Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent Of The Day.

On this day in 1843, Napoleon E. Guerin was granted U.S. Patent No. 3,019 for a EGG HATCHING APPARATUS.

The nature of this invention consists in a method of rearing the chickens, after the hatching of the eggs, in an oven as herein described.

Several attempts have been made to hatch eggs by artificial means, and to rear the chickens thus produced. The first of these operations has been successful, but all efforts to rear the chickens have been hitherto fruitless; from the circumstances that those who made the experiments considered the chicken as an animal which was endowed with the faculties of locomotion and of sight, and was also enabled to partake of food from the moment of its birth and under this impression all that was necessary, or deemed so, was to protect the young birds from the inclemency of the weather, and they were accordingly kept in heated apartments without air. Although the chicken is a bird which is easily reared, since it is able to eat, as it were, at the moment it breaks its shell, still it must be admitted that there are also certain requisites which are indispensable to its existence, namely, air and heat judiciously combined. If the attempts above alluded to had been effected by men of observation, residing in the country, they would have doubtless been more successful in their undertakings, as it is extremely probable that they would have observed the method adhered to by the farmer’s wife, when by some mishap a newly hatched brood of chickens are deprived of the mother who would so faithfully have watched over them; a method it may be remarked which almost invariably succeeds, they are taken by the farmer’s wife and placed in a loosely woven basket, in the bottom of which some fresh straw has previously been deposited, the whole being covered with cotton or wool, after which the basket is brought near the fire, where it is left for a fortnight and there receive the heat from it. If you ask these women the motive of this mode of treating the young chicken, they will merely answer that they do not know why this system is pursued in preference to any other, but that they have seen their mothers follow the same method and meet with similar success. A careful observer will at once perceive in this the way in which the hen’s place may be adequately supplied; we always see the feet of the chickens on the ground which keeps them in a cool state, even when guarded by its parent, while the head and the upper part of the body are warmed by the heat derived from the hen’s body. Whether we describe the means employed by the farmer’s wife, to chance as to a series of observations, it would be impossible to imitate nature more effectually, since the chicken obtains thus air from below and warmth from above.

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