American Inventions of the Nineteenth Century

Collier's Weekly

The dead nineteenth century has been a marvelous one, so far as inventions are concerned, and, what is more remarkable still, the United States, the youngest of nations, heads the list both as to number of inventions and their scope and ingenuity. No other country can compare with the United States in this respect; in fact, France, England, and Canada united just about equal the number of patents obtained in America during the nineteenth century.

In one hundred years, 650,123 patents were granted in the United States. France comes next, with 308,558; England next, with 278,129; Belgium, with 154,155; Germany, 126,114; Austria-Hungary, 82,933; Canada, 65,510; Italy, 49,990; and Spain, 22,314. From the birth of the Patent Office in 1790 until 1836,9,957 patents were granted. In the latter year, 109 patents were issued. In 1890, when high-water mark was reached, 26,292 patents were issued. As far as states are concerned, Connecticut is the most prolific, while Thomas A. Edison heads the list of individual patentees, with 727 patents issued and more pending. Besides, there are about forty other inventors each of whom has more than one hundred patents to his credit.

The Lectures
February 7, 1901

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