Patent of the Day

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Today is the Anniversary of the Very First Patent!

Posted by innovativeip on July 31, 2010

Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent no. 1x, issued to Samuel Hopkins on July 31, 1790 for a method of making potash, a chemical utilized in making soap, fertilizer, gunpowder and glass. 

Today's Patent of the Day

The patent number has an “x” because patents were not officially numbered until 1836.  (If you followed the Patent of the Day on July 13,  you saw the first numbered U.S. patent no. 1.)  After the numbering began, the Patent Office revisited the 10,000 or so patents issued between 1790 and 1836, numbering them, and including an “x” to distinguish.

If you look closely on this patent, you can see that it was signed by none other than George Washington.  The original patent is maintained in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society.  I’ll have to stop by the next time I’m in Chicago.  Enjoy!

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