Weinhagen began to develop safety measures which cleared his workshop from poisonous fumes. Along with that he originated what was known as the indestructible index, a trap which holds the mercury in suspense. His originations of other tools for the trade led him to develop several patents. One became his bane for a period in his life. In 1880 he developed the triangular magnifying clinical thermometer only to discover that an English patent had been filed three weeks prior to the filing of his application. This led to a lawsuit which left Weinhagen nearly penniless. Nevertheless he rose above this roadblock as well. He developed and patented other thermometer modifications in 1883, 1885 and 1894.
In 1885 the Weinhagen family was living at 254 Garden Street in Hoboken. (The original street address was designated as 254 Garden Street and continued to have that address until the late 1890s when it was redesignated as 612 Garden Street.) While living there, Henry Weinhagen developed a thermometer which could be read in a dark room. Most patients were shielded from daylight during the era. While in today’s digital world a thermometer which can be read in the dark might not seem amazing, but the clinical thermometer of Weinhagen’s day was difficult to read in the darkened sick rooms. For the remainder of his life, Weinhagen continued to develop his craft bringing his son, Henry Harper Weinhagen into the business.
By the time Henry Weinhagen sold his home, he was a widower. Despite his personal loss, he continued to succeed in business and in life. The American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record of 1897 heralded him as a man who was “intelligent, industrious, modest...and who has never learned the gentle art of lying.” The sale of the home where he recovered from a damaging law suit against his 1880 patent and where he devised many improvements in his industry was sold to yet another interesting buyer, Hoboken Land and Improvement Company. While there is much to say about that company and the evolution of Hoboken, there is no doubt that it impacted 612 Garden Street and transformed it to increase in value even to the present day.
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