William Ruel Zollinger

Failed Inventor, Sanduski, Ohio, 1855 - 1922

William Zollinger started out his professional life as a newspaper reporter for the "Sandusky Register", and later he was a 1st Sergeant in the Sandusky Light Guard. He became the owner of the "W. R. Zollinger" Department Store on Market Avenue in Sanduski, which had opened in 1900. He was a member of the Trinity Methodist Episcopalian Church. He died of a heart attack at the Canton club, and he had an elaborate masonic funeral with services in his home.

The story is told that his janitor came into William Zollinger's office at the department store one day, to tell him that he had invented a cleaning machine. He was then offering his employer to buy the patent and the prototype that he had built. William however was not impressed at all, and rejected the offer. The janitor then decided to sell the patent to somebody else, and in the end the patent was purchased by a Mr. Hoover.

Reference: "The History of Erie County", OH. ,1889, Aldrich, pg. 385-388.

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