Manitowoc Steam Boiler Works v. Manitowoc Glue Co.

120 Wis. 1, 97 N.W. 515 (1903)



He who makes an entire contract can recover no pay unless he performs it entirely and according to its terms.


The purchaser operated a glue factory and required a large amount of steam in its operations. After concluding that its boiler could not supply an adequate amount of steam, it contracted with the manufacturer for the construction of a larger boiler with significantly greater capacity. After the new boiler was installed, it became apparent that it actually had less capacity than the old boiler. Attempts to modify it were unsuccessful, and the purchaser refused to pay the contract price. The manufacturer initiated an action on the contract, and the trial court awarded judgment in favor of the manufacturer for the contract price.


Should the purchaser pay the contract price?




The court reversed that judgment and held that the purchaser had never accepted the boiler despite the fact that it used the boiler in its operations. The court noted that the manufacturer's performance did not even approach substantial performance of the contract and that the purchaser was entitled to a dismissal of the action.

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