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Scott's Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parer

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Scott's Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parer is with out a doubt the most succesful peach & apple parer ever marketed for home use. The success of this parer can be attributed to Scott's rotary dish-shaped knife that has a continuous cutting edge as described by his letters patent of 1880 (Scott, 1880). Scott's parer would eventually carry four patent dates, three granted to Scott and one to Daniel H. Weeks (Scott, 1871; 1880; 1882; Weeks, 1882).

Robert Pittis Scott (1852-1918) introduced his parer sometime c1880. The first version of this parer was embossed Manfd By R. P. SCOTT & Co. NEWARK, N.J., PAT. MAY 16, 1871 PATS APPLD. FOR. The embossing is found on the inner gear that connects to the pinion gear rotating the cone-shaped knife (Thornton, 1997, p. 80). R. P. Scott & Co. was founded c1880.

In 1882 the company was purchased and relocated in Baltimore, Maryland as the Scott Manufacturing Company. R. P. Scott was retained to superintend the manufacturing department (Industries of Maryland, p. 247). The company name was changed to New Scott Manufacturing Company c1888 (The Iron Age, 1888, p. 482). It can be inferred from the 1890 Baltimore City Directory that New Scott Manufacturing and R. Sinclair Manufacturing merged to become Sinclair-Scott Manufacturing Company (R. L. Polk & Co's, pp. 902 & 1117).

It would be intersting to know how the Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parers were embossed when manufactured by Scott Manufacturing and New Scott Manufacturing. The Sinclair-Scott Manufacturing Company embossed the Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parer in at least three different ways. The initial design was marked SINCLAIR SCOTT CO. BALTIMORE PATENT on the drive gear, while the second heart-decorated gear was embossed with PATD MAY 16. 71 SEPT 21. 80 APR 4 & 16. 82. The next version dropped the patent dates on the second heart-decorated gear. The final version is marked SINCLAIR SCOTT CO BALTIMORE MADE IN U S A on the drive gear.

Thornton speculates that Scott made the Rotary Knife Peach & Apple parer for L. A. Sayre of Newark, New Jersey (Thornton, p. 80). Indeed, there are rotary knife peach parers identical in design to Scott's, but marked L. A. SAYRE NEWARK, N. J. on the drive gear. In fact, Robert P. Scott sued Louis A. Sayre (1842-1915) for infringement on his patent of September 21, 1880 and won (Sayre v. Scott, 1893). Sayre's defence amounted to claiming that his disc-shaped knife had a nick in it which improved performance. The nick also interrupted the cutting so it was not continuous like Scott's; however, the judge did not agree with this reasoning. Sayre claimed his parer was based upon patents granted to Herbert Cottrell (Cottrell, 1883 & 1886). These same patents were used to protect Sayre's Monarch peach parer.

 

Sinclair-Scott Rotary Peach & Apple Parer

Sinclair-Scott Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parer

 

Sinclair-Scott Advertisement for Rotary Peach & Apple Parer

Sinclair Scott Advertisment for Rotary Peach & Apple Parer (The House Furnishing Review, July 1893, p. 33)



Note the advertisment above identifies the parer as made by Sinclair Scott Manufacturing Company; however, the illustration was made when the company name was Scott Manufacturing Company.

 


Sinclair Scott Apple Parer Ad

Rotary Knife, Peach and Apple Parer (General Catalogue, 1904)


Note the embossing on the lower frame has been obscured before printing. It appears to have been marked SCOTT MFG. CO. ROTARY KNIFE PARER. At this time the company name had changed to Sinclair Scott. It seems the company was still using images made before the merger of 1890.

 

L. A. Sayre Rotary Peach & Apple Parer

L. A. Sayre Rotary Knife Peach & Apple Parer

 

I have not noticed the nick in the blade used as a defense by Sayre in his lawsuit with Scott. Sayre's parer appears to be a copy of Scott's parer; although, the casting seems to be of higher quality.

 

Robert Pittis Scott: A Brief Biography

Robert Pittis Scott (1852-1918) was an American inventor and manufacturer of apple parers. Scott was granted six patents for improvements in apple parers, one with his brother Charles. In addition to inventing parers, Scott also founded one of the most successful companies to manufacture parers that prospered long after his death.

Scott's profession is listed as jeweler in the 1870 US Census (Ninth U.S. Census, 1870). His first appearance in the Newark City Directory is 1879, but no trade is given (Holbrook's, 1879). R. P. Scott & Co. is listed in Newark City Directories from 1880 through 1882 (Holbrook's, 1880 & 1882). These listings associate R. P. Scott and J. H. Barlow with the business of manufacturing patented peach peelers. In 1882 the business was sold, moved to Baltimore and the name changed to Scott Manufacturing Co., then to New Scott Manufacturing Co. (c1888), and finally to Sinclair-Scott Manufacturing Co. (1890). Scott continued to work for the company, eventually rising to the postion of president, which he retained up until a year before his death in 1918 (R. L. Polk, 1917, p. 1752).

Robert's unusual middle name was taken from his mother's maiden name Pittis. Robert had an older sister Julia and brother Cyrus as well as three younger brothers Lanphear, Charles, and Thomas. The brothers were known locally, by the community members of Candiz, Ohio, to possess the inventive genius of their father Dr. John W. Scott (John W. Scott Family, 1891). In fact, his younger brother, Lanphear Herbert Scott (1856-1923), also invented apple parers with five patents granted for improvements in parers. We can thank the three brothers for many classic apple parers including: the Rotary Knife Peach and Apple Parer, Mammoth, Oriole, Victor, Jersey, and Waverly.

R. P. Scott's interests and inventive streak went beyond apple parers. In the summer of 1885 Robert and his younger brother Charles took an extended tour through Europe on bicycles (John W. Scott Family). On April 20, 1886 R. P. Scott was granted letters patent for a Velocipede (Scott, 1886). In 1889, Scott published a richly illustrated book on bicycles entitled Cycling Art, Energy, and Locomotion dedicated to The Baltimore Cycling Club (Scott, 1889). Scott describes many patents granted for human powered transportation in his book; even so, he neglects to mention a fellow inventor of apple parers, George Bergner, who also had a patent for a velocipede (Bergner, 1869). Lanphear H. Scott promoted his brother's book to the general public while at the same time offering his services as attorney and soliciter in patent cases with special attention to bicycles (The Wheel, 1891, p. 55).

In his later years, Scott received mulitple patents for agricultural machines designed to hull beans and peas. Perhaps Scott's interests in agricultural problems harkened back to the family's homestead in Candiz, Ohio. One last note of interest is that the Sinclair Scott Company manufactured an automobile named the Maryland from 1804 to 1810. Apparently, the company was not successful in the automobile buisness and went back to their bread and butter of canning machinery and supplies. A patent granted to Elmer H. Lupton, assignor to The Sinclair-Scott Company, for a Peeling Machine indicates they were still in business in 1952 (Lupton, 1952).

 

References

Bergner, Georg, inventor; Improvement in Velocipedes. 1869 June 22. US91510.

Cottrell, H., inventor; Rotary Cutter for Fruit-Paring Machines. 1883 September 11. US284823.

Cottrell, H., inventor; Fruit-Paring Machines. 1886 April 27. US340937.

General Catalogue of Canning Machinery and Canners' Supplies Manufactured and for Sale by Sprague Canning Machinery Co. Daniel G. Trench & Co. 1904, p. 205.

Holbrook's Newark City Directory for the Year Ending April 1, 1880., p. 659.

Holbrook's Newark City Directory for the Year Ending April 1, 1881., p. 721.

Holbrook's Newark City Directory for the Year Ending April 1, 1882., p. 764.

'John W. Scott Family'. Commemorative Biographical Record Harrison, Ohio. 1891. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., pp. 605-606.

Industries of Maryland: A Descriptive Review of the Manufacturing and Mercantile Industries of Baltimore (1882). New York: Historical Publishing Company, p. 247.

Lupton, E. H., inventor; Peeling Machine. 1952 December 2. US2620002.

Ninth Census of the United States: 1870 Inhabitants in Candiz Corporation, in the County of Harrison, State of Ohio, p. 8.

R. L. Polks & Co's Baltimore City Directory for 1890, pp. 902 & 1117.
https://archive.org/details/rlpolkcosbaltimo1890rlpo/page/n23/mode/2up

R. L. Polks & Co's Baltimore City Directory for 1917, p. 1752.

Sayre v Scott (Circuit Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. May 23, 1893).

Scott, R. P., inventor; Improvement in Fruit-Parers. 1871 May 16. US114867.

Scott, R. P., inventor; Apple Parer. 1880 Sept. 21. US232371.

Scott, R. P., inventor; Apple Parer. 1882 April 4. US256059.

Scott, R. P., inventor; Velocipede. 1886 April 20. US340254.

Scott, R. P. 1889. Cycling Art, Engery, and Locomotion: A Series of Remarks on the Development of Bicycles, Tricycles, and Man-Motor Carriages. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company.

The House Furnishing Review. July, 1893. Philadelphia: I. B. Scott & Company Publishers, p. 33.

The Iron Age, September 27, 1888, p. 481.

The Wheel and Cycling Trade Review, 1891 Sept. 4, 8(2) [Whole Number 184], p. 55.

Thornton, D. 1997. Apple Parers. Sunnyvale, California: Off Beat Books, p. 173.

Weeks, D. H., inventor; Fruit-Paring Machine. 1882 April 18. US256776.

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