Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Arc Welder

The Nemaha County Historical Society received a piece of Seneca history recently with the gift of an electric arc welder. This arc welder was patented in 1925. David Charles Brummett along with George Earl Brummett and John Greibler applied for the patent in 1922. [ "Patent US1551974 - Electric Metallic-arc-welding Machine." Google Books. 1925. ( : accessed 24 May 2016.]

According to the patent application, the Brummett's and John Greibler were assignors of the Seneca Electric Arc Welder Company of Seneca, Kansas. In 1921, the Seneca Electric Arc Welder Company employed a total of 12 people, 10 men and 2 women. [Kansas Court of Industrial Relations. "Inspection of Factories and Workshops," Annual Report of the Court of Industrial Relations, State of Kansas, 1920. ( : accessed 24 May 2016.]

A patent fight evidently ensued as the Leavenworth Times published an article stating that Seneca lawyer, Charles Herold had found no evidence of an infringement. Thus the interests of Great Western Manufacturing were projected as they were the jobbers for the electric arc welder.

"No Infringement: Local Concern Can Job Arc Welders," The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), 6 Aug 1922, p. 3, col. 1; digital image, ( : Accessed 25 May 2016).

One of these electric welders was installed in the Olberding Brothers shop in Iola, Kansas.  The welder was purchased from the Seneca Electric Arc Welder company in Seneca, Kansas. To protect their eyes, the Olberding brothers built a tin enclosure for the arc welder.

"Install Electric Welder," The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 15 Aug 1923, p. 8, col. 1; digital image, ( :accessed 25 May 2016).

In trying to learn more about the patent holders, several genealogy sites were searched. A possible match was found on Find a Grave for David Charles Brummett. According to memorial number 141481103, David Brummett was born in Seneca, Kansas prior to 1900. If this is the same person as the patent holder, then he likely moved to California sometime after being awarded the patent since he is reported to have died in Long Beach, California in 1944. 

Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave ( : accessed 25 May 2016), Find A Grave Memorial No. 141481103, created by David Alan Grierson.

If you can contribute more information about this electric arc welder, the Seneca Electric Arc Welder Company or the holders of the patent (David & George Brummett or John Greibler, please add a comment, or contact Marcia Philbrick or contact the Nemaha County Historical Society.

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