Ancestry.com recently (or at least I just noticed it) a US Patent Database from 1790-1909.
From the Ancestry.com site:
"This database contains invention patents granted from 1790-1909 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). "
While I haven't used the Ancestry.com database extensively, I think I'm going to stick with Google on this one. Google's patent database
also starts in 1790 and contains information up to the last few months, according to its website. The Google site for patent also offers searches more flexibility and creativity in terms of searches than Ancestry.com does.
The advanced Google search box appears in this blog post with a blue background on the top part of the image.
I am not a big fan of global searches on Ancestry.com. The only time I find a search of the entire site helpful is when the name is uncommon and I am clueless about the person and need a jump start on my research. Otherwise I like to know what I am searching (which probably stems from my control issues). Even names that I think may be uncommon come up too many times on global Ancestry.com searches and I WASTE too much time sifting through all the matches that I do not need.
I found some neat patents on Google just browsing to create this blog post.
A relative in Kansas made an adjustable shoe tree.
A closer relative in Hancock County, Illinois, made a hog feeder. Parts of Fred Trautvetter's patent are shown here as well.
Neat things on the patent database. I think I'll stick with Google's interface with these records. I can also download the patent as a PDF file too. Google will also let me create a direct link to the patent I located and send that in an email, or even post it here:
That link will take you directly to Trautvetter's feed trough patent for those who want to take a look.