Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Technology Filtration Jewell Filter Company

O. H. Jewell Filter Company





Omar H. Jewell (1842-1920) Ira H. Jewell (1869-1940) William M. Jewell (1870-1940)
From The quest for pure water; the history of water purification from the earliest records to the twentieth century, by Moses Nelson Baker, Page 217 (1948)

The Jewell Pure Water Company was incorporated in Illinois on January 25, 1888 with a capital stock $500,000, for the manufacture of water filters, etc.; incorporators, Frank F. Fisher, James McLean, and William Devine.  The new company was sued by the Hyatt Pure Water Company in August to restrain use of the phrases "Jewell Pure Water Company" and "Jewell Pure Water System."  The case was settled and dismissed the following February, at which point the company appears to have changed its name (or was reincorporated) as the O.H. Jewell Filter Company. 

The Morison-Jewell Filtration Co. incorporated April 14, 1893 in Camden, New Jersey to Manufacture Filters, capital stock $100,000.

The company fought several patent infringement battles with the owners of the Hyatt filtering patents, and in March, 1898 agreed to license the Hyatt patents.  In 1900 the O. H. Jewell Filler Co. and the Continental Filter Co. consolidated with the New York Filter Manufacturing Company to form New York Continental Jewell Filtration Co.

Information on the various patent infringement lawsuits can be found on the filtration page.

Jewell Water Filters Wikipedia page.

Patent Number
Date
Patentee(s) Description
U S. Patent 377,390 February 7, 1888 Omar H. Jewell Feed Water Purifier
U.S. Patent 386,073 July 10, 1888 Omar H. Jewell Apparatus for Purifying Water
U.S. Patent 408,487 August 6, 1889 Omar H. Jewell Strainer for Suction Pipes of Pumps
U.S. Patent 418,186 December 31, 1889
Omar H. Jewell &
Ira H. Jewell
Filter
U.S. Patent 419,606 January 14, 1890
Omar H. Jewell Strainer for Suction Pipes of Pumps
U.S. Patent 425,573 April 15, 1890
Omar H. Jewell &
William M. Jewell
Filter
U.S. Patent 478,261 July 5, 1892
Omar H. Jewell,
William M. Jewell &
Ira H. Jewell
Filter
U.S. Patent 509,126 November 21, 1893
Omar H. Jewell &
Ira H. Jewell
Filter
U.S. Patent 546,738 September 24, 1895
Omar H. Jewell Filter
U.S. Patent 572,605 December 8, 1896
Omar H. Jewell Strainer for Filters
U.S. Patent 572,606 December 8, 1896
Omar H. Jewell Screen for Filters
U.S. Patent 577,685 February 23, 1897 Omar H. Jewell &
William M. Jewell
Controlling Device
U.S. Patent 587,969 August 10, 1897 Ira H. Jewell Apparatus for Cleaning Filters
U.S. Patent 643,138 February 13, 1900
Omar H. Jewell Strainer for Filters
U.S. Patent 649,410 May 8, 1900 Ira H. Jewell System for controlling operation of filters.
U.S. Patent 653,740 July 17, 1900 William M. Jewell Method of Purifying Water
U.S. Patent 653-746 July 17, 190 William M. Jewell Apparatus for producing purifying reagents.
U.S. Patent 673,577 May 7, 1901
Ira H. Jewell Means for Cleaning Settling Basins
U.S. Patent 688,312 December 10, 1901 Omar H. Jewell Strainer
U.S. Patent 715,665 December 9, 1902 Omar H. Jewell &
William M. Jewell
Connecting Apparatus for Rotary Receptacles
U.S. Patent 766,146 July 26, 1904 William M. Jewell &
Willford J. McKee
Method of Purifying Water
U.S. Patent 1,232,805 July 30, 1917 William M. Jewell Art of Filtration

References
1888 "New Corporations," The Inter Ocean, January 25, 1888, Page 1.
Springfield, Jan 23.:  Jewell Pure Water Company, of Chicago; capital stock $500,000, for the manufacture of water filters, etc.; incorporators, Frank F. Fisher, James McLean, and William Devine.

1888 "United States Circuit Court - New Suits," Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1888, Page 8.
Hyatt Pure Water Co. vs. Jewell Pure Water Co.  Bill to restrain use of titles, "Jewell Pure Water Company" and "Jewell Pure Water System."

1889 "The Courts - U.S. Circuit," Chicago Inter Ocean, February 14, 1889, Page 10.
Hyatt Pure Water Co. vs. Jewell Pure Water Co; lv to complts to dis c c and case disd.

1890 Engineering News 23:192 (February 22, 1890)
The Morrison-Allen Co. has opened offices at 145 Broadway, New York.  The company manufactures improved water purifiers under patents awarded to L. H. Jewell, J. H. Jewell and Wm. M. Jewell.

1891 "The Jewell Gravity Filter," Fire and Water 22(1) (November 28, 1891)
Among the several systems in use for the mechanical filtration of water is that known as the Jewell Gravity Filter, illustrated herewith, which, while it has been before the public for comparatively few years, has been quite extensively adopted, especially where large quantities of water were to be treated, as in public water-works systems, paper mills, and other large manufacturing establishments.  The tanks of these filters are made of cypress wood, for which material the advantages are claimed that it is practically indestructible in water, is less expensive than steel, and, as the tank can be shipped to its destination "knocked down," will facilitate the erection of the latter in places where it would be a difficult task to put up one of metal.
Among the claims in favor of the general character and operation of the device are that most of the impurities are restrained near the surface of the filtering medium, and that, consequently, the quantity of water needed to wash the filter is reduced to a minimum ; also economy, in that the filtering medium does not require to be replenished, the impurities being washed away at regular intervals of time by simply reversing the flow of water.
There are now in operation Jewell filters of an aggregate capacity of upwards of 25,000,000 gallons daily capacity, serving not only to clarify muddy water and remove suspended impurities, but also to eliminate bacteria or other micro-organisms, and to free water for boiler use from lime and magnesia. It is claimed that this filter will develop results identical with those obtained in the laboratory, freeing water from organic impurities, objectionable gases and minerals held in solution, if in conjunction with the filter proper, there is used a re-agent suited to the specific work to be performed.
The sizes in which the filters are made vary from 6 to 12 feet diameter by 14 feet height, with capacities ranging from 125,000 to 500,000 gallons daily. A 2,000,000 gallon battery is now being erected for the American Wood Paper Co., divided between its mills at Spring City and Manayunk, Pa. This company has already had the system in use nearly two years. A battery of gravity filters of 1,000,000 gallons capacity was also recently put in at the works of the Kalamazoo Paper Co., Kalamazoo, Mich., and one of like capacity is now in course of construction for the Bardee Paper Co., Otsego, Mich.
These filters are manufactured by the 0. H. Jewell Filter Co., No. 73 to 75 West Jackson street. Chicago, and the Morison-Allen Co., No. 145 Broadway, New York. A system of pressure filtration is also controlled by the same manufacturers.

1893 Morison-Jewell Filtration Co. incorporated April 14, 1893 in Camden, New Jersey to Manufacture Filters, capital stock $100,000.

1893 New York Filter Co. v. Schwarzwalder et al, 58 Fed 577, October 16, 1893, Circuit Court Southern District of New York.
O. H. Jewell Filter Company patent infringement

1893 New York Filter Co.: capital $1,500,000, owning the patents (over one hundred in number) of Hyatt Pure Water Co., U.S. Pure Water Supply Co., National Water Purifying Co.

1894 New York Filter Co. v. O. H. Jewell Filter Co. et al, 61 Fed 840, June 9, 1894, Circuit Court, Southern District of New York.

1894 New York Filter Co. v. O. H. Jewell Filter Co. et al, 62 Fed 582, July 7, 1894, Circuit Court, Southern District of New York.

1895 Schwarzwalder et al. v. New York Filter Co. 66 Fed. 152, January 9, 1895, Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

1895 "A Final Decision on a Mechanical Filtration Patent," Engineering News 33:44-45 (January 17, 1895)
After seven years of litigation the legal status of patents covering the use of alum or similar coagulants in the fiItration of water has been determined beyond appeal. It is now settled that the application of such coagulants to water, which after such treatment is passed immediately to and through a filter bed (in other words, without intermediate settling basins), is an infringement upon patent No. 293,740, granted Feb. 19, 1884, to Isaiah Smith Hyatt. This patent was entitled, “A Method of Purifying Water,” and is now owned by the New York Filter Co. The history of the case is as follows:
In April. 1887, the Newark Filter Co., which then controlled the above patent, filed a bill of complaint in the U. S. Circuit Court, District of New Jersey,. against the National Water Purification Co., alleging infringement of the patent. asking for a perpetual injunction and for $50,000 damages. Shortly afterwards the Newark Filter Co. became the Hyatt Pure Water Co., and in June. 1888, it began suit in the U. S. Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois against another alleged infringer of the same patent, the Jewell Pure Water Co.
The second suit was dismissed at the complainant's cost, on Feb. 13, 1889.  Moreover, on July 27, following, a disclaimer to the original Hyatt patent, mentioned above, was filed, striking out a part of the specifications, in which certain broad claims were made. This disclaimer is cited below. The original suit between the Hyatt and National Cos. was continued, if we are correctly informed, until their consolidation, early in 1892, as the New York Filter Co. as noted in our issue of Feb. 20, 1892. The American Filter Co., of Chicago, was also included in this consolidation, and in addition the new company now holds the patents on the filter known as the Blessing, and certain patents on the aeration of water, formerly controlled by the U. S. Pure Water Co.
On May 1, 1893, the New York Filter Co. again took up the suit on the Hyatt patent, alleging infringement in the case of a Jewell filter, in use at the Murray Hill Turkish Baths, New York city. Meanwhile, the Jewell Pure Water Co. had become the O. H. Jewell Filter Co. On June 9, 1894, Judge Shipman, of the U. S. Circuit Court, for the Southern District of New York, rendered a decision in favor of the New York Filter Co.. as stated in our issue of June 28, 1894. The case was carried to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, a stay of injunction being granted, meanwhile, by Judge Shipman. On Nov. 1 and 2 an argument on the appeal was made before Judges Wallace, Lacombe and Coxe, and on Jan. 9, 1895, an opinion was filed by Judge C. J. Wallace affirming the decree of the Circuit Court.
Judge Wallace's opinion seems much clearer than that of the lower court. He states very plainly that, in using alum in filers without the intervention of settling basins, there is an infringement; but that with such basins there is not.
Having given the history of the case, some reference may be made to the claims of the original Hyatt patent, upon which so much litigation has been based. The claim allowed in this patent was as follows:
The method hereinbefore described of arresting and removing the impurities from water during an uninterrupted passage of same from a supply-pipe into a filtering apparatus, thence through a filter-bed contained therein, and out through a delivery-pipe leading therefrom, which method consists in introducing into the water simultaneously with its passage to or into the filter a substance which will sufficiently coagulate or separate the impurities to facilitate their arrest and removal by the filter-bed, thus obviating the necessity of employing settling basins.
As will be seen, the above claim specifies no chemical to be used as a coagulant. The specifications, however, refer several times to persulphate or perchloride of iron, or “other coagulating agent." or words similar to the three quoted, and in a paragraph stricken out in a subsequent disclaimer. already mentioned, permanganate of potassa, was named. This disclaimer was as follow::
I do not confine myself to the employment of persulphate or perchloride of iron or permanganate of potassa, but make use of any other suitable agent which is capable of coagulating the impurities of the liquid, and preventing their passage through the filter-bed. Neither do I limit myself to any particular proportions or quantities of the coagulating agent, as they may be varied according to circumstances and the character of the liquid to be treated. Nor do I confine myself to any particular liquids. although I contemplate chiefly the purification of water in large quantities.
In this suit the defendants had urged that the Hyatt patent was null through lack of originality and that, whether null or not, the disclaimer limited the patent to the two salts of iron named. After reviewing the case and referring to some references to earlier patents, Judge Wallace says, in answer to the first point:
The patent in suit describes a departure from anything which appears to have been done or known in the prior art, so far as appears by the record.
The departure consists in the discovery, in the language of the Judge. “that the agglomerating action of the coagulants could be obtained without waiting a considerable time for precipitation. or during the passage of the water through the filtering-bed."
Judge Wallace's conclusions, tn regard to the disclaimer and his summary of the case, are as follows:
The patent after the disclaimer is to be read exactly as though the recital had never been inserted. Thus read. it is clear that the claim covers the use of any coagulant having similar properties to the salts of iron. which was a recognized equivalent.
As thus construed, the infringement of the claim by the defendants is established, although they use alum as the coagulant instead of the salts of iron. In some of the plants of the corporation defendant settling tanks are used between the introduction of the coagulant and the filter-bed. In these plants the method of the patent is not appropriated, and there is no infringement.
The decree of the Circuit Court is affirmed with costs.

Of course, the decision applies to all companies or persons making or using mechanical filters in which alum or a similar coagulant is used.  Wherever the water receives the coagulant as it passes into the filter, the Hyatt patent is infringed, but if settling tanks are employed, in Judge Wallace's words, "there is no infringement."

1896 "Purification of City Water Supplies by Sand Filtration," by Frank J. Firth, Annals of Hygiene 11:329-340 (June 1896)

1896 "Purification of City Water Supplies by Sand Filtration," by Frank J. Firth, Water and Gas Review 7(6):8-11 (December 1896)

1896 Purification of City Water Supplies by Sand Filtration, by Frank J. Firth, O. H. Jewell Filter Company [This book was reprinted by Hanse in 2016 and despite the title is actually a reprint of the following 1897 publication by the Jewell company, which includes Firth's article.]

1897 The Jewell water filter gravity and pressure systems, by O.H. Jewell Filter Company

1898 Engineering News 39:37 (March 3, 1898)
The Consolidation of Two Mechanical Filter companies after several years of bitter conflict, as noted from time to time in this journal, has been effected as set forth in the following official statement:
Within the past few days, and as the result of the long and successful litigation of the New York Filter Manufacturing Co. against the Jewell filter, the O. H. Jewell Filter Co., of Chicago, Ill., has made settlement for its past infringements and taken a license under the Hyatt patent, by the terms of which it becomes the exclusive licensee under the Hyatt patent for all territory west of Pennsylvania, north of the Ohio River and west of the Mississippi River, including Tennessee and Kentucky. Hereafter the New York Filter Manufacturing Co. will confine its business to the eastern territory, and within that territory will supply the Jewell filter. The Morison-Jewell Filtration Co., of New York and Philadelphia, has likewise made a settlement, and is to retire from business. The New York Filter Manufacturing Co. has elected as its President, Mr. W. G. Warden, of Philadelphia, and as General Manager, Mr. Samuel L. Morison, heretofore Vice-President and General Manager of the Morison-Jewell Filtration Co. The emcee of the company will continue for the present to be located at 120 Liberty St., New York city.
In the some connection it may be noted that the Loomis filter, manufactured by the Loomis-Manning Filter Co., of Philadelphia, has been declared to be an infringement on the Hyatt patent, in so far as the use of alum is concerned. This declaration was made on Feb. 26, in connection with a preliminary injunction granted by Judge Lacombe of the United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York.

1898 "Filtration Companies Agreement," Fire and Water 23:76 (March 3, 1898)
Within the past few days, and as the result of the long and successful litigation of the New York Filter Manufacturing Company against the Jewell filter, the O. H. Jewell Filter Company of Chicago, Ill., has made settlement for its past infringements and taken a license under the Hyatt patent, by the terms of which it becomes the exclusive licensee under the Hyatt patent for all territory west of Pennsylvania, north of the Ohio river and west of the Mississippi river, including Tennessee and Kentucky. Hereafter, the New York Filter Manufacturing Company will confine its business to the eastern territory, and within that territory will supply the Jewell filter. The Morison-Jewell Filtration Company, of New York and Philadelphia, has likewise made a settlement, and is to retire from business. The New York Filter Manufacturing Company has elected as its president, Mr. W. G. Warden, and as general manager, Mr. Samuel L. Morison, heretofore vice-president and general manager of the Morison-Jewell Filtration Company.

1898 "Announcement," advertisement, Fire and Water 23:x (March 3, 1898)
The New York Filter Manufacturing Co. of New York and the O.H. Jewell Filter Company of Chicago respectfully inform the public that their respective companies will in future control the manufacture and sale of Gravity and Pressure Filters constructed under the Hyatt, Jewell and New York Filter Manufacturing Co's Patents.

1898 New York Tribune, March 4, 1898, Page 3.
After long and successful litigation, the New-York Filter Manufacturing Company has compelled the O. H. Jewell Filter Company, of Chicago, to take out licenses under the Hyatt patent.  An amicable arrangement has been made by which the former corporation confines its operation to Eastern territory, and the laater to a part of the West.  The Morrison Filter Company retires from business, and its head becomes a vice-president in the New-York company.  Meanwhile, the Loomis-Manning filter, of Philadelphia, has been found guilty of infringing the Hyatt patents, as least in so far as alum is used in their products.

1898 Report on the Investigations Into the Purification of the Ohio River Water: At Louisville, Kentucky, Made to the President and Directors of the Louisville Water Company, by George Warren Fuller

1899 Report of the Filtration commission: of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January, 1899

1900 Designs of Filter Plants, January 1900, New York Filter Manufacturing Company. | better pdf scan |
includes descriptions and drawings for Jewell filter plants in East Providence, RI; Norfolk, VA; Washington, DC; Providence, RI; Rome, GA: Pittsburg, PA; Lewiston, ME; Manchester Mills, Manchester, NH; Benwood, WV; Atlantic Mills, Providence, RI; Paris, France; Winschoten, Holland; and a Warren filter for Pittsburg, PA.

1901 "New York Continental, Jewell Filtration Co.," Fire and Water 29(9):75 (March 2, 1901)
New York, February 26, 1901. “Fire and Water,” Bennett Building, 99 Nassau Street, City.
Gentlemen: We have repeatedly had called to our attention the fact that Ira H. Jewell, of Chicago, Ill., represents himself as being identified with the Jewell Filter, and also represents himself as being backed financially by his father, O. H. Jewell, of the O. H. Jewell Filter company, of Chicago.  We called Mr. O. H. Jewell's attention to the matter, and he makes the following statement, which we wish you would give as prominent a place in your paper as you possibly can :
Chicago, Ill., February 20, 1901. To whom it may concern:
It having frequently come to my notice that Ira H. Jewell, my son, is representing himself as identified with the “Jewell Filter,” manufactured by the O. H. Jewell Filter company, and with myself as his financial backer. I find it necessary to state publicly that the said Ira H. Jewell has had no connection whatever with the O. H. Jewell Filter company since selling his stock interest therein over one year ago, and never with its successors in the filter business, the New York Continental Jewell Filtration company, nor has he any business relations with me of any description.
Any statements of his, or those of his representatives, that he is authorized to do business of any sort for the O. H. Jewell Filter company, or its successors, as above, are unqualifiedly false and without foundation.
Respectfully yours, (signed) O. H. Jewell, Western General Manager, N. Y. Continental Jewell Filter Co.
We would call attention to those interested to those interested in filters to the name of Ira H. Jewell's company, the I. H. Jewell Filter company, as it is so much like the O. H. Jewell Filter company as to be misleading.  The I. H. Jewell Filter company or the New York Continental Jewell Filtration company, nor with the Standard Jewell Filter, which we manufacture and well, and the patents of which we control.
Yours very truly, N. Y. Continental Jewell Filtration Company, Geo. E. Burroughs, Secretary.

1904 "Undue Credit to Wixford, says Bull," by W. B. Bull, The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30, 1908, Page 1. | Part 2 |

1906 "Jewell Filters in the Orient," Fire and Water Engineering 40(1):346 (July 7, 1906)

1907 Samuel Lord Morison, born in Baltimore, Maryland, October 28, 1851, died April 21, 1907 in London, England.  Grandson of Nathaniel Morison, who contracted to built water works in Natchez, Mississippi in 1817.

1907 Engineering News 57:582 (May 23, 1907)
Mr. Samuel L. Morison, President and General Manager of the Jewell Export Filter Co., died in London on May 21. Mr. Morison was born in Baltimore, Md., 56 years ago. He was a descendant of an old Maryland family. He graduated from Harvard in the class of 1873, and became a member of the firm of Gillies, Morison & Co., first representing the Philadelphia house of Morris, Tasker & Co. in New England, and later carrying on an independent business in the sale of water-works supplies. In 1879 Mr. Morison's firm purchased the brass works of Hayden, Geer & Co., and reorganized it as The Hayden Co. Other concerns were taken in, and the United Brass Co. was later formed. After ten years of successful work in the brass industry, Mr. Morison and his partner became interested in the new business of mechanical filtration, taking up first the exploitation in the East of the Jewell patents on mechanical filters. Mr. Morison soon became a prominent factor in the development of the mechanical filter business, and had an active part in several of the organizations which finally were merged in the New York-Continental-Jewell Filtration Co. After the business of mechanical filtration in the United States was placed on a firm basis, Mr. Morison's energies were enlisted in the development of the American mechanical filter for foreign countries. He organized and became president of the Jewell Export Filter Co., and has for several years been carrying on an extensive business in the introduction of mechanical filters in Europe and Asia. Large filter plants at Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt; Trieste, Austria; and in India, Russia, England and France, were carried out under his direction. The most important plant in the United States with whose construction Mr. Morison was intimately connected with that of Little Falls, N.J., which still remains the largest mechanical filger plant in the world.  Some three years ago Mr. Morison fell in an office building in New York and broke his ankle.  The fracture failed to heal property and has given constant trouble ever since, although it has not prevented him from continuing in active business.  He sailed from New York on the "Baltic" on April 10, but the old sound, which had been growing worse of late, finally caused blood poisoning, which resulted in his death.  Mr. Morison was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and of the University and Manhattan Clubs in New York City.

1907 "Death of Samuel L. Morison," Fire and Water Engineering 41(22):293 (May 29, 1907)
On May 21 Samuel L. Morison, president and general manager of the Jewell Export Filter company died in London, England, from blood-poisoning, the result of a fractured ankle. He met with the accident three years ago, when he fell in a New York office building. The healing process was never completed, and Mr. Morison was constantly suffering from it. He left New York on April 10, and in London the old wound grew worse till death ensued. Mr. Morison was born in Baltimore fifty-six years ago and graduated from Harvard University in 1873, after which he engaged in business in Philadelphia as a member of the firm of Gillies, Morison & Co., the sale of waterworks supplies chiefly engaging his attention. In 1879 he purchased and organised as the Hayden company, the brassworks of Hayden, Geer & Co., forming, in course of time, by uniting with other concerns, the United Brass company. After following that business for ten years, he engaged in that of mechanical filtration—a new industry in those days, and took up the Eastern rights of the Jewell patents on that type of filtration work. He was prominently associated for many years with the New York Continental Jewell Filtration company, after which he organised the Jewell Export Filter company for the development abroad of the American mechanical filtration system, which had by this time become firmly established in the United States and Canada. He was instrumental in building and installing mechanical filtration plants on a large scale at Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, Trieste, Austria, and in several cities in England, Russia and India. On this side of the Atlantic he was identified with the mechanical filtration plant at Little Falls, N. J., the largest of its kind in the world. Mr. Morison was a great favorite among waterworks men and was always a good friend to all with whom he was connected in business or socially.

1913 The New York Continental Jewell Filtration Company:

1938 "Developments of Rapid Sand Filtration to Increase Capacity," by Ira H. Jewell, Journal of the American Water Works Association 50(5):817-826 (Ma6 1938).

1941 "The three Jewells: Pioneers in mechanical filtration," by M. N. Baker, Engineering News Record 126:179 (January 30, 1941)

1948 The quest for pure water; the history of water purification from the earliest records to the twentieth century, by Moses Nelson Baker
Pages 217-223:  Three Jewells and Their Filters

1974 "A Study in Local Decision Making:  Pittsburgh and Sewage Treatment," George Peter Gregory, The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 57(1):25–42 (January 1974)

2015 Hydraulicians in the USA 1800-2000: A biographical dictionary of leaders in hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics, by Willi H. Hager
Page 2205:  Jewell


© 2020 Morris A. Pierce