Today in 1883, US Patent 286637 A was issued, an invention of Edward Fitch, for his “Beer Chip.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
My invention consists in a “beer-chip,” so called, for clarifying the beer, which is perforated for the purpose of increasing its superficies and allowing a-circulation of liquid, the holes extending in parallel rows with those of the other, one row alternating with those of the other, so as to least weaken the article; also, in producing a roughened splintery edge on the veneer by breaking or splintering the same.
Heretofore beer-chips have been cut to a certain width by means of saws, knives, or shears, which gives the chip a comparatively smooth, edge,to which no particles in the beer will adhere, confining the clarifying functions to be performed solely through the surfaces of the chip. Should, as sometimes happens, two chips lie one upon the other, (which is never the case with the edges of a chip,) the surfaces of such chips, and consequently the chip itself, will be inoperative and useless as a clarifier in the vat. In order to meet this deficiency and increase the clarifying properties of the chip in general,l make the edges of the chip splintery. as shown in Fig. 2. Amore minute description of forming such splintery edges in the chip is given hereinafter. It will be seen and admitted that to the splintery edges of a chip impurities in the beer will readily ad here and be retained until cleansed and removed by the action of the water in the re= by subjecting the wood or veneer to the action of a pair of cutting-rolls. The wood or veneer is passed through the said-cutting-rolls, is wedged between the male and female cutters, which breaks or slits the veneer into chips, producing the desired splintery edges on the chips.