10-Aug-87 19:48 MST Sb: APal 08/08 1215 SIS-Inventor's Mom By GARRY MITCHELL Associated Pr

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

10-Aug-87 19:48 MST Sb: APal 08/08 1215 SIS-Inventor's Mom By GARRY MITCHELL Associated Press Writer MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Mississippi inventor Joe Newman assembled supporters and lawyers for his continuing battle with the U.S. Patent Office for federal recognition of his homemade "energy machine." Against the odds, Newman claimed his invention was not properly reviewed when the patent office denied him a patent last year. The Bureau of Standards ruled the machine didn't work. But Newman has a suit pending against the patent office while going ahead with plans to build a plant to manufacture the machine he claims produces more energy than it consumes. "I'm running an ad in The Wall Street Journal next week seeking an underwriter," said Newman, a self-taught inventor in Lucedale, Miss. "He gets that from me," said his mother, Marguriette N. Davis of Mobile. She's talking about his stubborn resistance to officialdom. Mrs. Davis, 76, said she fought a four-year battle with the patent office and won. She received a patent in May 1972 for a concoction she claims treats "coughs, poor appetite and sluggishness" caused by heart worm infections in dogs. Mrs. Davis, a hunter and fisherwoman on the Gulf Coast, said she decided to develop the dog medicine while a member of the Alabama Fox Association. Dr. Ronald Jackson of St. Augustine, Fla., a veterinarian and recognized expert on heart worm, said he had never heard of Mrs. Davis' product, first known as At Last and later as Body Builder. Jackson said there is only one product that kills heart worm, Caparsolate. Dr. H.C. Morgan, associate dean of the veterinary school at Auburn University, said another product, Heartgard, recently was approved for heart worm treatment by the federal Food and Drug Administration. He remembers when Mrs. Davis attempted to market her product without FDA approval. "I kept a bottle for historical interest, a novelty item, and discarded the rest," Morgan said. "Anyone can patent anything if it hasn't been before." But he said there was action by the state veterinarian and the FDA to stop distribution of Mrs. Davis' product. Mrs. Davis' kitchen-chemistry mixture contains sulfur, sulfite, sulfate, calcium, ferrous sulfate (iron), magnesium sulfate, traces of arsenic and nicotine possible, traces of turpentine. Dr. J. Lee Alley, state veterinarian in Alabama, said dog owners "really need to consult their veterinarian before administering any nutritional medicine or treatment to their pets." Heart worm infection is particularly prevalent in the South's hot climate. Heart worm is a mosquito-borne disease that causes liver and kidney damage and heart failure in dogs, but can infect other animals. Newman, 51, and his mother also trace their inventive talents to other ancestors. Mrs. Davis' grandmother, Prudie Ladner, was a well known folk doctor in South Mississippi, according to historical reports. Newman's grandfather, Joseph Ladner, a prominent Mississippi timberman, mixed a homemade insecticide that farmers purchased to rid livestock and poultry of insects. "I lived with my grandfather and helped him package it. Farmers would trade him pigs for it," Newman recalled. He said Ladner passed the mixture down to Mrs. Davis who "made some improvements" in the mixture. Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank