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A Poor Inventor's Sudden Prosperity Proves Too Muck For Him

A Poor Inventor's Sudden Prosperity Proves Too Muck For Him image
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Oaoe a brüliant inventor, tken a persistent litigaut, suing for the rights of which he had been. defrauded, made suddenly ricli by winning his snit, and now an inraate of the common jail for intoxication and coutenlpt of court, Such are the brief ohapters of Auguslirl J. Ambler's life. Years ago, to commence at the beginning, he startod life uuder the most favorable auspices. A passion for mechanica was fostered by favorable surroundings, and the young man soon dovcloped a latent faeulty fèr invention. Again and again hedevised little improvements, but nothing which provod either great as a discovery or as a financia! succesa. At last, however, Ambler discovered aroad which seamod to lead to fame and wealth. Filled with sanguine expectations, aa are all incntors, he commenced his nmv work. A long period of toil and patiënt endeavor suoceéded, inarked with aítürnate hopes and fears. Failures wero frequent, but the inventor laughed at discuuragemants in the hope of future success. At bist, howover, hls funds gave out aud he savv de.spair and failure staring him in the fftoe. INIouey must be fortHcoming or the iavestigations would have to ceaso. At thia point Mr. R. M. Whipple becamo assooiatud with Ambler as a partner, and the National Gas and Iron Coaipany was torrued in bt. Louis. Whon the seuret of the inventioa was made knowa to Whipple its importanee was at once manifest to him, and lie took in another partner, Thomas S. Dickerson. In the meantime the invention was eompleted. It was a furnaee for smelting metáis by means of petroleum yapor. produced by the aotion of superheated steani. ïhe old tedious methode of smelting by the ordiuary processos were to be done awav with, and a revolution wrought intliisgreat brancu of manufactures. At last it seemo;! to the hard-workiag inventor that the long expected succjss was to be a happy realization. At once ha i toot steps to get out a patent, but was ' mot at the threshold of his application j by astartling disoovory. While toiling and studying his two partners had ob taiaed patents for his invention, and ne ' was exoluded from all benoüts. His i delay had bpcn fatal to him. All the ' work of his lifetime was to go for naught. Tha glory and tho wealth lor ' whicli he had striven were eompietely out of his reach. There was only ono ivay to seek immodiale redress, and hat was to have the illegal patents ' cancelod. Proceedings were at once ; nstituted in the i'ateut-office, and a f egal üght, whieh was to last a decade, was begun. There were many j -ious delays, and it was to ake evidence from all the parties ! cerned, üut Ambler proved so ! sively thaf he was reallv the inventor that he Mined his point." But this ñrst victory did not by any means end the i natter. The oase was taken into ■ the cotirts. The delays whioh tho ' wronged litigaut, ímpatient to be ! ed, bad suflercd ia the Patent Ollice we re nothing to the long and tedious struggle whieh novv commenced. Trom courl to court, fromthe District Justices' to the Supreme tribunal of the Uuited States, the casa was appealcd audtransferred until Mr. Ambler begin almost o despair. But, holding in his hands he oanceled patents as a po werf ui irgument in his bahalf, he continued he fight, wearisome, discouraging and expensive tbough it was. Finally, after ten years, he begau to soe day-light. A special auditor, Mr. E. C. lngorsoll, vas appointed by the court to examine ato the case and see what was really :ue Mr. Aniblor. A tliorough fixamitiation of all the aocessible documenta hovring the amount paid for patent ights to Whipple & Dickerson was nade, and the total found to )e over $1,250,000. As an equitale adjustment the auditor deided that Ambler should be paid ne-half of this amount. Therefore, n the 17th of last June Justiee Cox rdered the defendants to pay the )laintiff the sum of six hundred and eventy-seven thousand four hundrod nd thirty-four dollars, and, within lirty days, one thousand three hunred and soventy-iive shares of the ational Gas and Iron Company. Am)ler was thus suddenly placed in the j sossession of a fortune. But, though ; man of sixly years of age, the tur I in the tule of his affairs also seemed to turn his brain. With the lirst pavment of the money he commenced a serios of sprees, or rather one long-continued state of intoxication. At leugth an attendant became a necessary companion of his wanderings. His condition became worae, and the possessor of hundreds of thousands of dollars found himielf in a cell in the station-house. This was well known at the time and referred to in the Sunday Post as folio ws"Á prominent citizen, whose aggregate wealth is over $700,000, spen't Friday night íq a cell ut the Central Station-house, sleepiug off a drimk." The seqimnce to it all carne yesterday. Wandering into the folice Court in an intoxicated coudition, he abused one of the ínesáengers and m arrested. He was broiight out from the cell and charge 1 before Judge Snell with profanity. He was promptly lined live dollars or fcwetlty days in jail, whereupon he cured the Judge. A sentence of twenty dollars of thirty days in jail and two ilays iu jail additionát, without a fine, ,vas imposed for crmtempt of oourt. Ho was again placed in a cell. Shortly aftervvard Ambler stepped into the Black M tria and was driven to iaü.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat