Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jacob Haish's screen for windows patent

Jacob Haish had the creative, working mind of an inventor. If he thought there was a better, more efficient way of doing something, he was going to discover it. 

And then patent it.

The patent below is for a screen for windows, patented in 1888. Click the images to enlarge.
Image via Google Patents

Image via Google Patents

Excerpts from the patent papers are below.
"There has been much difficulty and expense in the ordinary way of manufacturing screens for doors and windows by reason of the cost and trouble in making mortises and tenons in the frame, and inapplying a molding over the edges of the wire-cloth to make a good finish, and in securing the parts together neatly, cheaply, and firmly.

The present invention is designed to afford a screen that can be made very cheaply and easily, and when made will be very handsome in structure, and will also be of less bulk or weight than any of the screens now in use; and to this end my invention consists in making mortises by bor-ing holes in the adjacent faces or ends of each sill and rail and providing loose tenons to fit into said holes, and in making a slit or groove along the inner face of the rails and sills, and then in fitting the several parts together with the edges of the wire-mesh in said grooves, and securing the structure together by means of wire staples forced into the slots."
More of his patents can be found here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Find of the Week: Haish Mansion Interior Photos

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Eighteen year old Roger Alexander was just an aspiring photographer when he placed a phone call to ask if he could photograph the inside of the Haish mansion.

The year was 1961; the mansion, located on the corner of Third and Pine Streets in DeKalb, was set to be demolished in just two weeks. Alexander, of Sycamore, used his Kodak Brownie to take the photos below. He said he was fond of the home.

Alexander remembers hearing stories about the European artists who lived onsite until they finished painting the murals in the home. He also recalls seeing a fireplace in every room.
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Both the Ellwood and Haish mansions had been on the market by this time, but only the Ellwood House had a buyer. After seeing the interior of the Haish mansion, Alexander agreed with the majority of the community who said the home needed a lot of repairs in order to stay open.

"But [the Haish house] was no different than the Ellwood House at the time," Alexander said. "They both needed repairs, they both should have been saved."
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Haish Sidewalk Lives On

Slabs of the "Haish mansion sidewalk" are at a DeKalb warehouse. They are property of Jim Hovis. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The sidewalk that once outlined Jacob Haish's property is still in use.

Jim Hovis, of DeKalb, salvaged the limestone sidewalk 15-20 years ago, he says, when he witnessed it being discarded in dump trucks while it was being replaced with concrete. 

The top surface of the sidewalk has obvious wear and tear, but the bottom of the limestone sidewalk is very smooth.

Local lore (and the photo below) tell that the sidewalks near Haish's mansion were a popular gathering spot, particularly for children. Stories say that the smooth, limestone sidewalks were the best in town for marbles, roller skating and more.
A photo shows children playing on the sidewalk outside of the Haish mansion. | Photo provided by Steve Bigolin
Today, slabs of the limestone sidewalk are kept at one of Hovis' DeKalb warehouses. He has also put pieces of the sidewalk to use -- they are now steps outside of the office of his company, Hearing Help Express, located near downtown DeKalb at 105 N. First St.
Jim Hovis, sits on steps that were made of the limestone "Haish sidewalks." The steps can be found near the parking lot outside of Hearing Help Express, 105 N. First St., in DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Find of the Week: Chanticleer Engine Replica

I was at the Sycamore Steam Show and Threshing Bee this weekend when I spotted a Chanticleer replica. Jacob Haish began manufacturing engines in the early 1900s, and his line of "Chanticleer" engines is probably his most famous.

Although the table-top model was definitely out of my price range, I took time to appreciate it and snap a few photos.
Chanticleer replica | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Chanticleer replica | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Chanticleer replica | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Chanticleer replica | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Monday, August 8, 2016

Jacob Haish Buys Car

Courtesy of Regional History Center, Northern Illinois University
The article below was published in the April 30, 1913, edition of the Sycamore True Republican.

Aged Manufacturer Succumbs to Lure At Last, and Is Now Owner of An Automobile
Jacob Haish purchased an automobile yesterday. The manufacturer having made up his mind transacted this business with characteristic promptness. He motioned to Ernest Carter who was driving a new car along leisurely in front of the bank. Mr. Carter came over to the sidewalk and Mr. Haish stepped into the car.

"Where to?" Asked the driver.

"Anywhere," replied the banker.

The Sycamore road looked good, so they took a ride out over the brick and the macadam, the cement and the hard dirt road. The day was perfect but for a trifle of dust in the air that scarcely marred it. Mr. Haish and the driver took a turn about Sycamore and then turned back for DeKalb.

"What is the price of this car?" asked Mr. Haish as they arrived at the bank.

The information was given to him.

"Come in and get a check and take the car up to my stable," was the reply. 

The car that has met Mr. Haish's favor is an Overland.

  Thanks to the Joiner History Room for sharing this article.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Find of the Week: Haish Corn Sheller

A corn sheller manufactured by Haish Mfg. Co. is part of Jeff Marshall's collection. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
Jacob Haish was an inventor and manufacturer of many items: barbed wire, engines, fencing tools, and even corn shellers.

Jeff Marshall, of DeKalb, owns two corn shelling machines that were created by Jacob Haish Mfg. Co. Marshall is a Haish family descendant and collector of Haish memorabilia.

Ears of corn could be inserted into the machine, and a hand crank would force gears on the inside of the machine to grind the kernels away from the ear.
Ears of corn were inserted into the machine. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
Shelled corn was typically used to feed livestock on a farm. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The bare ear of corn would pop out of the machine, and kernels would fall out into a bucket. One of Haish's engines could be attached to a corn sheller for maximum efficiency.

Marshall said the shelled corn would generally be used to feed livestock, and the machines date back to the early 1900s. Haish Mfg. Co. manufactured a variety of farm equipment and machinery; Marshall has a list here.