Patent - Some Famous Patents

By Michael Russell

In this article we're going to discuss some of the most famous patents in history. These are inventions that greatly changed the world we live in.

To go over all the patents that have changed the world would take a month of Sundays and then some. What follows is just a brief look at some of the greatest patents in our history.

What is considered the most valuable patent is the one issued to Alexander Graham Bell for his invention of the telephone. The patent was number 174,465 issued in 1876. Ironically, early attempts to make the telephone popular were unsuccessful. People looked at the idea as nothing more than a novelty and didn't take its communication possibilities seriously. Try telling that to all the people walking around with cell phones today.

This one may come as a bit of a surprise. Thomas Edison didn't actually invent the light bulb. What he did was improve on a fifty year old idea. In 1879, using lower current, a small carbonized filament, and an improved vacuum inside the globe, he was able to produce a reliable, long-lasting source of light. This invention led to the creation of jobs for millions of people. Quite literally, without this invention we would all still be in the dark. Thomas Edison actually received 1093 patents during his life.

If you're into some really odd trivia you can tell people that Abe Lincoln was the only United States President to receive a patent. He did so for his manner of buoying vessels. He was issued this patent in 1849. It was patent number 6,469. When Lincoln was young he took a boatload of merchandise down the Mississippi River during a trip from New Salem to New Orleans. There was an accident when the boat slid into a dam. It took great effort to get the boat dislodged. Two years later Lincoln had a similar accident crossing the Great Lakes. These two incidents led Lincoln to come up with a solution to this problem. His invention consisted of a set of bellows attached to the hull of the ship just below the water line. When the vessel is in danger of an accident, the bellows are filled with air and act as a buoy to keep the ship afloat. Lincoln never profited from his invention but he was a very strong supporter of the patent system.

Probably the most famous patent was the one issued to Frederic Auguste Bartholdi for his design of the Statue Of Liberty. The Statue Of Liberty came to New York on June 19, 1885. It was a gift of friendship given to the United States from the people of France. It was intended to celebrate their 100 years of independence 10 years earlier.

The statue is constructed of copper sheets which are assembled on a framework of steel supports. In order to be transported to America the statue was disassembled into 350 pieces and was packed in 214 crates. It was then reassembled when it arrived. Nothing like this was ever done before and most likely will never be done again.

Michael Russell

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