Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Whose Bright Idea Was That?

Since humans have been walking this earth, they have been inventing things. There is some evidence of the idea of patents in ancient Greece, but the letters of patent as we know them started in Britain in the 1300’s and in Italy in the 1400’s.

The Industrial Revolution included going from making things by hand to making machines for production, and there were a lot of people who had big dreams of inventing something to make life easier.

I went to a museum a few years ago, and there was an exhibit on China.  There were many demonstrations going on throughout the exhibit, and one that intrigued me was a man making rice paper.  That interested me because there was a time I learned to make lampshades with rice paper, and I had made a pair of hanging lamps as a gift for my parents for their newly renovated home.  Paper and printing are both early inventions of China. I also saw the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit that shows not only his art, but his inventions.  If it comes to a town near you I highly recommend going to see it.  

Maybe one of your ancestors had a bright idea, and his name can be found between the pages of a patent book.  I have listed a few below, but there are many more for other years at Internet Archives. Check your local library for  the book of “Name and Date patents, July 31, 1790-July 2, 1836” for the USA.

If you are writing a story about your ancestors, you don’t want them using something that wasn’t invented yet!  Check out the Timeline of Inventions.

Also, search Internet Archive using keywords, patent, Britain, US, etc..

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