Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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DAY, Horace H., manufacturer, born in 1813; died in Manchester, New Hampshire, 23 August 1878. He was a licensee under Charles Goodyear's rubber patents, which were granted in 1842, and identified with the India rubber trade from its inception. He was the exclusive licensee under the patents for the manufacture of shirred goods, which were subsequently found to be objectionable. Charles Goodyear, owner of the patents, brought suits against Mr. Day for infringement of the woven goods right, of the patent. Mr. Day instituted cross suits, and extensive litigation was the result. The most celebrated of all the suits was tried at Trenton, New Jersey, Daniel Webster appearing as counsel for Mr. Goodyear, and Rufus Choate for Mr. Day. Mr. Webster left, his seat in the U. S. Senate to try the case. He received $15,000 as a retainer, and his argument at the trial was regarded as one of his best. He won the case, and Mr. Day surrendered his license, transferred his factory and machinery to William Judson, a representative of Mr. Goodyear, and agreed to retire from the business for the sum of $350,000, and counsel fees amounting to $21,000 additional, all of which amounts were paid to him in 1862. Previous to this time Mr. Day had conceived the idea of utilizing the waterpower of Niagara falls. As early as 1856 he had discussed the subject in pamphlets and newspapers, and had organized a company, with himself as vice president, treasurer, and leading director. A canal was constructed at great cost, the estate of Walter Bryant alone expending $200,000. The canal began about half a mile above the falls, and terminated one fourth of a mile below them. It was 100 feet wide, with a depth of ten feet along its whole length. When Mr. Day bought the property the canal was not finished, and the Bryant estate had been exhausted in the enterprise. Mr. Day completed the canal, bought Grass Island for a harbor, and expended $700,000. But the work was sold out to satisfy mortgages in 1877. Mr. Day's next venture was the establishment of a mammoth rubber enterprise in New Jersey, but he received $40,000 to withdraw from it. His later speculations were unfortunate, his large fortune was gone, and he became comparatively poor.
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