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Patents of Significance and of Famous People


Everything around us was invented by somebody. Many of these things are taken for granted. As we use them we do not for a moment consider those who sacrificed, worked, planned, schemed, argued, fought and overcame to make these things reality. Some became multi-millionaires, some died in poverty. Who are these people? Over time, this website will provide insights into the stories behind the scenes (as Paul Harvey would say, "... the rest of the story").

Surprisingly, quite a few are famous for other things. Some of the folks, of course, we know something about: Abraham Lincoln, Harry Houdini, Lillian Russell, Heddy Lamarr, Paul Winchell. Others we have never heard of before: Frank Whittle, Frederick Taylor, Pierre Lallement.

Behind each patent is a story. It is amazing how many of the stories are connected. The stories are connected because the people are connected. Many of the inventors of a particular time knew each other. Some invented in total isolation from others working on the same problem. Interestingly, some came up with the same solution as another inventor who was working on the same problem at the same time even though they had no knowledge of the other's work.

Patents are examples of the draftsman's art. Beautiful examples of pen and ink drawings speak about the artist/technicians who labored over the patent itself. Back in those days, there were no computers, no drawing software, no copying machines. Each drawing was hand drawn with straight-edge and in ink. White-out had not yet been invented. Mistakes would require starting over. Painstaking labor produced beautiful artwork. 

As you peruse the patents, you may click on the images to see an enlargement to enable viewing the art detail.

I hope you enjoy the site and return to see more as I update and expand.

Thanks for visiting,

Wes Bruning

Go to the Patent quiz

Go to the Art of Invention overview

P.S. Want to serve a de-boned turkey for dinner (i.e. a cooked turkey with the bones taken out before it is cooked)? Click here to find out how


Last updated: March 5, 2007

 The Art of Invention (c) Copyright 2001-2003 by Wes Bruning



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