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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

U.S. Patents 2,208,137 and 2,410,746 by Adele Raettig

   The two gizmos shown are for an angle divider and a magnetically operated switch.
     The patent for the angle divider was applied for on October 26, 1939 and issued on July 16, 1940.  The divider was an instrument used for dividing angles of various degrees into any number of predetermined parts. The problem was that most angle dividers were complicated and made it difficult for an average person to use, but this contraption was simple to use and inexpensive in construction.
    The other thing is a magnetically operated switch. A patent for the device was filed on September 2, 1942 and issued on November 5, 1946.  According to the patent this device relates to a switch and refers more particularly to a magnetically operated selective switch used for energizing or otherwise influencing any one of several circuits. An object of the  invention was the provision of an effectively operating circuit controller or switch of simple, compact and sturdy construction, which was inexpensive to manufacture and which could be conveniently utilized for the purpose of closing any one of a comparatively large number of circuits. Another object was the utilization of a permanent magnet for the purpose of actuating selectively any one of several levers used for establishing an electrical connection between a number of terminals. Who knows what it was used for or if it was ever actually used in anything?  The inventor of both was Adele S. Raettig of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Adele Raettig

    Getting a patent does not always mean the inventor is going to make money because you can get a U.S. patent even if your invention is worthless and has no commercial value. Also, getting a patent does not stop someone from infringing on your idea. It is up to the patent holder to take the infringer to court if, after you warn him, he persists in infringing.
    A fellow named Robert W. Kearns invented the intermittent windshield wiper which he claimed was stolen by automakers, spent twenty years in court and finally was awarded millions, but legal fees got most of it and Kearns was still nearly broke; the lawsuits had consumed him, his wife left him and he was once committed to a psychiatric hospital.
    When Frank Marshall finally stepped aside as U.S. Champion in 1936 organizers of the first modern championship tournament had planned for a substantial number of entries to be split into preliminary round robins that would select eight qualifiers for the 16-player finals. The eight qualifiers would meet eight seeded players (Reshevsky, Fine, Dake, Kashdan, Kupchik, Steiner, Horowitz and Kevitz). The problem was there were so few advance entries for the preliminaries that the organizers had to drop the registration fee from $10 to $5. In today's currency that's about $175 to $88. In 1936 you could buy a car for $580 and gasoline was $0.19 a gallon. Bread cost $0.08 a loaf and a gallon of milk cost $0.47. With the average annual salary being $1,500 that $10 entry fee was pretty hefty.
    Eventually 48 players, including Adele Raettig, the only woman, entered. All games, preliminaries and finals, were held in New York. Eleven of the finalists were from New York and most of the high-placing non-qualifiers were also from the New York City area. The few strong out-of-towners included Californian Herman Steiner, Illinois state champion Samuel Factor, Harold Morton from Boston and New England champion Weaver Adams.
    Adele Raettig (September, 1889 – August, 1972) graduated from what was then the State Normal School at Montclair, New Jersey. Today the school is Montclair State University. She was a school teacher in Hoboken and later attended Columbia University. Although she never fared especially well in Women's Championships, she was nevertheless a strong player who successfully competed against men and occasionally defeated recognized masters.
    The following game was played in 1943 in a match in which the Intercollegiate Chess League took on non-student opponents. In this match five college clubs were matched against teams from seven different commercial teams and the commercial teams were leading by 6.5-5.5. The match's most exciting game was on board 2 between Sol Rubinow of the CCNY team and Nelson J. Hogenauer of the Hanover National Bank team and President of the Commercial League.  Their game was adjudicated as a draw by Frank Marshall. But, the deciding game was between Miss Raettig, who served as manager for the champion Chase National Bank team, on board 10 where she defeated R. McGrath of Rutgers. The game shows just how bad some of us amateurs are at playing endings!

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