National Affairs: No. 1,500,000

Until A. D. 1836, patents were issued in the U. S. by the President in person. He signed them, the Secretary of State signed them, the Attorney General signed them. Then they were valid patents. Between 1790 and 1836, these three officers issued 9,967 patents.

In 1836, the business of issuing patents became a bit too onerous a sideline for statesmen. The Patent Office* was created and began to number the patents it issued. Between 1836 and 1893 —57 years—500,000 patents were counted out; between 1893 and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!