CHARLES GOODYEAR - DEED SIGNED 10/11/1839 - HFSID 264569
Sale Price $1,190.00
Signed the year he discovered vulcanization of rubber.
Partly Printed DS: "C.F.R. Goodyear", 1 page, 8½x13½. New Haven, Conn., 1839 October 11. Charles A. Judson, for value received, assigns a tract of land in Litchfield, Connecticut, with the buildings thereon, to S. Seymour and Josiah Beckwith. Goodyear and Justice of the Peace Charles Robinson have signed as witnesses. After marrying in 1824, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodyear settled down in Philadelphia, where they opened a conventional hardware store. The shop thrived for five years but after it began to lose money in 1830, Goodyear was jailed-the first of many stints in debtor's prison-and forced to begin considering a new occupation. In 1834, Goodyear finally found his calling. After purchasing a life preserver at a rubber goods outlet he promptly went home and invented an improved valve for the preserver. When he returned to the store to show off his handiwork, the manager was impressed but unmoved. He took Goodyear to the back where there were piles and piles of foul-smelling blobs that had been life preservers and told Goodyear that the rubber industry was dying because when it gets hot these things melt. He told him that if anybody really wanted to make his mark as an inventor he should find a way to prevent this from happening. In 1839, Just a few months before signing this document, one of Goodyear's experimental mixtures of rubber, sulfur and white lead accidentally found its way onto a hot stove, and instead of melting, hardened to the consistency of tough leather, exactly the transformation he had been searching for. Although it would take him several more years to reproduce the formula-and a series of business mistakes cost him a large percentage of the fortune he should have earned from his invention-Goodyear had discovered the secret that would allow rubber to realize its vast potential. Although his vulcanization patent was immensely valuable, he only received but a small share of the profits. In order to meet his obligations, he sold licenses and established royalties at a price far below their value. In fact, Daniel Webster's fee of $25,000 for defending Goodyear's patent rights was more than Goodyear ever acquired for himself and his family. In 1851, he went to Europe to extend his patent. His London exhibition cost him $30,000. His Paris exhibit cost him $50,000. The $80,000 was borrowed. He was so poor that he had to pawn his wife's jewelry to pay boat passage back to America. Goodyear lost patents in England and France to technicalities and suffered heavy infringement in the United States. He died in debt in 1860 at the age of 59. In fine condition, with expected document folds, one through a single letter of signature. Some light toning and intact seal.
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