Since 1790, the American patent system has played a crucial role in protecting intellectual property, fostering technological and industrial progress and establishing the United States as a nation of inventors.
Throughout the late nineteenth century inventors submitted patent applications—and scale models of their ideas—to the Patent Office for review. These fascinating creations embody the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that fueled a golden age of American innovation in the 1800s. Today the Hagley Museum and Library is home to the largest private collection of these patent models in the world.
Our patent model sponsors help Hagley share these models, and their stories of innovation, to inspire the inventor in everyone.
You can play a crucial role in helping Hagley bring this extraordinary patent model collection to the world. Friends of Innovation sponsorships by individuals, families, and institutions supports exhibitions, education programs and the preservation of these unique treasures. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on becoming a Friend of Innovation.
Friends of Innovation
Improvement in Stills for the Manufacture of Alcoholic Spirits
Patentees: John & Joseph Beam, 1875
Sponsored through the generosity of: Yvonne & Michael Dalton
Improvement in Boats for Duck Shooting
Patentee: Robert Bogle, 1857
Sponsored through the generosity of: Alexandra & Andrew Engel
Patentee: George Stillman, 1869
In memory of: Stephen Little
Improvement in Fruit Jar Covers
Patentee: John Mason, 1873
Sponsored through the generosity of: Angela & Noel Williamson
Improvement in Machinery for Shaping Sheet Metal
Patentee: Eliphalet Bliss, 1879
Sponsored through the generosity of: Lucinda & Wally Judd
Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Motors
Patentee: Charles J. B. Gaume, 1874
Sponsored through the generosity of: Anthony Raucci
Improvement in Fire-Arms
Patentee: Charles Brown, 1860
In memory of: Our friend and colleague, Wally Johnson, from Sharon and Matt Payne
Improvement in Locomotives
Patentee: William Holdsworth, 1876
Sponsored through the generosity of: Cover & Rossiter, P.A.
Improvement in Propulsion of Vessels
Patentee: Emily Tassey, 1876
Sponsored through the Generosity of: Lyons Companies