This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If one of the parties is able, ready and willing to perform, gives notice to the other of that fact and demands performance, this is sufficient to put the other in default if performance is refused.1 Mere readiness and willingness to perform without present ability is not sufficient.2 A and B entered into a contract whereby each was to furnish a machine for making shingles and B was to furnish the power; A was to operate the machines and B was to pay him for all shingles manufactured. A furnished a machine which was levied upon by his vendor for the unpaid purchase price and removed. A's willingness and readiness to perform were held not sufficient if he was unable to furnish the machine.3 An offer to convey the thing agreed upon, such as a patent right,4 is, if refused, enough to put the adversary party in default. So if A, who has agreed to furnish to B all the tin cans used in B's factory for a year, is unable on B's demand to furnish cans needed, B does not violate the contract by buying cans elsewhere.5 Under a contract whereby a railroad company agrees to furnish a certain amount of grain annually for storage at a certain elevator, the elevator company must be ready and willing to store such grain in order to put the railroad in default; and if it is not able to store the grain tendered, the railroad is discharged from tendering the amount agreed upon.6 Under a contract to construct a creamery and cold-storage building to be built under a certain patent, and to furnish a patent deed from the owner of the patent conveying all rights thereunder, delivery or tender of such patent deed must be made before the contract price can be recovered.7
1 Delaware Trust Co. v. Calm, 195 N. Y. 231, 88 N. E. 53; Rosenthal Paper Co. v. National Folding Box & Paper Co., 226 N. Y. 313, 123 N. E. 766; Ink v. Rohrig, 23 S. D. 548, 122 N. W. 594.
2 England. Jones v. Barkley, 2 Dougl. 684.
Alabama. Saunders v. McDonough, 191 Ala. 119, 67 So. 591.
Connecticut. Nothe v. Nomer, 54 Conn. 326, 8 Atl. 134.
Delaware. Houston v. Spruance, 4 Har. (Del.) 117.
Massachusetts. Scanlan v. Geddes, 112 Mass. 15.
Michigan. Miller v. Smith, 140 Mich. 624, 103 N. W. 872.
Missouri. Curtis v. Sexton, 201 Mo. 217, 100 S. W. 17.
Ohio. Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 O. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361. 55 N. E. 214; George Wiedemann Brewing Co. v. Maxwell, 78 O. S. 54, 84 N. E. 595.
Vermont Cobb v. Hall, 33 Vt. 233.
3 McEachran v. Grand Trunk Ry., 115 Mich. 318, 73 N. W. 231; Atchison T. & S. F. Ry. v. Foster Lumber Co., 31 Okla. 661, 122 Pac. 139.
1 Adams v. Turner, 73 Conn. 38, 46 Atl. 247; Frenzer v. Dufrene, 58 Neb. 432, 78 N. W. 719.
2 Leek Milling Co. v. Langford, 81 Miss. 728, 33 So. 492.
3 Leek Milling Co. v. Langford, 81 Miss. 728, 33 So. 492.