chamber without material hindrance, causing the displaced and less frigid air to ascend to the ice chamber through open spaces at each side thereof without meeting the descending current of cold air."
The specification describes the refrigerator as consisting of a cabinet or outer box, within which is an inner box, lined with metal throughout, and fastened and retained in its relative position to the outer case by any proper means used by makers of refrigerators. The inner box is divided into several compartments -- one, occupying the upper part, being the ice chamber, and a lower one, consisting of two apartments, separated from each other by a partition, which is called the provision chamber.
We accept, as a satisfactory description of the Hambrook refrigerator, that given by Melville E. Dayton, an expert examined on behalf of the complainant:
"The patent illustrates and describes a domestic or household refrigerator, containing an ice-box at the top, a lid over the ice-box, a provision chamber or chambers below the ice-box, a partition separating the ice-box from the provision
chamber or chambers, a central passage through this passage for the downflow of cold air from the ice-box to the provision chamber, side passages rising from the provision chamber outside of the ice chamber to near the top of the latter, overhanging cleats or shields covering these side passages, gutters at the margins of the central opening in the partition to prevent the passage of water from the ice chamber into the provision chamber, a deflecting plate over said central opening, to carry the water, which would drip directly through said central opening to the top of the partition at the sides of said opening, so that the gutters shall carry away all water or moisture falling from the ice or its supporting rack, and a pipe for draining off the water delivered by the gutters. ...