Saturday, March 31, 2012

Patents - Your Inventive Ancestors

Did your ancestor invent something? You might be surprised if you've never previously searched the U.S. Patent Office database for your ancestor's name. My brother Jeff and I have recently been discussing our Smith ancestors, who operated a large glass bending and beveling company in Newark, New Jersey during the late 19th and early 20th century. Jeff discovered that our great-grandfather, Charles Henry Smith, had a patent for a glass-beveling machine (Patent #673298, issued April 30, 1901). I decided to see if great-granddad (or any of the other Smiths) had any other patents associated with the business, so I searched using Google Patent Search at www.google.com/patents, and discovered an earlier patent (#373695, issued November 22, 1887) for a glass bending and annealing furnace. If you've discovered a patent among your ancestors, why not tell me about it in a comment?