- Collection ID:
S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Co.
Williams Typewriter Company
Brooks Typewriter Company
- Physical Description:
This collection documents a patent dispute between the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company and the Williams Typewriter Company.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection concerns a patent dispute between the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company and the Williams Typewriter Company. The dispute centered on the manufacture and sale by the White company of typewriters on behalf of the Brooks Typewriter Company. These were a typewriting machine developed and patented by Byron A. Brooks in 1891. The Williams company produced a very similar machine which Brooks claimed was infringing on his patents. The records in this collection document Brooks' and the White company's efforts to prove Brooks' claims.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence received or sent by the S. S. White Company. Most of these letters are from either Byron A. Brooks or Joseph I. Peyton, a Washington, D.C., patent attorney. A group of summary notes and memoranda about the correspondence (filed separately) provides insight into the nature and progress of the case. The collection includes a number of legal agreements between the various parties, as well as a copy of the 1890 Incorporation Certificate of the Union Writing Machine Company and the original Incorporation Certificate of the Brooks Typewriter Company. Also of interest are a number of credit reports prepared by R. G. Dun & Company of New York in 1893 1896; these report on the background and assets of the Union Writing Machine Company and the Elliott & Hatch Book Typewriter Company. Also included in the collection are balance sheets for production of the Brooks Typewriter, 1894 1896.
Collection is arranged into
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The S. S. White Company was a dental supply house founded in Philadelphia in 1844 by dentist Samuel Stockton White. Initially, White manufactured porcelain teeth only for his own use. He eventually gave up his dental practice in favor of full time production of dental instruments, supplies, and teeth. His porcelain teeth won awards at both the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London and the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1881 the firm was incorporated as the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company. Soon afterwards, extensive manufacturing facilities were acquired on Staten Island, New York. The firm's main offices were located in Philadelphia and two additional factory buildings were located in that city's Frankford section. In addition to producing dental supplies, such as teeth, amalgams for fillings, and precision instruments, the firm manufactured dental machinery such as vulcanizers and sterilizers. It also interested itself in and produced other types of machinery, such as typewriters. In 1970 the company was merged into the Penn Walt Company.
These records were stored at the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company's main office in Philadelphia until the 1970 merger. At that time, the Chairman of the Board, Wilmott C. Mach, offered these papers and an original Brooks typewriter to Thomas E. Fitzgerald, a Philadelphia typewriter collector and restorer. Mr. Fitzgerald donated these records to the Division of Engineering of the National Museum of American History in October 1989. They were transferred to the Archives Center in December 1989.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Thomas E. Fitzgerald, December 19, 1989.
Processed by Craig A. Orr, archivist.
Using the Collection
S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company/Brooks Typewriter Company Records, 1890-1897, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Mr. Fitzgerald deposited photostatic copies of some of the records in this collection in the Dietz collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The bulk of surviving records from the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company are located at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, where they form accession #1320 in the Manuscripts and Archives Department.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012