CORRECTION. We republish below, in a corrected form, the card of Mr. R. H. Brockway, which appeared in this paper Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Several errors had escaped the notice of the proof-reader, the most important of which was in the paragraph commencing, "If you will just step across", &c. The word "whole”, which preceded "Grover & Baker claim", was a misprint. The sentence reads correctly now.
TO Mr. A. W. GOODELL
Sewanee House, Nashville
Sir: As your machine, as well as all its parts and operations, is quite familiar to me, I do not think it really necessary that I should be further "enlightened in the arts and mysteries of the Sewing Machine". I flatter myself that I possess the capacity and am fully competent to properly understand and appreciate the one lone and diminutive merit possessed by your Nettleton & Raymond Machine, to wit: the price, $10 at wholesale or $25 at retail, in other respects on a par and a near relative and member of the same family: running parallel with the famous Watson ten dollar piratical wreck of an ill spent life. But the Stitch. We deplore thy condition. Thou art a good and faithful servant, having been reared and properly trained in thy youth and why didn't thou listen to the winning voice of deception and suffer thy self, like poor dog Tray, to be caught in bad company.
But to the point. We will endeavor to make our squib as short as the nature and complication of the case will admit. By reference to my letter in the Union and American of the 22d you will observe my first interrogatory.
Have you any legal right to vend or use your machine in any portion of the United States?
Your answer to this question, although so very simple, plain and extremely easy to be understood, is as follows:
"We have a legal right to dispose of the Patent issued in the United States, to Nettleton & Raymond, April 14th 1858".
Mr. Goodell may think that he has answered my question, but the discriminating public will doubtless come to a different conclusion. The answer speaks for itself, a direct evasion and total disregard of the points in question. A hard question did not expect a direct answer even from the most learned in the whole class of piratical students.
My 2nd interrogatory. Is not the rough surface feed motion, as well as the formation of the stitch made by your machine, a direct infringment of other well known patents ?
You answer by saying: you "do not use the rough and surface feed".
Well, now, we do not like to say that you have made a misstatement in your attempt to answer this question and will therefore insist that you examine more minutely the construction of your Nettleton & Raymond machine some time when you are not so much "pressed with business" as at the present and make, if possible, a fair and more direct report; we think you will have no difficulty in making the discovery of both the rough and the surface feed. And when you make the discovery, which doubtless you will, for we know its there and we know further, that it is a direct infringement of other well-known patents, please be candid enough to acknowledge the fact.
In answer to my 3rd interrogatory you say you have given "for a year past most satisfactory guarantees". Now, if you have a valid patent, why the necessity of giving any guarantee at all ? And you further state that you never before had it questioned, that your patent infringed "on no one".
Now I think if you will refer to my letter addressed to Johnson & Goodell, September 8, 1857, you will there find the validity of the Nettleton & Raymond patent questioned. You no doubt have my letter with you, but when the nature of that letter is understood we do not think your sales of exclusive rights lo vend the Nettleton & Raymond machine will be much augmented. You may cease further to flatter yourself with the idea that my letter addressed to Johnson & Goodell was for the purpose of soliciting the sale of your machines in the city of Nashville or anywhere else. You know very well that this was not my object. I have written several letters of inquiry to many others purporting to be inventors of Sewing Machines of the Nettleton & Raymond class; desiring however, as in the case referred to, my letter to Johnson & Goodell, nothing more than an answer which is of more importance to me than the questionable commodity they propose to vend.
And further, I should be unwilling to step so far aside from all just and honorable rules of fair dealing, as to vend and recommend to the public an article that I believe to be so entirely worthless and so wholly void of merit as the Nettleton & Raymond Sewing Machine.
We have Messrs Johnson & Goodell's answer as you doubtless are aware and also have what purports to be a copy of the Nettleton & Raymond invention; an evidence, not only beyond all cavil, of direct infringement in many respects, but utterly worthless in the one essential point, utility.
I do not deny your right to sell the patent, if any, issued to Nettleton & Raymond. But I do deny that you or any one else, has any legal right to use or vend the machine you call the Nettleton & Raymond Patent, with its present feed motion and whenever you, or any one else, claiming to be responsible, sell, or attempt to use your machine in this community, shall be soon made aware that the amount paid for the machine is not a clear receipt.
As regards your assertion, which is nothing more or less than assertion, relative to Patent issued to Fisher & Gibbons of England, you have very widely missed the mark. We happen to be familiar with the form of said claim or patent, to which you allude and your statement or assertion, in this respect, is too absurd to deserve notice. However, it may serve your ends in carrying out the principles of business in which you are engaged.
If you will just, step across the street from your "Parlor No 1" to the Mechanics Library and there examine the Patent office reports, under the following dates, February, 11, 1857; June 22, 1852; February 2, 1858 and May 27, 1856; then ask yourself if the assertion or, in other words, your attempt to answer my 5th interrogatory has the slightest foundation in truth. Please take particular notice of the patent US 9.053 of June 22, 1852 and you may as well as any one else who will take the trouble to examine these reports, convince yourself of the Grover & Baker claim and also at the same time, will perceive, the so called Nettleton & Raymond Machine uses the Grover & Baker feed motion, both the forward and back motion and also the rough surface feed or notched bar and without this feed motion the said Nettleton & Raymond Machine could not take a stitch.
It would, I think, be well for the purchaser of what you propose to vend, to look into these reports above referred to. This is only one point of infringement. I might mention many others, but the one above, more particularly referred to, is so palpable thai it is at once made apparent to any one upon a slight examination. You say you infer from my "advertisement", that I am retailing a high priced Sewing Machine. True, I am retailing Sewing Machines at the price of $85 to $145 and still, it is very cheap, extremely, when compared with that class of Machine, for which you propose to sell the right to vend. The high priced Machine as you call it, being at all times fairly and correctly represented to the public, while the Nettleton & Raymond Machine, belongs to the Watson & Wooster stripe; which is well known to the public as being entirely worthless, which said Watson & Wooster piratical Machine, we learn the gentleman Mr. A. W. Goodell, so highly "endorsed by prominent fellow citizens" was lately engaged in vending.
I will here state, in conclusion, that I desire to cast no imputation upon the private character of Mr. Goodell, further than one might infer, understanding the nature of his business. Now we deny that any patent ever issued to Nettleton & Raymond, for the invention you set forth and call the Nettleton & Raymond Double Lock Stitch Family Sewing Machine and we further deny that said Nettleton & Raymond, are or ever were the inventors of any Sewing Machine. Show up your claim Mr. Goodell, it is but justice to the public.
It is not the merits of the Nettleton & Raymond Machine that called forth my interrogatories in the Nashville Union & American of the 22d, for fair and honorable competition is but just. But a sense of justice to the parties we represent and more especially the public, who you seem so extremely anxious to serve, requires at our hands a course, which may place before disinterested parties, the true condition of the right in question. And as this is but one of a great number similar in character and almost every day adds another to the list, we shall ever hold our self in readiness, as they make their appearance, to show them up in their true light. We know them all, and are familiar with their deformities and they shall at all times have our especial attention.
R. H. Brockway
May 24th, 1858