Monday, November 28, 2016


Elmer A. Sperry

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, July 5, 1889.

A Cortland Inventor.
   In the June number of the Electrical World, published in New York, are two quite lengthy articles describing and illustrating the electrical inventions of Mr. Elmer A. Sperry, formerly of Cortland, now of Chicago, Ill. The Sperry system of arc-lighting, is used by the Chicago Tribune, the Inter-Ocean, Kinsley's famous restaurant and many other prominent institutions.
   The company with which Mr. Sperry is connected has been reorganized and is now crowded with orders. Among his recent inventions are lamps, automatic devices, safety appliances, and other devices for lighting by electricity. He has also invented an automatic gas engine, an electric mining machine, an automatic ground switch for electric light lines and an entirely new system of district messenger telegraph appliances, embodying an automatic grounding system which allows every station to be heard from, even when the line is broken.
   Mr. Sperry is a charter member of the American Association of Electrical Engineers and was the chairman of the Committee of Call for the first meeting of the National Electric Light Association in Chicago, and is intimately connected with the history and work of that body, which has now become so important and influential in electric lighting matters in this country. He is also a member of the Chicago Electric Club, in whose affairs and scientific discussions he is frequently called upon to participate.
   Mr. Sperry’s electric mining machine was recently exhibited at a meeting of the National Electric Light Association held in Chicago and has since been sent to the Paris Exposition, where it will be exhibited in operation. The machine is the latest of Mr. Sperry’s inventions. He was encouraged in perfecting it by Mr. A. L. Sweet, one of Chicago's most prominent coal men, who has in past years spent considerable money with other inventors in this line, but without practicalresults. The machine has been handled by a number of miners experienced with mining machines all of whom speak of it in terms of the highest praise. A company has been formed to put the machine on the market.
   The Sperry Electric Light company also have their machinery on exhibition at the Paris Exposition and it will be personally represented on the spot by Mr. Ernest E. Graphs, its treasurer, Mr. E. A. Sperry, its electrician and Hon. Francis W. Parker, its counselor and patent expert. The article in the Electrical World is profusely illustrated with cuts of the several inventions of Mr. Sperry besides an excellent portrait of the inventor.

A Deserved Compliment.
   At the annual meeting of the State Press Association, held at the Catskill Mountains last week, Hon W. H. Clark of the Cortland Standard was chosen President of the association for the ensuing year. The DEMOCRAT improves [sic] the first opportunity presented to publicly congratulate neighbor Clark on the compliment paid him, and especially as it was entirely unsolicited and unexpected on his part.
   Mr. Clark has been a regular attendant at the annual meetings for several years past and has done as much, if not more than any other member of the Association, to elevate and encourage the profession of journalism. That he will take a pardonable pride in performing the duties of the office, for which he has been selected without a dissenting vote with tact and ability, goes without saying. The Association could not have made a better selection.

A New Dog Tax Law.
   The last Legislature passed a law levying a yearly tax on all the dogs in this State, except in the counties of Erie, Kings and New York. The act is known as the [Mase] dog law, and the tax is as follows:
   One female dog $3, every additional female dog $5 each. One male dog $1, every additional male dog $2 each.
   The law also says that the owner of every dog must register it at the office of the town, county, or city clerk; that every dog must wear a collar with the owner's name and registered number upon it, and that every policeman or constable who shoots a dog without a collar may collect 50 cents from the authorities for his action.
   Every owner of a dog who does pay the tax is made liable to a fine of not less than $3 and not more than $7. There are strict provisions for the punishment of persons whose dogs kill sheep. The object of this tax on dogs is not to raise revenue but, instead, to raise a fund from which to indemnify the owners of sheep, which have been killed by dogs.

   The wire factory at Homer has stopped work for a month.
   The bucket shop in this place closed business last week.
   The next term of the Normal school opens Sept. 4th.
   [Jos.] H. Talmadge has taken out letters patent on a spring vehicle.
   Sheriff Borthwick has appointed Henry F. Phelps of McGrawville to be deputy sheriff.
   The road machine has been doing some good work on Frank and Park streets, the past few days.
  The Wickwire Works shut down Wednesday night and will not open again until July 15th.
   The tenth grade at the Normal school went on a picnic to Little York, on Saturday of last week.
   Mr. David W. Van Hoesen of this place, and Dr. H. I. Van Hoesen of Truxton, bought the island in South lake near [Tully] and have commenced the erection of a handsome cottage on the same.
   Dr. Jerome Angel, of this place, has been appointed one of the pension examiners for this county. What the deuce does this mean? A year ago last fall the doctor was the candidate of the Prohibitionists of this county for Member of Assembly, and if there is any one thing that a republican hates worse than another, it is a Prohibitionist. Evidently some one has made a sad mistake somewhere.
   Mr. John Mehan, of Seneca Falls, has purchased the lease of the Dexter House from Messrs. Perry & Smith, and took possession on Monday last. Mr. Mehan is well known in this village, having been a former resident, and has hosts of friends in this place and vicinity. He has had several years' experience in the business in the western part of the State, and is very popular with the traveling public. It is pretty safe to say that the Dexter House will be well conducted. We understand that Messrs. Perry & Smith have not yet made arrangements for the future.

   MADISON.—It is now an assured fact that a gas well will be sunk at Chittenango.
   Dayton L. Stillman, formerly of DeRuyter, has purchased a half interest in the East Syracuse Independent.
   It is declared that the dam at Hamilton, Madison county, is a continual menace to the people below it. The dam was built in 1865 or 1866, and was for several years used for a feeder for the old Chenango canal, which has been abandoned now several years. The dam is an earth one, and holds in check a body of water covering nearly 700 acres of land. Should this dam ever give way, says the Syracuse Standard, the village of Hamilton, the village of Earlville and the village of Sherburne would be crushed in its mighty sweep and thousands of lives be sacrificed.
   TOMPKINS.—The tuition at Cornell University has been raised from $75 to $125.
   B. M. Hicks, who has been an employee in the Groton Journal office for a year and a half, has removed his family to Dryden, where, in a few weeks, he will start a paper.
   Fred Eaton of Ithaca, having stolen a watch from an old man named Drew, will retire for a time from public life, having been sentenced to a term of six months in the county jail.
   Adolphus Hall, an employee of the Electric Light Company in Ithaca, while cleaning a lamp at the corner of State and Cayuga streets Friday, received a shock of electricity which completely paralyzed him for several minutes.
   The Ithaca City Council has appointed an election of tax payers [sic] to take place July 23d, to vote upon an appropriation of $2,000 to widen East State street; $1,000 to construct a stone wall on the north side of Cascadilla creek from Tioga street west; $2,800 for chemical engines; $2,200 for fire alarm telegraph.
   Business is lively at the Groton Bridge shops. Upwards of $40,000 worth of bridge work has been taken since June 1st, largely in the flooded districts, and still the work of taking more contracts is going on. The great trouble with the company proceeding promptly with the work, will be in obtaining the iron necessary. So much demand has sprang up suddenly for iron, that there will no doubt be some delay in obtaining the material necessary to do the work promptly.
   The Groton Journal of last week says: It is reported that there was a game of base ball yesterday, on the grounds north of this village, between the Normals of Cortland, and our Stars, and at the end of the seventh inning, the game closed with a score for the Normals of twenty-five, and nothing for the Stars. Squiggins, who was there, says that the Normals had a practice game, and the Stars assisted them, and while the Stars were chasing the heavy bats, the Normals walked around the bases to pass away the time, that was all. Accommodating Stars!  

Elmer Sperry Illuminates Chicago:

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