Innovative ideas merit patent protection
Two family members, Herbert Daust of St. Louis, Mo., and Herman Landman of Kansas City, Mo., successfully obtained U.S. patents for inventions of their own design.
Herbert Daust had been born in St. Louis in 1892, but immigrated to Berlin, Germany, as a teenager when his parents, Adolf and Henriette Daust, returned to their native country in or around 1905.
In Berlin, Herbert was in the shoe manufacturing business from around 1914 until 1935. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, he returned to St. Louis and was employed by the Wizard Co., 4060 Forest Park Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., in 1937. That same year, he was awarded a U.S. patent for the design of a shoe-cleaning buffer.
A different inventor's 1972 patent for a shoe-shine box cited Herbert's 1937 shoe-cleaning buffer as an early similar device.
In later years, Herbert established the Daust Mfg. Co., 1521 Washington Ave., St. Louis, Mo., which made diaper bags and other items. In 1951, he received a patent for a combined baby bib and bottle holder, a design that he improved upon with another design that was patented in 1953.
A 2005 patent by another inventor of a bib bottle holder cited Herbert Daust's two patents as the earliest such examples of this kind of a product.
In 1953, Herbert patented a design for an insulated handbag intended for "carrying articles of infant care, such as diapers and nursing bottles, when traveling or away from the home." In 1958, Herbert received another patent for an improved, more insulated handbag for the same purpose.
In 1959, a Los Angeles woman, Frances P. Syracuse sued Daust Manufacturing Co., alleging Daust had violated her patent for a similar diaper bag that she claimed to have first made in 1946 and was granted a patent for in 1950. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri ruled against the plaintiff, and the decision was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit.
Several later patents for diaper bags by other inventors cited Herbert's 1950s patents.
Herman Landman was born in Romania in 1870 and immigrated to the United States in 1887. Over the years he was engaged in a variety of occupations. The 1895 Kansas state census identified him as a merchant, but in July 1896, the Kansas City Journal reported that his store at 1217 Grand Ave., Kansas City, Mo., had failed, so it is clear that he was not always successful in business. In July 1899, the Kansas City Journal mentioned that he was running a street stand at 919 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., when he reported to police that four small boys had stolen three dozen pocket knives and ran away before he could summon police.
In the 1900 census, he was listed as a jewelry merchant living at 726 Pacific St., Kansas City, Mo. The 1910 census indicated he was an optician living at 1811 31st St., Kansas City, Mo. In 1920, he was listed merely as a salesman lodging at 315 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Mo. He was generally known to have earned his living as a salesman of toys and novelties, including some of his own invention. He operated concessions at fairs and meetings and, in later years, managed an apartment building.
In 1903, he obtained a U.S. patent for an adjustable collar button "which may be shortened when used at the back of the neckband and lengthened for use at the front of the neckband, where there are a greater number of folds" of cloth.
Herman also invented devices that could be used to create ice cream sandwiches. He received a 1918 patent for a combined ice cream dipper and molder "from which the slice of [ice] cream can be instantly extracted and placed between waffles to form an ice cream sandwich, or into a box or dish without the cream coming into contact with the operator's hands."
In 1926, Herman received a patent for a similar device that had the added advantage of having parts that could be "quickly and easily removed to facilitate the thorough and quick cleansing of all of the parts."
Later patents by other inventors of more complex food dispensing devices made reference to Herman Landman's 1926 patent.
Experienced amateur genealogist Martin Fischer is available to conduct freelance family history projects including searching online databases, creating family trees, editing memoirs and developing genealogical Web sites. For more information, go to http://www.the-efa.org/, click on find a freelancer, and type Martin Fischer in the search box, or go to http://www.apgen.org/, click on search by name, and type Fischer and Martin in the search boxes.