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Patents: 10 of 511

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Thaddeus Hyatt
2 of 67

Specification of Letters Patent No. 11,695, dated September 19, 1854.
To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, Thaddeus Hyatt Brady, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in the Manner of Constructing an Illuminating Vault-Cover for the closing of openings from streets or yards into vaults and through the decks of vessels into cabins and for all other situations where the glass used in such covers is liable to be broken out, and where in such cases persons stepping upon them are exposed to harm, the object of the present improvements being to secure the greatest amount of light compatible with full protection to the glass against accident and the public against injury.
    2. The ordinary illuminating vault cover is simply a rim of metal with a large glass set in its center. This glass when trodden upon becomes soon scratched, then fractured, and finally broken into pieces which fall out, and so leave a dangerous opening, jeopardizing both the lives and limbs of those who pass over it.
    3. To remedy these evils, I devised, and in 1845 secured a patent for a vault cover where in a series of small holes occupied the place of the one large one of the ordinary cover; these holes were overlaid by a series of small glasses, held in place by a covering plate of metal having openings to match the glasses, and through which they protruded.
    4. An increase of light over my cover of 1845, with a like security to the glass against accident, and the public against injury form the basis of the present application for a patent. This object, viz: an increase of light, is obtained by having one large opening in the metal frame forming the vault cover, filled by one large glass as in the ordinary illuminating cover above referred to, it being evident that the greater the diameter of a hole compared to its depth, the greater the number of angular rays of light admitted through it. But the glass instead of being left exposed as in the ordinary illuminating cover, is protected by a grating, or covering plate of metal having holes therein, as hereinafter more fully described, by which means the glass is more perfectly preserved from being scratched or broken, and a dangerous opening is prevented, which might otherwise occur, to the serious injury of many persons.
    5. From the preceding it may be understood that the vault cover herein described is composed of three main parts, viz: 1st a glass plate. 2d, a metal frame to hold the glass. 3d, a grating or covering plate of metal to protect the glass, and prevent a dangerous hole being formed by the breaking out of the glass.
    6. As to the glass, I use 1st, either a glass, plane upon both the upper and under surfaces, and sufficiently large in diameter to fill the aperture in the metal frame, or 2ndly, I use a glass plate plane on its under surface, but having its upper one channeled so as to form either ridges or knobs thereon, the knobs being either circular or square; or 3dly, I use a double layer of glass, as is more fully described in what follows.
    7. As to the metal frame which holds the glass, it is simply a rim of metal forming the main body of the vault cover. The hole in its center to receive the glass may be of any convenient size. Two rabbets, one above the other, are formed in the frame around the central hole, the lower one of which is for the glass to rest in, and the upper one of which is for the grating to rest in above the glass.
    8. As to the grating or glass protector, it is in diameter about two inches larger than the glass which it covers, and rests in the metal frame in a rabbet, as beforementioned, to which it is confined by bolts or screws. The form of this glass protector or covering plate depends entirely upon the form of the glass which it covers, as any improperly constructed covering plate might entirely defeat the object for which a glass is required in a vault cover, as will more fully appear from what follows.
    9. An ordinary grate is composed of a frame and bars attached thereto, which cross through the central space inclosed within the frame, the upper and under surfaces of the bars being in the same plane with the frame. Let such a grating as this be placed upon the level surface of such a glass as is mentioned and described 1st, in paragraph 6, and it is evident that in an exposed situation, the spaces between the bars would become rapidly choked with dirt in summer and ice, snow and mud in winter:-- these accumulations could be neither swept nor brushed out-- they must be dug out at a great expense of time and trouble, an objection as fatal to the usefulness of