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Is patent number US4553576 still active, or available? What are the contact numbers if any?

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Patents issued before June 8th, 1995 for the most part expire 17 years after the grant date (see this Wikipedia article). In this case, the patent was granted on Nov. 19th, 1985 and would have expired Nov. 19th, 2002. You should be free to use the invention as described in the patent. As for contacting the inventor, you can try looking at the US Public Pair site which may have a correspondence address for the patent's attorney, but this is an old patent and the contact info may not be current. I checked for you and the attorney is listed as:

J.WARREN WHITESEL
LAFF, WHITESEL, CONTE & SARET 
CHICAGO IL 60611

It is quite possible the attorney has retired but perhaps the firm is still in business. In any case, you can also try googling the inventor or assignee.

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