COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS
FOR THE YEAR
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
Hardcover, 741 pages
I have seen a lot of U.S. Patent Reports in my time, and this volume of illustrations is surely one of the better 19th century ones. Not only because it contains patent illustrations of some famous patentees - Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, but also because it has so many interesting and unusual things in it- goods, devices, gadgets and machinery ranging from the ultra-simple to complex and even Rube Goldbergesque (well, pre-Rube Goldberg by many years) contraptions.
Thomas Edison has two patents in this book - #90646 - Electrographic Vote Recorder; #91527 - Printing Telegraphs. George Westinghouse - #88929 - an air brake system for railroad cars both passenger and freight, one of his most important inventions. Also, Henry Soggs of Columbus, Pennsylvania earned US patent #90966 for an ironing board resembling the modern type, with folding legs, adjustable height, and a cover.
It would take years to track down all the inventors and inventions patented in this report, as there are literally thousandfs of entries. I just went through the book to see what looked interesting. I noticed that there were many patents for Firearms, but did not spend the time to see how many were actually manufactured, or by whom. ( I did notice a Remington Firearms patent #86690, but I could not give you a model number, or tell specifically what it was for.) There are also numerous patents for Velocipedes (unicylcles, bicycles, tricycles, and even quadracycles) including the Laubach velocipede (#86235) which came to be known as the Pearsall velocipede after Laubach sold his patent to the Pearsall brothers, who operated New York City's first and most successful velocipede school. The New York Coach-Maker's Magazine, the Coach-Makers' International Journal, and the Eclectic Medical Journal all were profuse in their praise of this "most scientific velocipede." A number of these velocipedes or "Boneshakers" were undoubtedly manufactured, while others weren't, being too impractical or costly. But there was no doubt that interest in this vehicle was on the rise in 1869 as there are just so many different (proto)types in this book.
Other devices, gadgets, gizmos, machinery etc. include: Bird Cages, Cultivators, Steam Engines, Rotary Steam Engines and Steam Generators, School Desks, Diving Bell, Looms, Wrenches, Cigar Lighter, Gun Locks, Railway Car Couplers, Horse Hay Forks and Rakes, Knitting and Sewing Machines, Beehives, Water Wheels, Washing Machines, Dish Washing Machines, Hair Dryer, Ship Steering Apparatus, Wheelbarrows, Plows, Vapor Heaters, Corn Harvesters, Mop Wringers, Hoop Skirts, Lanterns, Portable Sectional House, Steam Press, Threshing Machines, Toy Row Boat, Grain Elevators, Harrows, Lamps and Lampshades, Teapots, Dental Jaw Brace, Refrigerators, Water Meters, Potato Diggers, Boots and Shoes, Boat Detaching Apparatus, Fire Extinguishers, Fire Hydrant, Paper Bag Machines, Ice Cream Freezers, Typographer, Stills, Potato Mashers, Toy Lady Walking Doll, Telegraph Apparatus, Stump Extractors, Toy Guns, Can Opener, Boat Propellors, Mowing Machines, Roller Skates, Parlor Games, Printing Presses, Perambulator, Pencil Sharpener, Life Preservers, Drilling Apparatus, Hat Press, Water Closets (toilets), Apple Parer and Slicer, Railway Switches, Steam Plow, Castanets, Electric Clock, Dental Plugging Instruments, Corsets, Swimming Apparatus (swim fins), Coffee Roaster, Spade Bayonet, Envelope Machine, Match Box, Step Ladder, Lathes, and many, many more.
The book also contains a 51 page Index to the Executive Documents of the House of Representatives of the United States of the Second Session of the Forty-First Congress.
This is a rather scarce volume, and copies of it tend to be expensive. Most of the very few copies available are still in the original binding which is no match for the modern library rebinding of this copy. A very interesting collectible.
BOOK DESCRIPTION/CONDITION: Ex-library with markings. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Rebound in blue library hardcover with titles in white on spine and white library catalog sticker with black lettering. Some few scuffs on cover but hardly any wear. Binding tight. Some few pages (from 721-740) have a small notch tear on the edge, but otherwise interior Very Good. 6" x 9 1/4" x 1 7/8"
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