08 October 2009

Patent Database at Ancestry.com 1790-1909

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.


13 March 2007

Looking for Images of Farm Implements?

I just had a thought...

Those who are looking for images of those items mentioned in an estate settlement from the 1800s or so might want to consider searching for the item on the US patents database at Google. While search for patents with a location of the town where I grew up, I happened upon an 1871 patent for a hand corn husker. There are images of every patented item on the website and Google's US Patents Database may be a good way for researchers to locate images of items with which they are unfamiliar. The patent description may also provide some information on what the item was used for.


Patent Searches at Google

Don't forget that US patents can be searched at Google.

A search of one of my wife's surnames turned up a relative of hers being a witness on a patent for a feeding trough put together by Chester A. Barnes of Blue Grass, Iowa.

The full text OCR search is really neat and as can be seen in the image, the search term is highlighted on the results. Fun stuff at http://www.google.com/patents

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