28th Congress, 1st Session, [Senate] [150]
The operations of the Patent Office during the year 1843
February 13, 1844
Referred to the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office
February 27, 1844
Ordered to be printed

PATENT OFFICE, January 31, 1844

The act of March, 1837, requires the Commissioner of Patents to lay before Congress "a detailed statement of the expenditures and payments made by him from the patent fund;" also, a list of all patents which have been issued during the preceding year, designating under proper heads the subjects of such patents, and furnishing an alphabetical list of the patentees, with their places of residence; and, also, a list of all patents which have expired during the same period, with such other information of the state and condition of the Patent Office as may be useful to Congress and the people.

The act of March 3, 1839, likewise appropriated from the patent fund a certain amount, to be expended, by the Commissioner of Patents, in the collection of agricultural statistics, and to be applied to other agricultural purposes, for which he was to account in his annual report. Similar appropriations for the same purpose have been made in successive years.

In obedience to said acts, the Commissioner of Patents has the honor to submit his report for the year ending with the close of 1843.

Five hundred and thirty-one patents have been issued during the year 1843, including eleven reissues, fourteen designs, and two additional improvements to former patents; of which classified and alphabetical lists are annexed, marked L and M.

During the same period, four hundred and forty-six patents have expired, as per list marked N.

The applications for patents during the year past amount to eight hundred and nineteen, and the number of caveats filed was three hundred and seven.

The receipts of the office for 1843 amount to thirty-five thousand three hundred and fifteen dollars and eighty-one cents, from which are to be deduced as paid on applications withdrawn, as per statement marked A, six thousand and twenty-six dollars and sixty-six cents.

The ordinary expenses of the Patent Office for the past year, including payments for the library and for agricultural statistics, have been twenty-four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars and thirty cents, leaving a nett balance of four thousand five hundred and thirty-eight dollars and eighty-five cents to be credited to the patent fund, as per statement marked B. In the above expenditure is also included the payment for the furnaces, as hereafter mentioned.

For the restoration of models, records, and drawings, under the act of March 3, 1837, $4,586.93 have been expended, as per statement marked C.

The whole number of patents issued by the United States, up to January 1844, was thirteen thousand five hundred and twenty-three.

The patents granted for the year, it will be seen, have exceeded those of the previous year by twenty-four, and the excess of applications has amounted to fifty-eight.

Such has been the progress of improvement in the arts, that every year presents a renewed demand for greater accommodation in the Patent Office. Were the Patent Office building to be occupied simply for the purposes of the Patent Office, as originally designed, it would furnish all the necessary room for many years to come. But Congress has directed, that certain articles of value, belonging to the Government, and especially those received from the exploring expedition, should be deposited in the large upper hall, called the National Gallery. As it could scarcely be supposed that the intention of Congress was to exclude the Commissioner of Patents from the use of the room, so far as needed, it has thus far been occupied in common, by which arrangement the Government, it is believed, has been well accommodated. The charge of the articles deposited there has, since July, been committed to the Commissioner of Patents, who has now the control of the whole building, and will endeavor with vigilance to protect the property intrusted to his care. The various articles brought home by the exploring expedition have been newly classified and rearranged, under the direction of Captain Wilkes; so that they now present to the visiter a gratifying and instructive exhibition of the curiosities of nature and art. Together with these, and the articles received in compliance with the wishes of the different departments, a few more have been allowed a place, which belong to the National Institute.

It must be obvious to every observer, that the hall, in its present size, though ample enough for its original design, cannot afford room for all the objects to which it is appropriated, especially as these articles are continually increasing.

The first story is absolutely insufficient to allow the models a suitable space, while but a part of the curiosities which the exploring expedition had gathered have even been opened, leaving one hundred and thirty boxes still untouched. The Commissioner of Patents has felt obliged to decline, for the present, many specimens and curious fabrics offered by the manufacturers. Should, then, this cherished object of exhibiting here such works of skill and samples of American industry be wholly disregarded, it will be, to say the least, a serious disappointment to multitudes throughout the nation.

In devising the best method for restoring the models lost by the fire of 1836, it was believed, as has been observed in a former report, that many models would be presented for exhibition, in the hope of promoting the sale of manufactured articles, and thus the loss in part repaired, without charge to the Government. The extreme difficulty of effecting such a restoration, after the entire destruction of the models and papers, cannot easily be appreciated.

If, with every aid ingenuity can invent, the great loss can finally be repaired, no facility for this purpose, it is presumed, will be withheld by the Government.

Can room, then, be provided, so that all the kindred objects which have a claim on the Government shall be accommodated? In reply to this question, I take the liberty to repeat the suggestion made in my report of last year, that, by erecting a wing on the west end of the Patent Office building, additions could easily be made, large enough not only to accommodate all, but to afford room enough for the immediate commencement of lectures under the Smithsonian bequest -- a disposition of the fund, I may be permitted to remark, which is anxiously expected by many citizens of the United States.

The depositories of science and art in the Patent Office, with the adjoining botanical garden of exotic plants, would afford constantly increasing facilities for this purpose, while the offer of free lectures could not fail to produce the most happy results. Thousands would resort hither, from every part of our land, to attend a course of lectures at the seat of Government. Talents which lie buried, and are now lost to the country, would be drawn forth; and the effects of the instruction obtained would be exhibited in the increased improvement of the people in the various States of the Union.

The report on agricultural statistics will be found in the document marked D. In the preparation of this report, an extended correspondence has been opened, both at home and abroad, numerous American and foreign publications have been procured and consulted, and the result is presented with an increasing confidence in its accuracy. The deep interest which is felt in this part of the report of the Commissioner of Patents has been manifested in the constant application for copies, which could not be supplied, notwithstanding the extra number printed by order of Congress. Additional information has been obtained respecting further improvements in manures, crops, seeds, and implements, and such new applications of agricultural productions as promise to be useful to our country. Twelve thousand packages of seeds will have been distributed from the Patent Office this year; and when we recollect, as mentioned in a former report, that the improvement of 10 per cent by the selection of seeds would increase the value of the agricultural products $30,000,000 annually, the attempt thus far made by this office must be deemed a good beginning for still more extended benefits.

As one means to the end proposed, a more systematic effort to obtain suitable seeds, through the instrumentality of our diplomatic corps, would be desirable. In foreign publications, notices of superior varieties of grain occur, showing, in the simplest manner, the items of expense; and some of these varieties could doubtless be advantageously acclimated in our country. For instance: rice is now cultivated in the high latitudes of Europe; a hardy kind also flourishes on the edge of the snows of the Himalaya mountains; and there is every reason to believe that we can raise upland rice wherever Indian corn will ripen. Such is now the opinion in Europe, and some seed has been ordered, which I hope before long to receive for distribution.

The public journals in England and this country have also given accounts of an extraordinary kind of grain, called the multicole rye, raised in the west of France, the prolific qualities of which almost exceed belief. Such accounts of it as could be obtained will be found in the agricultural statistics, under the proper head. The numerous inquiries for the seed induced me to import a few bushels from France for distribution; and even should the product fall far below the amount mentioned as common there, the experiment will be gratifying to many.

My attention has also been turned to our foreign produce market, and to ascertain the defects of our shipments, and what agricultural articles could be further added to our marketable products abroad; and much information on these subjects, as well as the preparation of articles for our foreign trade, will be found in the agricultural statistics and the appendix there subjoined. A tariff of duties on American agricultural productions in foreign countries, the price of freight, and a number of pro forma bills of sale, have likewise been added, for the benefit of both the exporter and producer. The information given in that paper, also, in respect to granulating and clarifying sugar, preserving butter in hot climates, and flour for exportation, the further applications of lard and lard oil, feeding of stock, varieties of products, manures, and other topics, will, it is believed, interest a large portion of the people of our country.

In my last report I alluded to the importance of appropriating more labor to the preparation of agricultural statistics. The annual reports will show that much time is necessarily occupied in collecting information. The materials are to be gathered both at home and from abroad. Vastly more might be done, and with still greater accuracy, were the whole energies of an individual devoted to this subject. The present duty, on my part, is, in a great measure, performed out of office hours. The examination of agricultural journals and correspondence are the means now chiefly employed for the purpose of gaining information. Personal conversation and occasional journeys have likewise afforded some aid in the prosecution of the object. While engaged in this duty, I have felt a strong desire to visit the cotton, rice, and sugar plantations, as well as the corn and wheat growing sections of our country, to examine the course of improvements or the reason of failures, and to gather all the information practicable for the public benefit. The expense of such an exploration would be small, and might be charged to the patent fund, leaving still an annual surplus for other purposes. Allusion to personal feelings may seem out of place. The past, however, is a pledge that I cherish at least a strong desire to aid the agricultural community, embracing by far the larger portion of our whole population.

During the eight years that I have had the honor to superintend the bureau entrusted to my charge, it has been wholly reorganized; and within this time, it will be recollected, all its papers and records have been destroyed, but are now mostly restored. Having been instrumental in the reorganization, I felt desirous to carry out the plan then proposed. The time has now arrived when my duties might be changed, without injury to the public service. I pretend not to say how much could be done, but I venture the opinion that an appropriation to cover the expenses of a single year in the prosecution of an object so important would never be regretted. The country might understand more fully its resources, and Congress be enabled to legislate with still greater prospect of benefiting all the parts of our common Union.

I have this year caused to be prepared, and it might be printed as an appendix to my report, the claims of patents granted during the year. Should Congress think proper to publish the same, the people of this country would know how far they are restricted in the use of common rights. At the present moment, no periodical publishes these claims, and hence the daily applications made to this office for the same. Nearly one-half of the applications for patents are rejected; others, on an average, are reduced at least one-third; so that in many cases little remains, and yet there is enough to sustain a patent, and justify the inventor in making sales. The object presented by the patentee may be one captivating to the eye, and of great importance, while the claim allowed is of little consequence, as it may merely be a combination of some trifling part, which can be omitted without much injury, or to avoid by a substitution of something else equally useful. This remark may be illustrated by a single example -- that of "Bommer's" (so called) "patent manure." In this case a patent was obtained, and contributions levied on the farmers of our country, for a mere process, highly extolled by most of the agricultural journals; but a reference to the claim allowed shows us that another person, not Bommer, was the patentee of the process, which he alleged to be an improvement on a French invention. In the claim allowed him, the right was given, not of making the ley or liquid preparation used in the manufacture, for this was already known, but simply for pouring the ley in a particular manner upon the heap as prepared. On reading the claim allowed, any one would see its extent, and would at once be spared the payment of twenty dollars demanded for the patent right. Jaufret's patent, under the name of Rosser, by whom it was introduced into England, of which the American claims to be an improvement, will be found in full, with other information respecting it, in appendix, No. 22, subjoined to the agricultural statistics.

The publication of these claims would also aid the officers in their daily examinations, as they present, in a few pages, the substance of every patent granted during the year; it would save the demand for many copies,which is now a severe tax on the office, as the charge allowed is but ten cents per hundred words, and the claims will not average above 12 or 15 lines each -- a compensation wholly inadequate for the time bestowed in searching out and copying them.

It may be added, that foreign nations, with few exceptions, publish in extenso the patents granted in their respective countries. The same thing has been attempted in this country, but, from want of the necessary patronage, even the publication of the claims has not been continued, except for a short time, by any periodical. Several editors have offered to publish the claims, provided they could be furnished to them free of charge. It is confidently hoped, therefore, that Congress will see fit to publish the same with the present annual report, that the country at large may be acquainted with the rights conferred on inventors. The document will be especially useful to those who are employed to aid in preparing the papers of future applicants for patents.

It has been suggested that a notice of the progress of the arts should form a more prominent part in the annual report of the Commissioner of Patents. I trust, therefore, that a glance at the improvements made within a few years will now be considered a valuable addition to the topics heretofore embraced in my reports. The subject is too comprehensive a one for great detail; but the papers prepared for the purpose (marked E and F) are full of encouragement and gratification to the American people. The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity, and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.

Another consideration has induced me to request the examiners in this office to prepare these reports on the progress of inventions. The experience and information which they have acquired are the result of long study and close observation, and hence the propriety of recording the knowledge, which might be lost in the event of their being taken from their labors. The importance of this collected information to the public generally, but more especially to those who at any time hereafter might be called to fill the same station, will be readily appreciated on a perusal of these papers. I ought also to remark that the salaries paid to the examiners and some of the clerks are an inadequate compensation for their invaluable service. If there is any bureau where are needed scientific attainments of a high order, it is in the Patent Office.

The furnaces first erected to warm the Patent Office, like those in the General Post Office, have proved injurious to health, by the escape of gas, and were also made of such perishable materials that it has become necessary to take them out, and substitute others of cast iron, of new construction, which have recently been patented. These cost far less at the outset, require a smaller supply of coal, need but trifling repairs, and can be easily introduced. This absolutely necessary expense has been charged to the patent fund, under the head of contingencies for repairs. In the operation of these new furnaces, a curious effect is produced by particular ventilation, and deserves remark. Ventilation is often obtained through the ceiling only; but, so far as respects rooms heated by hot air furnaces only, this method is an incorrect one. If the temperature of the different parts of the room be tested by a thermometer, it will be found that the upper part heats first; and if no outlet be given, the draught of hot air ceases, the room being filed. Let an aperture be made at the top of the room, and the warm air instantly escapes. But if an opening be made near the floor, the cold air within the room passes out, and the warm air descends to fill the space. An experiment proving this was tried in drying clothes in a room without ventilation, heated by air furnaces; the clothes that were in the upper part of the room dried well, while those in the lower part still continued moist; as soon, however, as an aperture was made for ventilation below, a draught was given to the furnace, the cold air expelled, and the clothes dried rapidly. The public will thus see how easily a serious difficulty in heating rooms may be overcome.

In my last report an account was given of a mode of constructing cheap cottages, of unburnt brick. The numerous experiments of a similar kind since attempted in the United States, and the satisfaction then experienced together with the repeated inquires on this subject, lead me to remark, that, from accounts of the similar use of such bricks in Egypt, it is proved that they have been found, undecayed and sound, in arches which have even stood the test of two thousand years. The cottage, erected by myself, on Massachusetts avenue, in full sight of the Capitol, and which is two stories in height, stands well; appears as handsome as the best brick houses; and, being warm in winter and cool in summer, justifies me fully in recommending a similar mode of building, especially where clay is abundant and timber scarce.

Some have doubted the policy of erecting such houses in cold climates; but it may be remarked, that in Canada these buildings have been successfully proved, as will be seen by a reference to the paper marked G. Some facts have been collected respecting plank roads, that may be interesting to those sections of our country where facilities for the transportation of passengers and produce are so much needed. The description of these roads, as used in Canada, may be found in an appendix, belonging to the agricultural statistics, marked D.

By a valuable machine, with ten yoke of oxen, and five hands, a ditch of suitable depth for draining lands, (fourteen inches deep, and twenty-eight inches wide at the top,) ten miles may be excavated in one day, at an expense, by contract, of not more than three cents per rod. A larger machine, with a greater number of oxen, will excavate a ditch three feet deep. The great importance of such an instrument on the prairies of the West will at once be seen and acknowledged.

A description of a process for preserving wood, by Dr. Boucherie, as furnished by a report of the French Academy, may be found in another paper, marked H. By means of another preparation -- exhausting the air, and then infusing sulphate of iron or other substances into the pores of wood, for railroads -- it is said the wood has been rendered so hard that the iron wheel of the car leaves no trace after more than a year's use of this "metallic" wood.

The rapid improvement of the arts may help to account for the reduction of price, as to many articles of manufacture, and especially in some that are usually ranked among the necessities of life. Individuals now in Congress can recollect of having, 30 years since, purchased shirting at sixty-two and a half cents per yard, who, the last year, have bought that which was equally good for eleven cents per yard only.

Hosiery, too, is now made in this country with astonishing rapidity, by the aid of the power weaving loom -- an American invention, and which has not yet been introduced into England. While, there, it is a full day's work to knit, by hand, two pairs of drawers, a girl here, ($2.50 per week,) will make, by the power loom, twenty pairs in the same time. A piece twenty-eight inches in width, and one inch long, can be knit in one minute.

The expense of manufacturing this article has thus been reduced to about one-tenth of the former method by hand looms. The importance of this improvement may be estimated from the fact that the quantity of hosiery used in the United States is valued at $2,500,000, and the stockings, woven shirts, and drawers, made in this country, at $500,000.

This little article of hooks and eyes is another illustration of the same progress of inventive industry. Thirty years ago, the price was $1.50 the gross pairs; now, the same quantity may be purchased for from fifteen to twenty cents. At one establishment in New Britain, Connecticut, eighty to one hundred thousand pairs per day are made, and plated by a galvanic battery or the cold silver process. The value of this article consumed in a year in this country is said to be $750,000.

Another article very essential to the husbandman, horse shoes, furnishes a similar proof of the bearing of the progress of invention. An improved kind of horse shoes, made at Troy, New York, for some time past, is now sold at the price of only five cents per pound,ready prepared to be used in shoeing the animal. At a factory recently erected, 50 tons of these are now turned out per day; and it is thought that they can be made and sent to Europe as good a profit as is derived from American clocks, which have handsomely remunerated the exporter.

The improvements in the manufacture and making up of leather have also greatly reduced the price of another useful article, shoes.

By further inventions, to render leather water-proof, likewise, much has been done to protect the health and promote economy. Those who have not turned their attention to this subject may be surprised to learn that leather made water-proof, in the best manner, will last at least one-third longer than other kinds. Allowing, therefore, $3 per head for each person in the United States for shoes, the cost of this article in the whole country would be $50,000,000; one-third of which saved would be over $16,000,000. Some of the preparations for rendering leather water-proof are much less expensive than others. A very simple composition of rosin, beeswax, and tallow, applied warm, both to the soles and uppers, so that the leather is thoroughly saturated with the mixture, has been found to be very effectual for the purpose.

During my late visit to New York, I visited the sugar works of Messrs. Tyler and Mapes, in Leonard street; which establishment has adopted the new process of sugar making invented by Professor Mapes. By this process, they manufacture from 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of sugar per day, from common West India molasses,and generally of a quality superior to that made from the cane in Louisiana. They often use molasses which has become sour, with good effect.

I also saw the new evaporator, invented by Professor Mapes, at a sugar house in Vandam street. This evaporator is of a small size, something less than five feet square and twelve inches deep; it was charged with a solution of sugar at 30 Beaume, (say 125 gallons,) and commenced to boiling rapidly in less than 30 seconds from the time of turning on the steam. The pan will reduce sufficient of such liquor (taken lukewarm) to the proof or sugar point, in 15 minutes, to make 1,000 pounds of sugar -- and this, as the proprietor of the establishment informed me, of a quality far superior to that which he was enabled to make by the usual process. Indeed, so rapid is its action, that the same quantity of sugar which required twelve hours for its manipulation is now finished with ease in three hours, giving a larger yield and better quality.

As Professor Mapes is now taking patents in this country and abroad for this evaporator, a new filter, and some other improvements connected with sugar making and sugar refining, I cannot with propriety describe his machines; but, from what I saw, I am convinced that they are calculated to effect a great change in the whole system of sugar making in Louisiana and the West India islands.

His largest size evaporator is capable of evaporating 1,000 gallons, or more, of water per hour, and the smallest (such as is described above) from 230 to 250 gallons per hour.

As an evidence of the improvement in making loaf sugar, I would add, that, by the new process, the refining by the aid of clay is abandoned. This old process required at least thirty days to complete the loaf for market,whereas the improved mode accomplishes the same in six days -- thus making a vast saving in time, machinery, and room. This evaporator will undoubtedly be introduced for salt making, concentration of extracts of dye woods, etc.

In the paper marked I will be found a description of the electro-magnetic telegraph, illustrated by plates in language so familiar as to enable any person to understand one of the great improvements of the age -- one that is destined to exercise a great and it is believed happy effect, in the transmission of intelligence from one section of the country to another. Experiments already made, in England and on the continent, leave no doubt of its practicability; and this will, ere long, be further tested on the railroad route between Washington and Baltimore. The choice as to the mode of communication, by wires placed within leaden pipes under ground, or through similar wires suspended in the air, has occasioned much perplexity to the scientific; but the latter will probably be found much the most economical at its first structure, as well as in the facility of repair. The rapidity of communication is truly astonishing; it is instantaneous. The rate at which the electro-magnetic fluid passes, according to Mr. Wheatstone, is 288,000 miles, equal to eleven and a half times around the glove, in one second. We see "the streak" of lightning in the heavens, but it leaves no trace; the stream of electricity has passed in less than the twinkling of an eye, and is gone far beyond our sight. In the same manner, with equal swiftness, the electro-magnetic fluid unerringly conveys the intelligence entrusted to its operation.

Foreigners are now claiming the merit of the invention to reduce this discovery to practice; yet history, it is believed, will hereafter accredit the highest and most deserved commendation to one of our countrymen.

A new field is thus laid open for the researches of science, and new discoveries may yet be expected; experiments have already been made in this country, with wires of 160 miles in length, insulated in coils, with perfect success. A small battery of 100 pairs of plates was sufficient for the operation of the whole distance. In effecting the transmission of intelligence by the telegraph, the artificial magnet (see the paper I, above mentioned) created by electricity sets in motion an apparatus which gives on paper certain characters representing letters of the alphabet. Communications are thus recorded, either by day or night, on a revolving cylinder, without even superintendence, and may be transcribed at leisure.

The medium employed is simply a copper wire, insulated and extended on posts, at an expense not exceeding $150 per mile. It is confidently believed that proprietors will thus connect their dwellings with the places of their mechanical operations. How easily, for instance, could Boston and Lowell be thus connected. The same posts, too, would answer for many lines of communication. Each wire, however, must be insulated; and, strange as it may seem, if two wires are placed horizontally, at some distance apart, and one is charged, a similar effect will be produced on the other.

Among the most curious effects attending this discovery is the transmission of intelligence through a single wire at the same time from opposite points. Thus, on a wire reaching from Washington to Baltimore, a message by electricity will pass without traversing in the opposite direction, (turning out, as it were,) without any detention. Like the rays of light, electricity, too, is extremely subtle. Nor is the fact less astonishing, that the ground itself is a good conductor, and supplies the place of another wire, which is necessary in ordinary cases before any effect is produced.

The advantage of this mode of communication must be obvious, both in war and peace. The East and the West, the North and the South, can enjoy the earliest intelligence of markets, and thus be prepared against speculators. Criminals will be deterred from the commission of crimes, under a hope of escape upon the "iron horse;" for the mandate of justice, outrunning their flight, will greet their arrival at the first stopping place. The numerous inquiries respecting the telegraph have led me to notice it with this particularity.

I may further add, that the plates illustrating the electro-magnetic telegraph exhibit another important invention -- that of preparing maps and plates by the process called cerography. This is a new art. It is now more than nine years since a gentleman of New York city conceived the idea of this new mode of engraving, which combines, in a good degree, the peculiar advantages of the old methods, viz.: the facility of lithography in preparing the plate for the press, the clear, fine, flowing lines of copperplate engraving, and the durability under the press and rapidity in printing of wood engravings. The value of cerography in furnishing the community with cheap maps may be inferred from the fact that the eight quarto maps furnished gratuitously in the 17,000 subscribers of the New York Observer, published by the inventor, if charged at the rates usually allowed for maps of the same size in England and the United States, would have cost $125,000.

A description of the mode of laying the pipes for the telegraph, by means of a newly invented plough, will likewise be found in the paper marked K.

Intimately connected with this branch of science, employed in effecting the results obtained by the telegraph, are the medicinal applications by the magnetic battery,mentioned in the report of one of the examiners. This same wonderful agent -- the electro-magnetic fluid -- which also gilds the metals and separates the beautiful ores, dissolves the calculus (stone in the bladder) without pain, rescuing thus many victims otherwise doomed to a lingering death, or the sad alternative of a most excruciating operation. The facility with which medicines are infused into the system by the aid of this battery leads us to hail the approach of a quicker alleviation of human woes, and the future success of experiments fraught with the brightest anticipations.

The experiment of illuminating the streets of Paris by means of the electric spark has, as communicated in the late scientific journals, been also most successful; and further developments of this application of electricity may be expected. This is, indeed, as it were, chaining the lightning to subserve the purposes of human improvement.

On the review of the whole combined variety of topics embraced in this report, I trust, should it at first seem unduly extended, it will be found, that while nothing collected during the past year, which is deemed interesting, has been withheld, so nothing has been added unworthy of perusal.

All of which is respectfully submitted.
Henry L. Ellsworth
Commissioner of Patents

The Hon. the President of the Senate of the United States


Statement of receipts for patents, caveats, disclaimers,
improvements, and certified copies, in the year 1843

Amount received for patents, caveats, etc. $33,913.53
Amount received for office fees 1,402.28
__________ $35,315.81
Deduct repaid on withdrawals 6,026.66


Statement of expenditures and payments made from the patent fund,
by H.L. Ellsworth, Commissioner, from January 1 to December 31,
1843, inclusive, under the act of March 3, 1839

For salaries $16,350.00
For temporary clerks 3,013.56
For contingent expenses 4,404.76
For the library 437.31
For agricultural statistics 444.67
For compensation to the chief justice of
the District of Columbia 100.00
____________ 24,750.30
Leaving a net balance to the credit of the patent fund 4,538.85


Statement of expenditures on the restoration of the Patent
Office, under the act of March 3, 1837.

For draughtsmen $2,100.00
For examiner and register 166.00
For restoring records of patents 234.00
For restored drawings 35.00
For model cases and restored models 1,5113.55
For freight and expenses on models 538.38


No. 37

[From the New Orleans Bee]

Sugar planters have no doubt felt much curiosity to know something of Mr. Riellieux's experiment in the manufacture of sugar, of which we have heretofore spoken. The following letter from Mr. Packwood proves that Mr. R. has succeeded beyond all expectation:

Myrtle Grove, 1844
To the Editor of the New Orleans Bee:

Dear Sir: Your favor of the 12th instant has been received, and with pleasure I reply to your inquiries respecting Mr. Riellieux's apparatus.

Mr. R. contracted to furnish me with an apparatus for the fabrication of sugar entirely by steam; that the quantity of molasses should be reduced to the half of that produced by the old process; that the sugar made from it should be equal to that produced from a vacuum pan, without any refining process; that it should be capable of producing an average of 12,000 pounds of sugar within 24 hours; and that the fuel consumed should be not more than one-third of the quantity used by the usual method, in open kettles.

I have finished my crop, and made the last 30 hogsheads with his apparatus, from a piece of my poorer cane. The production of molasses, I believe, is greatly reduced. The quality of the sugar is improved a bout one-half in value over that produced from the same cane in my set of kettles. I am satisfied that, with the apparatus, I shall make the next crop into white sugar, without the use of moulds and liquoring. The apparatus made at a rate of 18,000 pounds per 24 hours, and boiled as much cane juice as my mill could furnish; and it is my opinion that it can produce a much greater quantity in the same period.

The apparatus is very easily managed, and my negroes became acquainted with it in a short time. To produce the above quantity of sugar by the old process, I should have employed my two sets of kettles boiling together. My sugar mill and the apparatus were driven together by my engine; and I am convinced that the bagasse of the previous year, which generally forms about a third of my fuel, would have been sufficient to have made my entire crop. The machine is elegant in its proportions, solid in its fixtures, and occupies a very small place in my sugar house. I must confess that, when I first contracted with Mr. R., I did not imagine that the apparatus would have been so complete. Every part is arranged with the greatest care, and is very durable. It worked, I may say, without any accident; and is ready for the next crop, as new and clean as it was the first day. I account as nothing a leather band, which was temporarily employed by Mr. R. to drive the apparatus, instead of a connecting rod, which was not then ready.

I am very happy to add, that I consider Mr. Riellieux as completely successful, and as having satisfied every condition of the contract which he passed with me.

I had many opportunities of admiring the ability and ingenuity of Mr. R., and I do not hesitate to declare that he is highly deserving of credit, and, in every respect, to the full confidence of the sugar planters of Louisiana.

Very respectfully yours,
R.J. Packwood
Arts and Sciences


Report of the First Examiner on the Arts.
Patent Office, January 31, 1844

Sir: In conformity with your directions, I have prepared, and have the honor to submit the following report of the general progress of inventions within the range of the classes confided to my charge as examiner, which are ....

All Kinds of Tools -- The United States are unrivalled in the manufacture of axes and hatchets, whether as regards the quality of the metal employed, the workmanship, or the adaptation of the form to the various purposes to which they are to be applied. The low price at which they are sold, in view of their quality, is due principally to the invention of machinery, by which separate pieces are formed with such accuracy, that, when put together and welded, the axe or hatchet is complete, and ready for grinding. In the manufacture of cutlery and edged tools, as well as all other kinds of tools, the reputation of the American manufacturer has become the envy of the European manufacturer; and it has been remarked, by all who are acquainted with the mechanic arts, that the tools made in the United States are superior in quality and adaptation to the wants of the mechanic to those manufactured in any part of the world....

Spinning Flax and Hemp --
The sagacity of Napoleon, when ruling the destinies of France, conceived manufactures to be the basis of the wealth and political power of Great Britain, and concluded that the most effectual way of breaking down this colossal Power would be the introduction and improvement of every branch of manufactures on the continent, by the substitution of automatic for manual labor. With this view, he stimulated, by royal bounties and high premiums, ingenious men of all nations; and, among others, a very high premium was offered to the successful inventor of machinery for preparing and spinning flax and hemp. The number of men that contended for the prize shows conclusively that ingenuity, in all countries, wants but encouragement. It is matter of regret, that the fire of 1836, which destroyed the records of the Patent Office, has obliterated the history of the American inventions made to meet that prize, which was never awarded, as the test could not be made before the retirement to Elba. It has been my privilege, in boyhood and early manhood, to study the models of those beautiful specimens of American ingenuity, many of which yet live in my recollection. ...

Of Grinding Mills and Horse Powers, etc. --
Since the invention of Oliver Evans, which has given him an enviable reputation wherever flour is used, no marked invention in mills has been made, although many minor improvements have been patented and introduced in the manner of dressing mill stones, to increase the rapidity of grinding, and ensure the better discharge of the flour ....

Making barrels and casks --
The great demand for barrels during the late war, together with the scarcity of workmen, first suggested the idea of making them by machinery, which has ever since been progressing. ...

Of small fire arms --
.... Since the efforts of Jacob Perkins to substitute steam for power in discharging balls, nothing has been done towards this end; and it is very doubtful whether he would have undertaken it, had he anticipated one-half the obstacles which he has been unable to surmount.... It is a remarkable fact, which illustrates the adverse tendencies of different minds, that while Perkins was exhausting mind, money and happiness, to avoid the dangers consequent upon the use of gunpowder in ordnance, others were making efforts to avoid the dangerous use of steam in steam engines, by substituting gunpowder. ...

I have the honor to remain, yours, very respectfully, etc.
Charles M. Keller,
Examiner of Patents

Hon. H.L. Ellsworth.



Report of the First Examiner of the Arts
Patent Office, January 31, 1844

Sir: In conformity with your requisition, I have the honor to submit herewith a brief summery of the existing condition of those branches of the arts and sciences whose examination has been specially allotted to me. ...

Medicines -- Notwithstanding the imputation of empiricism which invariably attaches itself to patented medicines, some very valuable discoveries have been made in the healing art; and although the question of utility does not, as a general thing, come under the consideration of the office, yet, to prevent injury and imposition, it becomes necessary, to a certain extent, in cases of patent medicines, to call for tests of their efficacy. In several cases, their value has been proved by direct experiments; and in others, testimonials of the most creditable character have been received, vouching for their genuineness. In this science, as well as in chemical, many of the most valuable discoveries have been made abroad -- such as the use of chloride of soda, as an enema in hemorrhoidal affections; the immediate relief from that most painful of diseases, tic doloureux, by the simple topical application of ammonia; and the allaying, in the most speedy and effectual manner, the paroxysms of delirium tremens, by the use of carbonate of ammonia; and numerous other which might be cited.


Respectfully submitted,
Charles G. Page
Examiner of Patents

Hon. H.L. Ellsworth
Commissioner of Patents

Go to top page of Patent Office history material