Posts Tagged ‘Patents’
Ladies and Gentlemen: Context-Free Patent Art (“Art from people who aren’t artists, randomly culled from a wealth of video game-related patents.”)
[TotH to I Love Charts]
As we marvel at the creativity of the clicking class, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that the U. S Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 2,636,176 to Howard C. Rossin for an overcoat for two people (or Siamese Twins).
From Donna Kossy and her Hysterical Patents, a selection of “unusual patents from the collection of a deceased patent attorney”; e.g.,
Inventor: Bernard H. Nichols, Ravenna, Ohio
Date: May 20, 1913
U.S. Patent Number: 1,062,025
Description: Hat to prevent premature baldness. The hat is “adapted to fit upon the head in such a manner as not to interfere with the free circulation of blood to the scalp, and at the same time so constructed as to be worn without discomfort, and without causing a temporary unseemly marking on the forehead or scalp of the wearer where it comes in contact therewith, when the hat is removed.”
More human ingenuity at its most unrestrained at Hysterical Patents. (Thanks to reader SS for the lead!)
As we muse on the “intellectual” in “intellectual property,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1661 that the body of Oliver Cromwell– leader of the Roundhead “New Model Army” that defeated Royalist forces in the English Civil War, and subsequently the Lord Protector of the short-lived Commonwealth of England– was exhumed (he’d died of natural causes two years earlier) and ritually beheaded– on the anniversary of the 1649 execution and beheading of the king, Charles I, he’d overthrown.
Cromwell’s death mask (source)
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland
Today we remember Peter Barlow (1776-1862) for his mathematical tables, the Barlow Lens, and Barlow’s Wheel (1822). Electric current passes through the wheel from the axle to a mercury contact on the rim. The interaction of the current with the magnetic field of a U-magnet laid flat on the baseplate causes the wheel to rotate. Note that the presence of serrations on the wheel is unnecessary.
Thomas Greenslade, a professor emeritus at Kenyon, has a passion for the devices that have been used over the years to teach the principles of physics. Happy for us, he is willing to share: there are hundreds of fascinating exhibits like the one above at “Instruments for Natural Philosophy.”
As we sit back under our apple trees, we might recall that it was on this date in 1790 that the first U.S. patent statute was signed into law by President Washington. Although a number of inventors had been clamoring for patents and copyrights (which were, of course, anticipated in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution), the first session of the First Congress in 1789 acted on none of the petitions. On January 8, 1790, President Washington recommended in his State of the Union address that Congress give attention to the encouragement of new and useful inventions; and within the month, the House appointed a committee to draft a patent statute. Even then the process worked slowly: the first patent issued under this statute was signed by George Washington– on July 31, 1790, for Samuel Hopkins’ process to make potash and pearl ash.
It’s some measure of the power of IP to create value that, on this date in 1849, Walter Hunt of New York City was issued Patent No. 6,281– the first U.S. patent for a safety pin. Strapped for cash, Hunt spent three hours on his invention, filed, then immediately sold the rights for the $400 that he needed.