Albuquerque, NM (February 2009) - Nationally distributed American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is proud to announce the issuance of US Patent No. 7,485,186 B2. While the company has additional patents pending, this patent relates to the earthen plaster formulation--created by CEO and co-Founder Croft Elsaesser--comprised of various clays, aggregates, and optionally fibers, and applications thereof. The patent was issued on Feb. 3, 2009, providing the company the right to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing their invention from that date. With this first patent under his belt, Elsaesser officially inherits the inventor title from his grandfather, Edward M. Sorensen, who held 21 patents and whose key creations are still in use today.
Being awarded a patent in the natural products plasters arena is rare, with a few related patents being issued between 1924 and 1932, and then not again until 2000, the most recent one prior to American Clay's. "Creating a greater focus within the natural products segment is an important goal, and I am excited to contribute to the growth," says Elsaesser. "I look forward to driving other innovations that will contribute additional natural solutions."
Both Elsaesser and his grandfather, Edward M. Sorensen, are products of their times and both saw what was missing and needed. Elsaesser began directing his energies to natural materials when he moved into home construction and plastering 13 years ago. Before creating American Clay, Elsaesser suffered from chronic headaches and breathing problems, symptoms of what experts started to realize was due to toxic substances in finishes, and finally dubbed "sick building syndrome". With the creation of the all-natural earth plaster, people could work (and live) in a healthy environment. Additionally, he wanted to create an easy-to-use and highly-consistent material. He applied for a provisional patent in 2002.
Sorensen held over 20 patents, the first of which were focused on sonar and radio remote control elements which propelled him in 1940 to create his own company: Sorensen & Co in Norwalk, CT. The government then was particularly interested in his 'Blind Landing Systems'--or radar--for use during World War II. His voltage regulator patent is still in use through Raytheon, as are the basics of his radio remote controls. He also created cathode tubes for RCA in 1944. When he died in June 1946 in a private airplane crash, his high-school educated wife Helen S. Sorensen took the company over, running it successfully for seven years. In 1947, she was named the Female Tycoon of the NY Metropolitan Area by Robert Rourk of the New York Herald Tribune. In 1951, Sorensen & Co. was awarded a $3.1MM contract by the U.S. Government and in 1953 sold it to a Swiss company and Raytheon bought it from them. The Sorensen & Co. name was kept till almost 1990.
"Croft's achievement is all the more wonderful because of this connection to my father's [Sorensen's] creativity and playful approach to 'stuff!'" says Carol Baumgartel, who is Elsaesser's mother, as well as American Clay co-Founder and VP of Marketing. "It's quite moving to know that both my Father and my son have given something to the world which enhances the quality of people's lives. My Father would be so proud."