W2683 TO CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his brother Isaac B. McQuesten
Mar 30 1885
To: [New York]
From: Hamilton, Ont.
My dear Brother
Yours of 27th inst. is just to hand as I will be away tomorrow it is better to answer at once. I do so by sending you order in blank as fast as I can make it. You have the patents and so can fill them in the space left. I think once you need to in the No. & date in figure & the name or style of Patent as on the back. The date I have left blank as you may wish to auto date it which is perfectly proper to do. I also send by seperate letter all the correspondence from Dunn pronto & subsequent to my visit of Oct. of 1883 to N.Y as it all bears on the matter. You may have a few idle hours when you are taking your break & at your leisure it could do no harm to go over them.
As briefly as possible I will try & give you an idea of what took place Between Dunn & myself. It commenced with the Car Coupler.1 In that were John Alanson & Dunn along with myself; as also in the seal lock. Alanson finally--I am speaking from memory--transferred his interest to Dunn, Harvey & myself. As to these two if much of anything came out of them I should feel under an obligation to share--though by no means equally--with Harvey. The Saw Sett & other patents no one except Dunn & I has ever had to do with. H. [Harvey] talks about him & money2 I do not think Dunn had a dollar from any source but these patents in the first place from and then later on provide of sale of [band saw] setts. In the first instance he was not under an obligation to give time except when called upon. When he went into these later under taking with us he understood to do anticipate then that he would get back the money & a large margin of profit legend. These arguments were not reduced to writing. I felt there was no value in doing so. If self-interest did not prompt him to carry them out there could be no value in trying to force him to give service, unwilling ones would be worse than none atall [sic].
So far back as four years ago at least & I think further I would have [??] advancing him a dollar except in the understanding he would use every effort, & give his entire time to the pushing of those patents And when he first began manufacturing the saw-sett at Buffalo he distinctly promised he would not spend a moment thinking or working on any new patentable device. This I do not think he will for one moment deny. He has always admitted it to us and stated that to be the reason why, funding whole sale of the former patents or would recoup at outlay he was bound to take out anything he did invent in my name & rely on my [mailing??] him equitables if anything came out of it. As to the last years doings you have the agreement which he sent me and which speaks for itself. There he undertaken to get certain figures as set out by him.3 of course I have lost all confidence in his integrity. It is for you just to see how far self-interest will prompt him to be of any value. I have always believed & do still that with just the right man there is value in that saw-sett. I have seen so many things of not half nor a hundredth part the mechanical value that palmed off on the public. That is not a hum bug [sic]. But I don't believe Dunn is the man to handle it or anything else, & I told him so long ago. Of course if anything can be made I shall be only too pleased to have you have the full benefit of it. As far as possible it seems to be I have answered the items of your letter if any other points omitted let me know, & if the dates are before me will answer at once.
All are well at home, wrote you at length last week. If only the lesson can be learned that one interested to be taught by everything that happens in this life there in the end we will see why it would not be well that the crook in the lot showed he made straight until life is ended.
Yours as ever
1 Isaac had invested money in Dunn's machine patents, but Dunn never sold his patents for much profit. In 1883 Dunn agreed to repay Isaac $600 in loans within six months or else turn over his patents, models and other materials as repayment, and since Isaac and Calvin Brooks are always pushing to get the models and patents, it is likely that Dunn was unable to repay the money. See W2554a for more on Dunn.
2 Isaac was very heavily involved with a textile mill in Hespeler Ontario with John Harvey as well as with Dunn's patents although the two ventures appear to be quite separate. This statement is one of the very few indications we have that Dunn and Harvey may have been acquainted. However, it is by no means certain that the two men were ever involved in each other's businesses.
3 This refers to the agreement Dunn made to repay Isaac. See footnote #1.