|Harmon S. Palmer 1905|
An exponential annual increase in cement demand and production after 1890 ensured a ready market for block machines. In response to many competing machines flooding the market, Palmer aggressively protected his patents, suing anyone infringing on them. Many Harmon S. Palmer Hollow Building Block Co. advertisements threatened competing manufacturers, their customers, and even the owners of buildings built with other block machines. It appears that he moved to Washington DC to better prosecute his legal claims. When he won a key lawsuit, he was unprepared to meet anticipated demand and contracted with another machine manufacturer in 1906. Later the same year, he lost on appeal because other designs existed before his. He never regained his initial lead with block machines.
Harmon S. Palmer was born 9 Mar. 1843 in Michigan, and died 1 Mar. 1931 in Washington DC. He and his wife Nellie E. had sons Floyd and Clyde. The sons lived with their parents, didn't marry, and worked for the business. In 1910 Palmer lived at 1450 Girard St., originally named Binney St. While that house is gone, across the street a stately double house is built with his blocks.
|Harmon S. Palmer advertisement, 1904|
|US cement production 1890-1908|