Herbert L Merrick Biography

Born April 16, 1873
Brooklyn, New York
Died May 2, 1938 (age 65)
Passaic, New Jersey
Nationality American
Occupation Founder of Merrick Scale Manufacturing Company,
Mechanical Engineer,
Religion Christian,
Member of the Reformed Church of Passaic, New Jersey
Spouse Katherine A. Selleck
Children Alice E. Dougherty
Parents Charles Merrick,
Anna Marie Pinkham

Herbert Lansing Merrick (April 16, 1873- May 2, 1938) pioneered the continuous weighing and metering industry for bulk materials. He was a mechanical engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and founder of the Merrick Scale Manufacturing Company. The company has been in continuous operation since 1908, currently doing business as Merrick Industries, Inc. Herbert Merrick developed the first dynamic weighing device, the conveyor belt scale, which automatically weighs and records all kinds of materials as they pass along a moving belt. Serving a broad spectrum of industries, Merrick became the leader in bulk material weighing and control technology. Merrick contributed towards the industrial revolution from batch to continuous processes by providing rugged and practical, yet precise and accurate, continuous weighing and feeding machines for process control. As an inventor, Merrick received 21 U.S. patents for weighing apparatus along with three United Kingdom and two Canadian patents. A summary of Merrick’s many related patents is listed below.

Although Merrick held several engineering positions, most notable was with Robins Conveying Belt Company of Passaic, New Jersey, pioneers in the engineering and manufacturing of belt conveyors to transport materials of all description in power plants, quarries, mines, ship loading, and many other industries.  It was at this time, Merrick studied and recognized the worldwide need to weigh and record the weight of any material transported on belt conveyors, bucket conveyors, cable railways, and for any other transportable requirement.  He then proceeded to obtain his first unique patent, conceived in 1908 for the world’s first conveyor scale, the Merrick Weightometer, to record the weight of any type material in transit.

Weightometer Biography

Production began in the same year in an old buggy whip factory located on the edge of Second Wark Park in Passaic, New Jersey.  Merrick moved the plant to a building in the rear of what was the Lexington Avenue, Y.M.C.A., then to 184 Autumn Street.

184 Autumn Street Biography

Family Atmosphere

Merrick was a quiet mild-mannered person, extremely kind and benevolent in nature.  He instituted family-oriented company Christmas parties in the mid-1920’s.  He also recognized employees with annual bonuses and vacation holidays based on length of service, loyalty, conduct, and ability.

Biography Office Christmas Party

During this era, it was also customary for many employees to receive an invitation during the summer from Merrick, to sail on his yacht, “The Shagwong”, for a day.  The sail was made from the Hackensack River, New Jersey to all points around the Island of Manhattan.  His family-type characteristics manifested throughout the company culture.

Later Career
In mid 1930’s, the most important addition to the product line, the Feedoweight Weighbelt Feeder, was developed and patented by Merrick in response to customers’ need for a more accurate and reliable device to blend and control the metering of bulk materials by weight rather than by volume.  The Feedoweight was particularly suited for the cement industry.  The Company remains a driving force in advancement of dynamic weighing and material handling technology with a full line of custom-engineered solutions.
Feedoweight Biography
Herbert L. Merrick passed away May 2, 1938 after an illness of several months. He is buried at Laurel Grove Memorial Park.  Merrick was the organizer and president of the company for 30 years.  He left a heritage of love, loyalty, compassion, benevolence, and ingenuity to his family, friends, employees, and business associates, long to be remembered by all who had come to know him.  While Merrick lived and enjoyed distinct satisfaction and happiness in the invention and success of the Merrick Weightometer, the first prime product, for many years, he lived only a matter of two years to enjoy the advent of an equally important second prime product, the Merrick Feedoweight, knowing of its great potential to all industries, as well as the future growth of the Merrick Company.
Herbert L. Merrick’s United States Patents
 Patent Issue Date
Patent Number  Patent Description
 April 12, 1910  954,869  Integrating Device
 April 12, 1910  954,870  Integrating Device
 February 20, 1912  1,018,068  Automatic Weigher
 June 6, 1916  1,186,218  Continuous Weighing Apparatus
 September 18, 1923  1,468,490  Electromagnetically Operated Counter
 December 16, 1924  1,519,151  Weighing Mechanism
 December 16, 1924  1,519,383  Weighing Mechanism
 August 18, 1925  1,550,569  Combined Weighing and Hoisting Apparatus
 September 15, 1925  1,553,788  Weighing Mechanism
 May 18, 1926  1,584,884  Dashpot
 October 12, 1926  1,602,831  Weighing Mechanism
 February 8, 1927  1,616,503  Weighing Mechanism
 September 6, 1927  1,641,448  Material-Feeding Means
 December 13, 1927  1,652,178  Weighing Mechanism
 December 4, 1928  1,693,701  Recording Means
 May 22, 1934  1,959,873  Continuous Weighing Apparatus
 July 16, 1935  2,008,030  Weighing and Material Feeding Means
 March 9, 1937  2,073,246  Integrating Means
 April 14, 1942  2,279,475  Material Feeding Means
 June 9, 1942  2,285,675  Integrating Means
 July 16, 1942  2,286,297  Integrating Means
   Great Britain Patents
 October 15, 1908  GB190805286 (A)  Integrating Apparatus
 April 26, 1923  GB196527 (A)  Improvements in Weighing Mechanism
 May 3, 1928  GB289632 (A)  Material Feeding Means
   Canadian Patents
 October 5, 1943  CA415639 (A)  Integrating Means
 October 5, 1943  CA415638 (A)  Material Feeding Means



1. Schempp, Ed (1983). Merrick Scale Manufacturing Company: 75th Anniversary.

2. Scott, William W. (1922). History of Passaic and Its Environs:Historical-Biographical. (Vol. 3, p.17) New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co.

3. Unknown (1938). Herbert L. Merrick Obituary. Passaic News Herald. May, 2 1938.


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