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    Posted 7 years ago

    (202 items)

    15" x 34" Salesman's Demonstrator. Patented by Jerry Fusselman, Huntington, Indiana, Patent No. 695,101 dated March 11, 1902. Bought at auction.

    One of the largest gate samples I have seen. Gate closes and latches on either side of posts. The design also allows for raising the gate to clear obstructions.


    1. AzTom AzTom, 6 years ago
      I love old miniature items, toy versions being my main collection.

      My question here is, how does one know if it is a salesman's sample or the original patent model?

    2. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      AzTom - That is the million dollar question. From what I have read the Patent Office required a working model no larger than 12"x12"x12", although it is said that some exceeded that size by a bit, submitted with an application for a patent during the years from 1836 to 1890. When the item was received a tag was attached, and if it was assigned a patent another tag was attached. The models were stored in the Patent Office so that they could compare new applications to insure that no patent infringement would take place. Models of items not patented were kept by the patent office, and not returned to the applicant so not all patent models have tags attached. At least two major fires occurred in the Patent Office, destroying a sizable number of models. Congress appropriated funds to have some of the most important models restored or replaced. When the model requirement was discontinued due to the burdensome quantity of models, they were stored away in a barn for many years until they were disposed of by placing some in the Smithsonian and government buildings. The remainder were sold to an individual. From there they have been scattered thoughout the US and many foreign countries. Salesman Samples (or preferably Salesman Demonstrators) were produced in multiples in some cases to provide Salesmen with an example small enough to carry with them on sales calls. That seems to be the only size limitation. To sum it up, it is a judgement call to determine whether an item is authentic or not even if it has tags attached. Forgeries are a real concern. Folk art items of very high quality may be found. It is safe to assume that any model of a patent issued after 1890 is a Salesman's Sample. Some patents state that no model was submitted, so in those cases a model would definitely be a sample. Confusing? Yes.
    3. AzTom AzTom, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much. I was not aware of the size requirement on the patent models nor the years.

      I have a salesman's sample of a home furnace and some store displays that would be about the same thing.

      Keep them coming!
    4. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 6 years ago
      This is really neat. Do you have a picture of the other side? Looks like it only swings one way. The trunions suggest it can be adjusted to compensate for sag. Looks like it was way before it's time and probably well accepted.
    5. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      fhrjr2 - This is a very versatile design. It could be opened on one side and closed on the other. It also could be raised to clear obstructions. There are a number of patents for variations on this theme. I have a couple of the models in this collection.

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