The X-Patents

Patent1A post from student blogger Nicole

So I stumbled across the “X-Patents” not too long ago.  They sound so secretive and mysterious when you don’t know what they actually are.  You can take a wild guess as to what they might be.  I’ll give you a hint: patents.  So what are they really?  Well they’re actually the patents issued from 1790 to 1836.  The reason behind the unique name is because they burned in a fire leaving only inventors’ copies to reconstruct the collection.  Only 2,600 copies of the patents out of 10,000 have been recovered to date.  I’ve decided to list out some of them just to give a general idea of what was first being patented.

The first patent ever granted by the U.S. was by Samuel Hopkins of Pittsford, Vermont, July 31, 1790.  His invention improved “the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new apparatus and Process.”

The Cotton Gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1794.  It separated cotton fibers from the plant’s seeds.  The Cotton Gin played an enormous role in the industrial revolution.

Granted to Samual Morey, this patent contains one of the first descriptions of what would become known as an internal combustion engine.  This patent wasn’t discovered until 2004 when it was found along with 13 other X-patents in the Dartmouth College archives.

Samuel Colt patented the revolving gun in 1836.

The first lock was patented in 1836 by Almon Roff.

From the first ever patent signed by President George Washington, to the eight million U.S. patents and counting, the world will continue to invent amazing things.

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