Article on Margaret Knight

Clipped from US, Massachusetts, Boston, Boston Sunday Post, March 31, 1912

First Woman Granted an American PatentStill at Work on Ingenious InventionsMiss Margaret E. Knight of South Framingham, the first woman inventor to receive an Americanpatent, believes her record of 87inventions has never beenMISS MARGARET E. KNIGHT AT WORK IN HER EXPERIMENTING ROOM.never Dcen approached by any other;«HAPPIEST EXPERIENCEAlthough her latest invention, the sleeve valve motor, which she works on daily at her experiment rooms, 110 High street, Poston, will bring her more money than any other contrivance she has placed on the market, Miss Knight says the happiest moment of her career of more than 50 years was one day when, at the age of only 12 years, she perfected an improvement on the shuttle of weaving looms in the cotton mills ofManchester, N. H.There is very little suggestion of the conventional picture of the Inventor in Miss Knight's personal appearance. Above the average woman's height, strongly built, hair white and wavy,gentle in voice, Miss Knight1 does not look her 68 years,“I guess that I have never learned the value of publicity, said Miss Knight,when asked to recount a few incidents in her career. For I never care to be interviewed. I like to - produce resultsrather than talk about them.I suppose that it does seem odd that a woman should appear in the role of an inventor, but that's the part I have played in this world for many years.tents on my inventions, said Miss Knight. Many of my inventions have been in use for several generations ; contrivances applying to rubber, cotton and shoe machinery. These have sold for merely nominal sums.I have dealt with all types of engines since I bent my energies in that direction and have had the satisfaction of seeing many of my ideas adopted throughout the world.Miss Knight's career as an inventor has been checkered by more than one lawsuit. A few years ago she figured in a titanic legal action over an engine invention. The trial consumed weeks. It resulted in a victory for Miss Knight. An idea ofmurred, but sent on my picture, receiving his later.hImagine my surprise when, on going to the patent office in Washington, I discovered that my picture was hanging on the wall. It was placed there, I wa® told, through the efforts of my attorney as a tribute to the first woman to receive an American patent.Sleeve Valve MotorMiss Knight's characteristic Yankee ingenuity reached a climax, she believes, when she perfected her sleeve valve motor. She has styled it the K-D engine, the K standing for her name—Knightthe expense she bore in fighting for her I ^ lor ^avids°ns, her backers Inrights may be gleaned from the fact that .ILLit was necessary for her to have here a patent attorney from Washington. HisThe K-D engine, -said Miss Knight to the Sunday Post reporter, as she bentfee was $100 aday and all expenses. Six- over the machine in her workshop, is a teen days elapsed before the attorney I *s^eve valve engine, and differs fromHer First InventionIt’s easy to tell you my first experience. It was when I was but 12 years old. Atthat time, with members of my family,I lived in Manchester, X. H., where two of my brothers were overseers in one of I embodying this principle.was able to return to the national capital.Won Patent SuitsBut I won the case, said Miss Knight, and I have never contested a patent without receiving the award.I have never been partial to any particular sort of engine. Steam, hot air, internal combustion and in fact every variety of engine has received my attention. I have even devised a gas turbine and a gas rotary engine. The latter is of the double principle like my sleeve valve motor.Jt seems to me that I have always had a leaning towards the double sleeve principle. But at that I have thought nothing of it. It is not a new idea, you know. The Corliss engine of 40 years ago employed the double sleeves andthey were used even In water pumps. The wonder Is that anyone at this time can obtain a patent even on a gas enginethe cotton mills.Like other children, I was a good deal about the mill, running in and out during the day, and bringing my brothers their lunches at noon.In those days the shuttles on the looms was steel tipped. One day there was an accident, the shuttle falling out and cutting someone severely. I noticed the happening and thought cut a plan whereby it might be remedied. It was a simple contrivance, a sort of a stop motion t' prevented any such happening as the one I witnessed.Thus you see that it was early In life that I showed an inclination to tinker and experiment with machinery. There was nothing in that first invention for me from a monetary viewpoint, but it increased my desire for further study of machinery.Then there came many other Inven-Portrait in Patent Office11tions, each in itself insignificant, but a considerable Improvement to the particular machine of which it became a part.In 1871 I worked up and developed a machine for making and folding square bottom paper bags. This machine was a success and is in use today.Many Invention®A list of Miss Knight s inventions show’s her talent as a mechanic is most diversified.I have obtained no less than 87 pat-f iIn token of her fame as the first woman Inventor to obtain an American patent Miss Knight’s portrait hangs In the United States patent orllce In Washington. An Interesting story Is attached to the placing of the picture there.Some years ago, shortly after Miss Knight had perfected a tin can contrivance that was seized avtdlv by the manufacturers of that, article, her patent attorney In Washington asked Miss Knightfor her photograph.“lie told me,” said Miss Knight, “thathe intended it for his home, his wife having expressed a desire to have my picture. I suspected at the time that it was his Intention to use the photograph in advertising. When he assured me that such was not his plan I no longer de-others of that type in two essential features. The valves, semi-circular In shape, are arranged concentrically with the piston. They are located between the cylinder wall and the water jacket instead of between the piston and the cylinder walls, as in the case of other sleeve-valve engines which have been brought to commercial perfection.The sleeves are actuated by long cylindrical rods, which in turn are operated by means of cranks on a longitudi shaft, which' takes the place of the earn shaft, and driven throug ing at one-half cr*n4c.shaft sp cylinder wall is in the fa^n and one of the features of the engl Is that this wall is held in position only by being clamped between the top of the removable cylinder head and th# crank case.A specially constructed packing ring, which fits into the cylinder, allows for expansion and contraction. The motor will develop 50 horsepower.”Miss Knight has patents pending on her latest engine. These, she says, will not he issued for some time. When the work is wholly completed, She will take steps to have the patents granted. Then, she said, she will start working on soma other contrivance.“And like the 87 I have completed,’* said Miss Knight, “it will be useful.”I INOT THE PROPER WORDDid you send Mr. Dresser the sample® he asked for? asked the tailor.Yes, replied the clerk; I'm Just finishing our letter to him. I’m Just sending it ‘Trusting to have yourorder * What! Cut out that word ‘trusting’ and make it 'hoping.' —The CatholicStandard and Times.FATVANISHESONE POUND A DAYBY NEW DRUGLESS TREATMENTGET MY FREE BOOK.COMMENCE REDUCING AT ONCE$5,000.00 IN GOLD IF I FAILTens of Thousands of Grateful Patrons Proclaim This Wondrous