The Curious World of Patent Models

4/21/2013

The Curious World of Patent Models

Organized by the Rothschild Patent Model Collection

Horace C. Cabe Gallery

April 21 through September 29, 2013

From the time the U.S. Patent Office was formed by Thomas Jefferson in 1790 and throughout the industrial revolution, inventors were required to submit a working, scale model of their invention when applying for a patent. The Rothschild Collection is the world’s largest gathering of viewable U.S. Patent Models.

These wonderful and fascinating original antiques range from stunning, intricately crafted miniature weaving looms, motors and bridges to common household items such as washing machines, vehicles, mechanical toys, caskets, swing sets and even the checker. Only one model exists for each invention, complete with its hand-written original tag.

This exhibit will intrigue and delight viewers of all ages, from gadget and invention buffs to everyday folks who always wanted to see the first patented rocking chair, fold-out bed or burglar alarm!