Scientific American, v 71 (ns) no 22, p 339, 1 December 1894
The First American Patent
The first patent granted in the New World, so far as we have information, was that issued by the General Court of Massachusetts, to Joseph Jenkes, March 6, 1646, for an engine for mills, to go by water. In other words it was a water engine. The patent was granted for fourteen years. The following is a copy of the patent:
At a general Courte at Boston
the 6th of the 8th mo 1646
The Cort considringe ye necessity of raising such manifactures of engins of mils to go by water for speedy dispatch of much work wth few hands, & being sufficiently informed of ye ability of ye petitioner to pforme such workes grant his petition (yt no othr pson shall set up, or use any such new invention, or trade for fourteen yeares wthout ye licence of him ye said Joseph Jenkes) so farr as concernes any such new invention, & so ye prizes of them to moderation if occasion so require.
Joseph Jenkes, of Hounslow, County Middlesex, England, settled at Lynn, Mass., in 1643, where he died in 1683, aged 81 years.
"A man of great genius." He made the dies for coining the first money; also built the first fire engine in America.
His son Joseph was governor's assistant of Rhode Island in 1681, and built a large iron foundry near Providence.
His grandson Joseph was governor of Rhode Island, 1727-1732.