The Museum of the

The Patents

The US Patent history of this fascinating and useful machine is fascinating and the slightest bit mysterious.

The first patent to as machine mechanism to resemble what eventually would become the Cutawl was issued in 1924 (patent # 1,492,554) to V. Colby. The patent was assigned to the International Register Company. It essentially was a motor suspended from a spring with a guided arm, which contains the reciprocating blade in the "jig saw" action. The next patent was issued 10 years later, 1934 (#1,949,509) to A. H. Woodward. The patent was also assigned to the International Register Company. There are seven drawings showing a machine closely resembling all of the known early models in the museum with all of the familiar components and configurations. Also issued on March 6, 1934 was a continuing patent number 1,945,510 to Arthur H. Woodword of Winnetka, Ill, assignor to International Register Company. There were only three drawings (all duplicates of drawings in the previous patent with only minor changes in where the label numbers were placed. Do note that these two consecutive patents were filed FIVE years earlier in 1929!)

Six months later (Sept of 1934) a new patent was issued (#1,974,642) issued to Vincent V. Colby and again assigned to the International Register Company. These newer patents were detailing refinements to the machine design and mechanism.

The next discovered patent was issued in Jan of 1935 to Arthur B. Thompson and William D. Graves of Seattle, Washington and once again assigned to the International Register Company. The refinements in this patent are clearly the updates that led to the enclosed machine mechanism and the K10-11 configuration of the Cutawl. It is interesting that 2 designers so far from Chicago and up until this point not associated with the machine are listed with this patent. All of the previous patent holders were in Chicago, the corporate headquarters of the International Register Company.

Patent #2,239,287 was issued, six years after the previous patent, to W. P. Gallagher. This clearly shows the refinements of the K10 machine. Four patent numbers later and on the same date, a patent was issueed to W.L. Martin (Cleveland, Ohio) for a scroll cutting machine and issued on the same date as the previous patent.

So, to this point there have been six names associated with inventors of parts and pieces of this evolving machine design. All of the patents were assigned to the International Register Company - the one consistent thing from 1928 to 1941.

In the various patents, the machine is called a "Scroll Cutting Machine", "Cutting Means", "Cutting Machine", and "Portable Cutting Machine."

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Last Updated: Sept 14, 2005