1790 - Samuel Hopkins (Vermont) received first
U.S. patent for a process for making potash (used as an
ingredient in soap and fertilizer) and pearl ashes; granted for
a term of 14 years and signed by George Washington. Hopkins did
not get Patent #1 as thousands of patents were issued before the
Patent Office began to number them. Congress had passed the
Patent Act on April 10, 1790. Only two other patents were
granted that year - one for a new candle-making process and the
other the flour-milling machinery of Oliver Evans.
1836 - John Ruggles, of Thomaston, Maine,
received patent Number 1 from U.S. Patent Office for "Traction
Wheels" ("improvement or improvements on locomotive-engines used
on railroads and common roads by which inclined planes and hills
may be ascended and heavy loads drawn up the same with more
facility and economy than heretofore"); new system for numbering
patents (before Ruggles, 9,957 non-numbered patents issued);
Ruggles was Chairman of Committee on Patents of the U.S. Senate,
instrumental in patent law reform.
December 15, 1836 - The Patent Office
was completely destroyed by fire; estimated loss of 7,000
models, 9,000 drawings, 230 books; all written records lost.
29,1842 -The design patent, a new form of
patent, was authorized by Act of Congress. The first U.S. design
patent was issued for typefaces and borders to George Bruce of
New York City on November 9, 1842.
October 28, 1868 - Thomas Edison applied
for his first patent, electric vote recorder.
July 8, 1870 -
Congress enacted Federal Trademark Act 1870, first federal act
permitting registration of trademarks (without requirement of
use in commerce); based on patent and copyright clause of U. S.
Constitution (no requirement that trademark be used in commerce
which Congress could regulate);
October 25, 1870 - first U.S. trademark
registration granted to Averill Chemical Paint Company for a
logo (eagle perched on rock, "holding in his mouth a paint-pot,
or cannister, with a brush, and a ribbon or streamer on which
are the words Economical, Durable, Beautiful");
1879 - struck down
for exceeding powers granted by patent and copyright clause of
U. S. Constitution (Supreme Court ruled in Trademark Cases of
1879 that commerce clause in Constitution was sole
constitutional source of Congress's power to regulate
trademarks; ruled 1870 trademark law unconstitutional because it
failed to limit scope of trademark regulation to those used in
interstate commerce); March 3,
1881 - Congress enacted Trademark Protection Act
of 1881; targeted trademarks used in interstate commerce (and in
commerce with Indian tribes) based on interstate commerce clause
in U.S. Constitution (no provision for interstate commerce);
February 20, 1905
- Trade-Mark Act of 1905 superceded Trademark Act of 1881;
trademarks registered by U. S. Patent and Trademark Office;
July 5, 1946 -
Lanham Act (Trademark Act of 1946) passed; first substantial
revision of federal trademark legislation; required "use in
commerce" for federal trademark registration, expressly limited
to those marks used in commerce that Constitution grants
Congress power to regulate; 1996
- Dilution Act of 1996 further protected business interests;
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act signed into law,
governed trademark infringement through domain names on
1870 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an
"Improvement in Magneto Electric Machines"; object of his
improvement was to increase the effectiveness and cheapen the
construction of the revolving armature.
1876 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his
19, 1878 - Thomas Edison received a patent for his
January 27, 1880
- Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent
15, 1883 - Edison received a patent for his two-element
vacuum tube, the forerunner of the vacuum tube rectifier.
February 12, 1884 - Thomas A. Edison
several U.S. patents: "An Electric Generator or Motor,"
"Insulation of Railroad tracks Used for Electrical Circuits,"
"Incandescent Electric Lamp," and an "Electrical Meter."
August, 31, 1887 -
A. Edison received a patent for his ''Kinetoscope,'' a device
that produced moving pictures.
February 12, 1889
- Thomas A. Edison received two U.S. patents: "Method of
Winding Field Magnets," and a "Phonograph."
September 30, 1890
- Thomas A. Edison received a patent for telegraphy, for a
phonograph; for a phonograph-recorder; for a "Method of Making
Phonograph Blanks"; for a "Propelling Device for Electrical
Cars"; for a phonogram blank.
August 24, 1891 - Thomas Edison filed a patent for
motion picture camera.
16, 1892 - Thomas A. Edison received two U.S.
patents, for a "Converter System for Electric Railways" and a
"Commutator Brush for Electric Motors and Dynamos".
1, 1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on world's
first motion picture studio, in West Orange, NJ.
February 12, 1895
- Thomas A. Edison received several U.S. patents: "Filament
for Incandescent Lamps," "Induction Converter" and an
"Incandescent Electric Lamp."
January 22, 1907
- Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an "Apparatus for
Grinding and Separating Fine Materials".
August 20, 1912
- Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Phonographic
Apparatus," and for a "Storage Battery."
January 10, 1922
- Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a
Storage-Battery Electrode and the Production of Same.
(Bell), Roger Burlingame (1964).
Out of Silence into Sound; The Life of Alexander Graham Bell.
(New York, NY: Macmillan, 146 p.). Bell, Alexander Graham,
(Bell), Robert V. Bruce (1990).
Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude.
(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 564 p. [orig. pub.
1973]). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United
(Bell), James Mackay (1998).
Alexander Graham Bell: A Life. (New York, NY: Wiley,
p.). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United
(Bell), Charlotte Gray (2006).
Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for
Invention. (New York, NY: Arcade Pub., 480 p.). Bell,
Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United
States--Biography. Creation of device, projects pursued once his future secured.
(Edison), William A. Simonds (1934).
Edison; His Life, His Work, His Genius. (Indianapolis,
IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 364 p.). Edison, Thomas A.
(Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
(Edison), Eds. Reese V. Jenkins ... [et
The Papers of Thomas A. Edison: The Making of an Inventor :
February 1847-June 1873. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 4 vols.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva),
1847-1931; Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931
--Archives; Inventors--United States--Biography.
Thomas Alva Edison
(more than 1,000 patents)
(http://www.thomasedison.com/images/edisonportrait1883.jpg) Edison's October 18,
http://www.nytimes. com/learning/ general/ onthisday/bday/
(Electric Light), Francis Arthur Jones (1931).
The Life Story of Thomas Alva Edison. (New York, NY:
Grosset & Dunlap, 405 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva),
(Electric Light), Matthew Josephson (1959).
Edison: A Biography. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 511
p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
(Electric Light), Ronald W. Clark (1977).
Edison: The Man Who Made the Future. (London, UK:
Macdonald and Jane's, 256 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva),
1847-1931; Electric engineers -- United States -- Biography;
Inventors -- United States -- Biography.
(Electric Light), Robert Conot (1979).
A Streak of Luck. (New York, NY: Seaview Books, 565 p.).
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors -- United
States -- Biography; Electric engineers -- United States --
(Electric Light), Wyn Wachhorst (1981).
Thomas Alva Edison, an American Myth. (Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press, 328 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931;
Inventors -- United States -- Biography.
(Electric Light), Robert Friedel & Paul Israel
with Bernard S. Finn (1986).
Edison's Electric Light: Biography of an Invention. (New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 263 p.). Edison,
Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Incandescent lamps.
(Electric Light), Andre Millard (1990).
Edison and the Business of Innovation. (Baltimore, MD:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 387 p.). Edison, Thomas A.
(Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors--United States--Biography;
Businesspeople--United States--Biography. Series: Johns Hopkins
studies in the history of technology.
(Electric Light), Neil Baldwin (1995).
Edison, Inventing the Century. (New York, NY: Hyperion,
531 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors
-- United States -- Biography; Electric engineering -- United
States -- History.
(Electric Light), Paul Israel (1998).
Edison A Life of Invention. (New York, NY: Wiley, 552
p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva) 1847-1931;
(Electric Light), Robert Friedel and Paul
Edison's Electric Light: The Art of Invention.
(Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 248 p.[rev.,
Professor of the History and Technology of Science (University
of Maryland); Director and General Editor of the Thomas A.
Edison Papers at Rutgers. Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva),
1847-1931; Incandescent lamps --History; Inventors --United
States --Biography. September 1878 - Thomas Alva Edison prematurely proclaimed breakthrough invention of a
workable electric light; 1882 - successfully completed Pearl Street station
(New York City); not first to develop incandescent
light bulb, but most successful of all competing
inventions; how this came to be; full range of experiments: testing
of host of materials, development crucial tools (world's best vacuum pump, construction of first
large-scale electrical generators and power distribution
systems); keyed to printed, electronic versions of Edison Papers.
(TV), David E. Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher
Tube: The Invention of Television. (Washington, DC:
Counterpoint, 427 p.). Television--Receivers and
(TV), R. W. Burns (1998).
Television: An International History of the Formative Years.
(London, UK: Institution of Electrical Engineers, 661 p.).
Television--History; Television--Receivers and
reception--History; Television broadcasting--History.
(TV), Evan I. Schwartz (2002).
The Last Lone Inventor: Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of
Television. (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 322 p.).
Farnsworth, Philo Taylor, 1906-1971; Television--Biography;
Inventors--United States--Biography; Electric engineers--United
(TV), Daniel Stashower (2002).
The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television.
(New York, NY: Broadway Books, 277 p.). Farnsworth, Philo
Taylor, 1906-1971; Sarnoff, David, 1891-1971;
Television--History. Farnsworth against Sarnoff (RCA) -
Mark Bernstein (1996).
Grand Eccentrics: Turning the Century: Dayton and the Inventing
of America. (Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazer Press, 271
p.). Cox, James M. (James Middleton), 1870-1957; Kettering,
Charles Franklin, 1876-1958; Patterson, John Henry, 1844-1922;
Morgan, Arthur Ernest, 1878-1975; Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912.;
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948; Antioch College; Dayton
(Ohio)--Biography; Dayton (Ohio)--History.
David E. Brown; foreword by Lester C. Thurow;
introductions by James Burke (2002).
Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse.
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 209 p.). Inventions--United
States--History--20th century; Inventors--United
James Burke; with a new introduction by the
Connections. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 304 p.).
The Pinball Effect: How Renaissance Water Gardens Made the
Carburetor Possible, and Other Journeys Through Knowledge.
(Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co., 310 p.).
Roger Burlingame (1938).
March of the Iron Men; A Social History of Union Through
Invention. (New York, NY: Scribner, 500 p.).
Inventions--United States; Inventors, American; United
States--Civilization; United States--Economic conditions.
Machines That Built America. (New York, NY: Harcourt,
Brace, 214 p.). Inventions--History; Inventors--United States;
Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David
They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators from the Steam
Engine to the Search Engine. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown,
496 p.). Inventors--United States--History; Inventions--United
women who made America over two centuries, set America on course
to attain standard of living unprecedented in history of world.
Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden (1997).
Why Didn't I Think of That?: Bizarre Origins of Ingenious
Inventions We Couldn't Live Without. (New York, NY:
Wiley, 240 p.). Writer and business consultant, writer and
Edmund Fuller (1955).
Tinkers and Genius, the Story of the Yankee Inventors.
(New York, NY: Hastings House, 308 p.). Inventors--United
Brooke Hindle (1981).
Emulation and Invention. (New York, NY, New York
University Press, 162 p.). Director of the National Museum of
History and Technology (Smithsonian Institution).Technology
--United States --History; Steamboats --United States --History;
Telegraph --United States --History.
Thomas P. Hughes (1990).
American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological
Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. (New York, NY: Viking, 529 p.).
B. Zorina Khan (2005).
The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in
American Economic Development, 1790-1920. (New York, NY:
Cambridge University Press, 336 p.). Professor of Economics
(Bowdoin College). Intellectual property--Economic
aspects--United States--History; Copyright--Economic
aspects--United States--History; Patents--Economic
aspects--United States--History; Inventions--Economic
aspects--United States--History; Democracy--United
history of American patent, copyright institutions.
John H. Lienhard
How Invention Begins: Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New
Machines. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 288
p.). Retired Professor. Inventors--United States;
Inventions--History. Technology--United States--History. Nature
of invention. Reconciling ends of invention with individual leaps on which they
were built, vast web of individual inspirations that
lie behind whole technologies; way in which thousands of
people applied their combined inventive genius.
David Lindsay (2000).
House of Invention The Secret Life of Everyday Products.
(New York, NY: Lyons Press, 179 p.). Inventions--History;
Christine MacLeod (2008).
Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British
Identity, 1750-1914. (New York, NY: Cambridge University
Press, 458 p.). Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History
at the School of Humanities (University of Bristol). Inventors
--Great Britain --History --19th century; Industrial revolution
--Great Britain; Inventions --Great Britain --History --19th
century; Great Britain --Economic conditions --19th century;
Great Britain --Social conditions --19th century; Great Britain
--Economic conditions --18th century; Great Britain --Social
conditions --18th century. Why inventors rose to heroic stature
and popular acclaim in Victorian Britain; no
decline in industrial nation's self-esteem before 1914; inventors became figureheads of
various 19th-century factions who
deployed their heroic reputation to challenge
aristocracy's hold on power, militaristic national identity that
Steven J. Paley (2010).
The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and
Design. (New York, NY: Prometheus, 224 p.). Founder
of Arise Technologies, Inc., holds nine US patents and numerous
international patents. Engineering; Inventions.
invention (from paper clip to personal computer), creative
mental processes that drive innovation; how ideas come from
variety of sources; how intuition, harnessing
of subconscious information are key ingredients for inventive
process; three fundamental themes: 1) simplicity, 2) elegance,
3) robustness - how great inventions embody these crucial
Henry Petroski (1992).
The Evolution of Useful Things:
How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips
and Zippers-Came to be as They Are.
(New York, NY: Knopf, 288 p.). Professor of Civil Engineering,
History (Duke Univ.). Inventions, Patents, Industrial Design.
Inventors sought opportunity in things public didn't need.
Richard Ross (2005).
Patently Ridiculous: Scuba-Diving Dogs, Beerbrellas, Musical
Toothpaste, and Other Patented Strokes of Genius. (New
York, NY: Plume, 160 p.). Professor of Art (University of
California, Santa Barbara). Inventions--United States;
Holland Thompson (1921).
The Age of Invention; a Chronicle of Mechanical Conquest.
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 267 p.).
Inventions--History; Inventors--United States.
Abbott Payson Usher (1929).
A History of Mechanical Inventions. (New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill, 401 p.). Inventions--History; Machinery--History.
Stephen van Dulken (2001).
Inventing the 19th Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the
Victorian Age from Aspirin to the Zeppelin. (New York,
NY: New York University Press, 218 p.). Expert Curator in the
Patents Information Service of The British Library.
Inventions--History--19th century. Victorian age (1837-1901) history
of one hundred most important, innovative, memorable
inventions of 19th century.
American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and
Just Plain Useful Patents. (New York, NY: New York
University Press, 241 p.). Expert Curator in the Patents
Information Service of The British Library. Inventions--United
States--History; Patents--United States--History.
1911- 1999: number of registered
U.S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million; how patent
records reflect trends in history of United States.
Stephen Van Dulken; with an introduction by
Andrew Phillips (2000).
Inventing the Twentieth Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the
World: From the Airplane to the Zipper. (Washington
Square, NY: New York University Press, 246 p.). Expert Curator
in the Patents Information Service of The British Library.
Inventions--History--20th century. History of 100 of most
significant inventions of century, decade by decade.
Ethlie Ann Vare, Greg Ptacek (2002).
Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners: Stories of Women
Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas. (New York, NY:
Wiley, 220 p.). Women inventors; Women inventors--United
Jeffrey S. Young (1998).
Forbes Greatest Technology Stories: Inspiring Tales of the
Entrepreneurs and Inventors Who Revolutionized Modern Business.
(New York, NY: Wiley, 368 p.). Inventions--United
States--History; Inventors--United States--History; High
Engines of Our Ingenuity
The Engines of Our Ingenuity, radio program heard nationally on
Public Radio and produced by KUHF-FM Houston, tells the story of
how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and
hosted by John Lienhard (M.D. Anderson Professor Emeritus of
Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of
Houston). This web site houses the transcripts for every episode
heard since the show's inception in 1988. The program uses the
record of history to reveal the way art, technology, and ideas
have shaped us. Episode topics range from cable cars to Civil
War submarines, from the connection between Romantic poets and
Victorian science to the invention of the bar code.
Great Idea Finder
Created to promote the progress of science and useful arts by
providing a showcase for innovation. Our only mission is to
provide inspiration to the "inventor" in all of us.
Greatest Inventions the Evolution of Man
Inventions -- History | Inventors | Biography. This site covers
a number of popular inventions through history from the 15th to
the 20th century. Inventions include items from aspirin, blue
jeans, and the electric battery to Legos, the refrigerator, and
the zipper. Users can search by timeline, inventor, or
invention. useful. Topics are cross-linked and linked to
related sites and recommended books. There is also an
interactive section that allows browsers to further search the
site and learn through games, puzzles, facts, and tvrivia.
America, from the Microwave to the Mouse
Excerpts and supplements from Lemelson-MIT Program's 2001 book
"Inventing Modern America, from the Microwave to the Mouse"; celebrates the
best of American ingenuity and inventiveness; profiles
inventors of everyday objects such as Kevlar (inventor Stephanie Kwolek) and the electronic telephone switchboard (inventor Erna
Schneider); gives facts about some of these
inventors, furnishes color .pdf pages from the book, has
invention-related games such as "Which Came First?" (e.g., neon
or fluorescent lights?), discusses the Lemelson-MIT Program, and
gives links to other sites on innovation. One link is
to its companion site Invention Dimension; has an exciting
Inventor of the Week section and searchable archive along with
an Inventor's Handbook dealing with intellectual property,
patents, business plans, etc.
Inventions of Note: Sheet Music
"This sheet music collection consists of popular songs and piano
compositions that portray technologies (old and new alike) as
revealed through song texts and/or cover art." Technologies
include automobile, airplane, radio, and telephone, and most
items date from 1890-1920. A small number of entries include
sound files (such as "Kissing Papa through the Telephone").
Browsable by title. From the Lewis Music Library, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT).
National Inventors Hall of Fame
A not-for-profit organization that aims to recognize inventors
and invention everywhere, to promote creativity and to advance
the spirit of innovation. The National Inventors Hall of Fame
was established in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law
Patently Absurd!: Weird Patents, Useless
A collection of weird and strange patents from the United
Kingdom patent office. There are links to Serious information
about patents, including links to United Kingdom, Japanese,
World Intellectual Property Organization, and European patent
offices. - dl Subjects: Patents -- Himor.
Visual Timeline of Inventions
50 Best Inventions
TIME Magazine's picks for top innovations of 2008
- from genetic testing service, invisibility cloak, ingenious
public bike system to world's first moving skyscraper; Best
Inventions of 2007 - From iPhone (changed
phones forever), futuristic cars, building made of water, to a
remote-controlled dragonfly (http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1677329,00.html);
The Next Big Thing Is Us in 2006
The Most Amazing Inventions
The Sky's the Limit in 2004
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