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286,137 · Hyatt · "Vault-Light Roof and Sidewalk for Constructing Basements, &c., to Buildings" · Page 1
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Patents: 158 of 511
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
THADDEUS HYATT, OF NEW YORK, N.Y.

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Thaddeus Hyatt
55 of 67
VAULT-LIGHT ROOF AND SIDEWALK FOR CONSTRUCTING BASEMENTS, &c., TO BUILDINGS.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 286,137, dated October 2, 1883.
Application filed September 1, 1883. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, THADDEUS HYATT, a citizen of the United States, residing at the city of New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Vault-Light Roofs and Sidewalks for Constructing Basements and Rear Extensions to Buildings, of which the following is a description, reference being had therein to the accompanying drawings, making part of this specification.
    My invention relates to the kind of patent light constructions known to the trade as "step-roofs." These roofs form part of the invention patented to me originally on the 27th day of August, 1867. As originally patented they were designed for the fronts of buildings only; but by patent dated May 9, 1882, I applied them to the construction of the rear extension ground-floor roofs of buildings.
    My further and present improvements are designed to correct two prominent evils universally complained of in patent light roofs of all shapes and kinds-- to wit, want of ventilation and sweating, the result of want of ventilation; also, to correct two other defects equally as bad, but not complained of; because no one supposes they can he cured. I refer to the obscuration and loss of light which take place when in winter-time, during a snowfall, the snows accumulate upon the rear extension illuminating-roofs ; and I allude to the dark parts of the rooms lighted by these roofs that are at a considerable distance inward toward the center of the building, and are in shadow because the light from the roof reaches them only indirectly. Now, the object of illuminating-roofs, whether at the rear or at the fronts of buildings, and whether in stoop or ordinary shape, has relation, primarily, to the parts of the building that need light the most, and these parts are those nearest the center of the building; but when the illuminating-roof is composed of steps, as in the case of a ground-floor higher than the level of the sidewalk at the front entrance to a building, light and ventilation are necessarily subordinated to the necessities of the construction as steps. In such case the first thing to be considered is an easy rise to the steps. This requires risers of only six to eight inches high,
and as the "nosing" of the "tread" above must lap down over such risers in front, and the "water-back" of the tread below must lap up over them behind, but little middle or heart portion of the riser is left for either light or ventilation. To make the most of it, I make the riser of plate-glass in two plates, one to slide over the the of the other, like a sliding hot-air register, each plate being suitably formed with ventilating-slots; and, to make the light of the step-roof tell with proper effect upon the dark center of the apartment, I combine with the steps a set of daylight-reflectors, (using the words, in their technical sense, to mean highly-polished metal plates or glass mirrors of ordinary kind,) or I combine daylight-reflecting surfaces, (meaning by this any surfaces suitable to reflect light.) With respect to step-roofs for rear-extension work, my improvement consists in constructing the roofs with as large a proportion of riser or vertical surface as the ease admits of.
    First, with reference to snow. Snow does not remain on windows in house-walls because the openings are vertical.
    Second, with reference to ventilation. Vertical openings are the only ones that admit of being uncovered in bad weather, when ventilation may be required.
    The rule which I adopt for constructing step-roofs for the rear extensions of the ground-floor of buildings is to make risers double the height of the average depth of snow-falls. This gives a margin for light through the risers equal to double the depth of the snow. Constructed in accordance with this rule, and with reference to the exigencies of a rear-extension roof, as herein explained, the construction is not a "step-roof" technically, but only in form. The roof is rather a combination of roof-levels in longitudinal horizontal sections connected by longitudinal vertical sections made in the form and with the functions of windows.
    Figure 1 represents an illuminating step-roof over an area and basement-extension made with combined daylight-reflectors. Fig. 2 represents an illuminating step-roof over an extension at the rear of the ground-floor or principal story made with daylight-reflectors. Fig. 3 represents an illuminating step-roof