Saturday, November 24, 2012

The U.S. Patent Office

Saturday, November  24, 2012
            Snow Flurries, Windy & Cold!

The U.S. Patent Office

(please click on the above site to be redirected to the U.S. Patent Office)

     One of the most interesting places for me is the U.S. Patent Office. You can go there to find drawings of all kinds of patents and trademarks dating back to the early 1800's.  Of course, there are the toy patents, as well! It's a bit hard to navigate, and I'll need to spend more time figuring out how to find the toys that I am looking for.  However, I did find 1 of my favourite toys - the Wyandotte Art Deco Racer. I mentioned in another blog that I like it for its looks, as well as for its manufacture. I'm impressed at how engineers and designers of the time could figure out how to place cuts on a flat piece of sheet metal, so that when it was placed in a press, the part would bend in the shape of the racer.  The tear lines had been pre-determined, so the toy when pressed would press and fold in 1 piece!

The Patent was taken out by Mr. Charles A. Brethen for a "Toy Automobile". 
The paperwork was filed on June 19, 1933, and almost 18 months later, 
the patent was issued (Jan. 8, 1935).

      The population of the US between those years averaged about 126,000,000. So imagine  that the patent took 18 months to file then, and now there are 315,800,000 people in the U.S. in 2012. Also, imagine that back then  for example, a car design was much simpler, didn't change much from year-to-year, and didn't have all of the features as today's car's have. Those people in the U.S. Patent Office sure have lots of work to do!

     I didn't add the pages of written information that compliment the diagrams. There is usually a lot of detailed and specific information that needs to accompany each and every patent.

   I selected the battery-lit Wyandotte from Morphy Auctions as the photo. However, I'm not certain that this car was the one in the patent.  However, in the second set of diagrams, second row, left image, you can see the metal holes and frame for light bulbs.

   I had some trouble trying to download and see the images, so I decided to ask a question:

   Fortunately, someone answered my questions (I'll ask if I can add his name here) with loads of patience. I also asked him to write in simple-to-understand terms. After several back and forth questions I had the solution to my problem.

   The problem that I was having was in not being able to see the actual images from the U.S. Patent site. The above screen capture is from my Apple Mac. The images are some type of TIFF format (I never bothered to figure out what all those formats are).

   The person who helped me, told me that I needed to use "Developer" in Safari. Naturally, Developer wasn't showing on my Apple Mac, and I needed to do a search for "Developer". I found what I was looking for, and when I found a toy patent (below) ,I was given several options in "Developer" as to how I wanted to open up the image.

Where "Developer" should have neen located, but wasn't.

Finally, after all my questions were answered, I was able to find a sample toy patent.
This is how the full page appears.

This is another view of the toy from a different page

   I always am curious about many different things, and like to investigate and explore. For sure the U.S. Patent Office is one of those places that you can get lost in!

I hope all my American viewers are recuperating from  their Turkey dinners and Black Friday mayhem, and that those of you who were hoit by the hurricane are starting to have things return to a more normal day.

Thanks to all for dropping by,
and have a restful Saturday wherever you may be.


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