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Manny & Company

City: Rockford

County: Winnebago

State: Illinois

In 1855, the Rockford manufacturing firm of Manny & Company was established, consisting of partners John H. Manny, Wait Talcott, Sylvester Talcott, Jesse Blinn, and Ralph Emerson, Jr. It succeeded the earlier partnership of J. H. Manny & Company, which had been formed the previous year by Manny and the Talcott brothers. The firm produced a reaper of Manny’s design. In 1855, Cyrus H. McCormick sued Manny & Co. for patent infringement. Abraham Lincoln was retained as a defense attorney on the case, but his fellow defense attorneys Edwin M. Stanton and George Harding blocked his participation in the trial. The case was decided in favor of Manny & Co. in the U.S. Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois in January 1856. Manny died very shortly thereafter, before McCormick appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. By 1857, the firm of Talcott, Emerson & Company was calling itself the successor to Manny & Co.

Charles A. Church, History of Rockford and Winnebago County Illinois (Rockford, IL: W. P. Lamb, 1900), 321-24, 340; Portrait and Biographical Record of Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Biographical, 1892), 1016-17; McCormick v. Talcott et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=137741; McCormick v. Talcott et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=137742; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 6 April 1857, 2:5.