This past year the Science & Engineering Library was very fortunate to put together a display of working patent models for public view. The patent models, mostly dating from the late 1800’s, are part of a private collection and were generously loaned to the UMass Amherst Science & Engineering Library to help educate patrons and generate interest in patent literature. Working patent models were a required part of the USPTO patent application process from approximately 1790 to 1880.
The built from scratch models are no larger than 12” x 12” x 12” and show how the invention works. Most of the models are of household items which makes them accessible and easy to relate to. The models on display include a number of items ranging from a washing machine, crutches, egg carrier, cradle-chair, water cooler, and swing to name a few. All in all, a total of a dozen working patent models are on display.
It is hoped that this display will help students think about the patent process and how they might participate, discovering the next new thing and driving innovation forward.
|Improvement in Crutches,1866, USPN# 57,416 003
|Improvement in Egg-Carriers, 1878, USPN# 204,934
|Improvement in Water Coolers, 1874, USPN# 158,269
|Improvement in Swing, 1868, USPN# 82,998