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The United States Patent and Trademark Office was established in 1790, and since then the federal office has issued over 10 million patents for all sorts of inventions. Virtually every patent is available to the public, either on paper or microfilm, or digitized and searchable on the Internet—except the first ten thousand patents. They went up in smoke exactly 184 years ago.

At that time, the Patent Office was housed inside the Blodget Hotel Building, in Washington, along with the post office. It was the only government building that survived the burning of Washington during the War of 1812, due to the efforts of William Thornton, the Superintendent of the Patent Office, who successfully pleaded with the British troops to spare the building.

The first patent issued by the US Patent Office

The first patent issued by the US Patent Office on July 31, 1790 to Samuel Hopkins.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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