Posts Tagged ‘patent’

More Patents for Carlisle Students

December 12, 2008

Some time back I wrote about Nicholas Longfeather being granted a patent in 1912. Now I have stumbled across three more former Carlisle students accomplishing this feat. The Balenti brothers, John, George and Michael, attended Carlisle. The boys were the offspring of a soldier, Mike Balenti, who was originally from Austria. Balenti was stationed at Ft. Reno and married a 17-year-old Cheyenne girl who lived nearby. Before her marriage she went by Cheyenne Bell (sometimes Belle). She had six children, three of whom didn’t go to Carlisle. Those who did attend Carlisle were known as excellent students. Mike was also known as a very good football and baseball player. He had the misfortune of being a quarterback when Frank Mt. Pleasant and Louis Island also played that position. Back to the patents.

In 1915 Mike and George Balenti filed a patent application for an “Attachment for Jumping Standards.” Patent number 1,193,972 was awarded to the brothers on August 8, 1916. “This invention relates to standards used for determining the hight of high jumps, pole vaults, or analogous athletic endeavors, and the primary object of the invention is to provide an attachment for standards of this nature, which will accurately record substantially the exact height of the jump.” The patent application can be seen at

In 1919 Mike and John Balenti applied for a patent for a “Pancake Machine.” The purpose of the machine was described as follows: “This invention relates to an improved pancake machine and the principal object of the invention is to provide a machine in which pancake dough may be mixed and held while being used, improved valve means and actuating means for the valves being provided for controlling passage of the pancake dough out of the outlet opening in the bottom of the receptacle or container.” The patent, which was awarded on December 28, 1920 can be viewed at

The high jump standard attachment looks too complicated to be of practical use but I swear I’ve seen the pancake machine in use in restaurants.


Nicholas Longfeather

July 1, 2008

Often while researching one topic I unexpectedly discover information about another. This happened again when I stumbled across a 1912 article that said a Carlisle Indian School alumnus was granted a patent and was the first American Indian to hold a patent. Nicholas Longfeather, Apache, studied forestry at Syracuse University after leaving Carlisle. The patent was said to cover “a preparation for doctoring trees.” The article also said that Nick was profitably engaged in his profession of forestry in a large southern city.

            This discovery whetted my appetite for more information about Mr. Longfeather. A couple of quick searches located some more information about him. A 1911 Atlanta Georgian article announced that the firm of Longfeather & Shepard, experts in forestry and landscape, as well as doctors of diseased trees, was opening an office in the Argyle Bldg at 345 Peachtree St. He was working on a project at the Adair estate and liked Atlanta so well that he was going to live there. The article also said that he was born in a  wigwam and had a most interesting history but did not share that history.

            The Adair estate meant Forrest Adair’s 15,082 sq ft mansion, 2,800 sq ft carriage house and swimming pool (the second one in Atlanta) on 15 acres of gardens and lawns in the new Druid Hills subdivision, the last one designed by Frederick Olmstead before his death in 1903. A February 1911 Syracuse Herald ad for Longfeather & Shepard described themselves as “CARLISLE AND YALE, EXPERTS IN forestry, landscape architecture” located at Syracuse University.

            According to Ford R. Bynum in Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford, Nick was brought up to analyze the condition of the trees at the Ford home, Fair Lane, in Dearborn, MI. Someone – a student perhaps – looking for an interesting project might want to research Nicholas Longfeather’s life.