The Turn Of The Century Electrotherapy
Antonio Longoria - Inventor of Violet Ray Machines,
Death Rays, and Welding Apparatus
Many thanks to Alastair Wright for bringing this mysterious article to my attention. I recognized immediately who it must be -
an obscure name in Violet Ray history that showed up alongside Tesla in the press for inventing a "Death Ray". Longoria patented
early Rogers Violet Rays and then started "Sterling Laboratories" in Cleveland. Must have been an interesting character!
This makes a nice compliment / constrast to the work of Monico Sanichez, spanish X-Ray inventor also featured on this website!
Modern Mechanix - Sept 1934
Popular Science, Feb.
Born in Madrid 46 years ago, Antonio Longoria attended Spanish schools, got a degree in engineering and a doctorate in medicine. In 1911 he arrived in the U. S., fonder of tinkering with machines than with people. Settling in Cleveland, he married, fathered three children, became president of Sterling Electrical Co. Now he is a free-lance consultant and inventor, has a small laboratory in his apartment. Dr. Longoria does not believe that showmanship does an inventor any harm.
Two years ago President Albert Burns of the Inventors' Congress declared that he had seen pigeons, rabbits, dogs and cats killed at a distance by a "death ray" which dissolved red blood corpuscles. The inventor, said President Burns, was Dr. Antonio Longoria (TIME, July 23, 1934).
As a serious means of turning his ingenuity to profit, Dr. Longoria approached the problem of welding fine wires. In making paper on Fourdrinier machines, belts are used made of wire mesh in which the wires are only about .01 inch in diameter. To make long belts, sections of screen must be joined together. Arc welding or flame welding with a torch would be cheap and convenient, but it is impracticable because if the heat is applied an instant too long, the soft brass or bronze is burned and the seam ruined. In the Longoria device the weld is made with a small needle projecting from an insulated handle. When the needle is lifted from the seam, current stored in three condensers is discharged, a spark jumps the gap and just the right amount of heat is delivered to make a good seam. On this apparatus and process Dr. Longoria was granted U. S. Patents Nos. 1,972,529 and 1,972,530. The method was respectfully discussed last March in The Welding Engineer.
Longoria sold his process to Yoder Co. of Cleveland for an unannounced sum. Then Bridgeport (Conn.) Brass Co. raised indignant howls, claimed that the inventor had verbally contracted to sell the process to it for $600,000. In Cleveland last week Bridgeport Brass Co. was suing in Federal court to prevent the deal with Yoder Co. from bearing fruit.
In Manhattan last week Inventor Longoria turned up with a photostatic copy of a check for $800,000, allowed newshawks to get the impression that his welding was done by means of an "invisible ray," that the total profit from his invention would run to $6,000,000. He admitted that the process had been developed for use on fine wires, but felt it could be extended to handle much heavier work and exhibited pieces of welded metal ⅜ in. thick.
"The purchase of the welding process," said he, "does not mean that industry is to be altered at once. . . . Where I have been paid in a handful of millions, industry, particularly the steel industry, is saving countless millions by not having to scrap an enormous amount of equipment. ... I have no illusions as to why my patents were bought: not to change the industrial world, but to keep it at a status quo."