Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents to Congress for the year ending December 31, 1884
Laid before the House of Representatives by the Speaker pro tempore January 31, 1885, referred to the Committee on Patents, and ordered to be printed
Department of the Interior
United States Patent Office
Washington, January 31, 1885
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:
In compliance with the requirements of section 494 of the Revised Statutes, I have the honor to submit the following report of the business of this Office for the year ending December 31, 1884.
Receipts Detailed statements of all moneys received for patents, for copies of records or drawings, or from any source whatever Applications Cash received $920,360.00 Cash refunded 3,280.00 ___________ Net cash 917,080.00 Certificates of deposit 53,095.00 ___________ Total cash and certificates 970,175.00 =========== Copies Cash received 67,096.95 Cash refunded 1,908.45 __________ Net cash 65,188.50 Certificates of deposit 642.80 __________ Total cash and certificates 65,831.30 ========== Recording assignments Cash received 25,161.90 Cash refunded 1,659.90 _________ Net cash 23,592.00 Certificates of deposit 502.00 _________ Total cash and certificates 24,004.00 ========= Subscription to Official Gazette Cash received 11,883.95 Cash refunded 120.45 _________ Net cash 11,763.50 Certificates of deposit 82.00 _________ Total cash and certificates 11,845.50 ========= Registration of labels Cash received 4,675.00 Cash refunded 930.00 _________ Net cash 3,745.00 Certificates of deposit 198.00 _________ Total cash and certificates 3,943.00 ========= Aggregates Cash received $1,029.177.80 Cash refunded 7,898.80 ____________ Net cash 1,021,279.00 Certificates of deposit 54,519.80 ____________ Total cash and certificates 1,075,798.80 ============ Statement showing the monthly receipts and number of applications, caveats, etc., filed during the year 1883 and 1884 Receipts Applications 1883 1884 1883 1884 January $99,754.10 $100,316.55 3,544 3,563 February 93,485.15 96,366.45 3,389 3,757 March 111,149.20 107,933.00 4,126 4,294 April 101,523.35 103,674.85 3,755 4,095 May 101,864.55 106,451.00 3,678 4,026 June 96,581.50 88,809.10 3,414 3,474 July 89,831.60 88,260.15 3,117 3,225 August 92,424.25 80,084.85 3,205 2,948 September 84,403.60 76,025.70 2,922 2,904 October 89,414.30 80,789.05 3,120 2,969 November 93,645.10 67,458.20 3,193 2,558 December 92,163.30 79,629.90 3.313 2,897 Total 1,146,2240.00 1,075,798.80 *40,826 40,710 *By a clerical error the total number of applications received during 1883 was stated in the Annual Report for that year to be 39,724. It should have been 40,826. Expenditures Amount expended by this Office under the several appropriations from January 1, 1884,to January 1, 1885 Salaries $557,359.25 Official Gazette 34,520.58 Photolithographing 72,991.31 Copies of drawings 2,611.25 Scientific library 5,208.88 Defense of suits, etc. 65.20 Transportation of publications to foreign governments 726.00 __________ 673,482.47 ========== Approximate amount expended by the Department of the Interior on account of this Office from January 1, 1884, to January 1, 1885 Stationary $10,600.84 Postage on foreign matter 572.00 Printing and binding 225,917.13 Watch force 16,690.00 New furnaces and radiators, south wing 10,000.00 Coal vaults, repairs of building, and east wing furnaces 6,966.90 Contingent expenses, (including furniture, hardware, carpets, ice, file holders, desks, cases, washing towels, keeping of horse, etc., telephone, winding clocks, and sundries 27,350.42 __________ Total 297,097.29 ========== Aggregate amount of expenditures 970,579.76 ========== Receipts over Expenditures Total receipts $1,075,798.80 Total expenditures 970,579.76 ___________ Receipts over expenditures 105,219.64 =========== Statement of balance in the Treasury of the United States on account of the Patent fund Amount to the credit of the fund January 1, 1884 $2,676,476.24 Amount of receipts during the year 1884 1,075,798.80 ____________ Total 3,752.275.04 Deduct expenditures for year 1884 970,579.76 ____________ Balance January 1, 1885 2,781,695.28 ============ Summary of the Business of the Office Number of applications for patents for inventions 34,192 Number of applications for patents for designs 1,230 Number of applications for reissues of patents 178 ______ Total number of applications relating to patents 35,600 ====== Number of caveats filed 2,582 Number of applications for registration of trade marks 1,102 Number of applications for registration of labels 812 Number of disclaimers filed 9 Number of appeals on the merits 695 _____ Total 5,110 _____ Total number of applications requiring investigation and action 40,710 ====== Number of patents issued, including designs 29,297 Number of patents reissued 116 Number of trade marks registered 1,021 Number of labels registered 513 ______ Total number of patents granted and certificates issued 21,947 Number of patents expired during the year 12,301 Number of patents withheld for non-payment of final fee 2,839 Patents Issued Patents issued to citizens of the United States, with the ratio of population to each patent granted States and Territories Patents One to and every Designs Alabama 69 18,297 Arizona 9 4,493 Arkansas 66 12,159 California 514 1,682 Colorado 110 1,766 Connecticut 896 694 Dakota Territory 33 4,096 Delaware 48 3,054 District of Columbia 207 858 Florida 17 15,852 Georgia 106 14,548 Idaho Territory 4 8,152 Illinois 1,659 1,855 Indiana 624 3,170 Indian Territory 3 -- Iowa 408 3,981 Kansas 198 5,030 Kentucky 194 8,497 Louisiana 89 10,561 Maine 148 4,384 Maryland 254 3,680 Massachusetts 1,917 930 Michigan 662 2,472 Minnesota 213 3,665 Mississippi 73 15,500 Missouri 573 3,784 Montana Territory 10 3,915 Nebraska 71 6,370 Nevada 17 3,662 New Hampshire 120 2,891 New Jersey 955 1,184 New Mexico Territory 6 19,927 New York 3,924 1,295 North Carolina 58 24,133 Ohio 1,458 2,193 Oregon 42 4,161 Pennsylvania 1,863 2,298 Rhode Island 304 909 South Carolina 64 15,555 Tennessee 108 14,281 Texas 192 8,290 Utah Territory 24 5,998 Vermont 91 3,651 Washington Territory 23 3,265 West Virginia 75 8,246 Wisconsin 399 3,296 Wyoming Territory 5 4,157 United States Army 5 -- United States Navy 4 -- Total 19,013 Patents issued to citizens of foreign countries Of patents issued to foreigners there were granted to citizens of -- Austria-Hungary 31 Belgium 25 Bermuda 1 Brazil 1 British Guiana 1 Canada 230 Central America 1 Chili 1 Cuba 11 Denmark 6 England 438 France 161 Germany 253 Hawaiian Islands 3 Hayti 2 Holland 3 India 6 Ireland 5 Isle of St. Christopher, W.I. 1 Italy 2 Japan 1 Mexico 7 New South Wales (Australia) 3 New Zealand 6 Norway 3 Porto Rico, W.I. 2 Portugal 1 Roumania 1 Russia 15 Scotland 20 Spain 4 Sweden 7 Switzerland 36 Venezuela 1 Victoria (Australia) 5 Total 1,284 Comparative statement of the business of the Office from 1837 to 1884, inclusive Years Applica- Caveats Patents Cash Cash Surplus tions Filed Issued Received Expended 1837 435 $29,289.08 $33,506.98 1838 520 42,123.54 37,402.10 $4,721.44 1839 425 37,260.00 34,543.51 2,716.49 1840 765 228 473 38,056.51 39,020.67 1841 847 312 495 40,413.01 52,666.87 1842 761 391 517 36,505.68 31,241.48 5,264.20 1843 819 315 531 35,315.81 30,766.96 4,538.85 1844 1,045 380 502 42,509.26 36,244.73 6,264.53 1845 1,246 452 502 51,076.14 39,395.65 11,680.49 1846 1,272 448 619 50,264.16 46,158.71 4,105.45 1847 1,531 553 572 63,111.19 41,878.35 21,232.84 1848 1,628 607 660 67,576.69 58,905.84 8,670.85 1849 1,955 595 1,070 80,752.78 77,716.44 3,036.54 1850 2,193 602 995 86,927.05 80,100.95 6,816.10 1851 2,258 760 869 95,738.61 86,916.93 8,821.68 1852 2,639 996 1,020 112,656.34 95,916.91 16,739.43 1853 2,673 901 958 121,527.45 132,869.83 1854 3,324 868 1,902 163,789.84 167,146.32 1855 4,435 906 2,024 216,459.35 179,540.33 36,919.02 1856 4,960 1,024 2,502 192,588.02 199,931.02 1857 4,771 1,010 2,910 196,132.01 211,582.09 1858 5,364 943 3,710 203,716.16 193,193.74 10,592.42 1859 6,225 1,097 4,538 245,942.15 210,278.41 35,663.74 1860 7,653 1,084 4,819 256,352.59 252.820.80 3,531.79 1861 4,643 700 3,340 137,354.44 221,491.91 1862 5,038 824 3,521 215,754.99 182,810.39 32,944.60 1863 6,014 787 4,170 195,593.29 189,414.14 6,179.15 1864 6,972 1,063 5,020 240,919.98 229,868.00 11,051.98 1865 10,664 1,937 6,616 348,791.84 274,199.34 74,593.50 1866 15,269 2,723 9,450 495,665.38 361,724.28 133,941.10 1867 21,276 3,597 13,015 646,581.92 639,263.32 7,318.60 1868 20,420 3,705 13,378 684,565.86 628,679.77 52,866.09 1869 19,271 3,624 13,986 693,145.81 486,430.78 206,715.03 1870 19,171 3,273 13,321 669,476.76 557,149.19 112,307.57 1871 19,472 3,624 13,033 678,716.46 560.595.08 118,121.38 1872 18,246 3,090 13,590 699,726.39 665,591.36 34,135.03 1873 20,414 3,248 12,864 703,191.77 691.178.98 12,012.79 1874 21,602 3,181 13,599 738,278.17 679,288.41 58,989.76 1875 21,638 3,094 16,288 743,453.36 721,657.71 21,795.65 1876 21,425 2,697 17,026 757,987.65 652,542.60 105,445.05 1877 20,308 2,869 13,619 732,342.85 613,152.62 119,190.23 1878 20,260 2,755 12,935 725,375.55 593,082.89 132,292.66 1879 20,059 2,620 12,725 703,931.47 529,638.97 174,292.50 1880 23,012 2,490 13,947 749,685.32 538,865.17 210,820.15 1881 26,059 2,406 16,584 853,665.89 605,173.28 238,492.61 1882 31,522 2,553 19,267 1,009,219.45 683,867.67 325,351.78 1833 34,576 2,741 22,383 1,146,240.00 675,234.86 471,005.14 1884 35,600 2,582 20,413 1,075,798.80 *970,579.76 105,219.04
* The apparent increase in the "cash expended" column during 1884 is not such an increase in fact, as the items expended by the Department (amounting this year to $297,097.29) have not all heretofore been included, and hence do not appear in the above table in the preceding years. The Department has furnished me the approximate amounts expended on account of the Patent Office, and I have included them herein, as I desire to state all expenditures of every kind, character, and description.
While the Office is not in possession of a detailed statement of the amounts expended by the Department of the Interior, and the totals only are furnished me, and are spoken of as representing approximately the sums properly chargeable against this Office, I am clear that the amounts would not fall one cent below the expenditures, had they been rendered in detail. The contingent fund of the several bureaus was consolidated by the act of March 3, 1883, hence no part of that fund is disbursed by the Patent Office.
It will be observed that there has been a falling off in all the sources of revenue of the Patent Office during the calendar year 1884. It occurred in the field of invention, as in all other avenues of business, that the current became sluggish during the presidential election contest. This decrease was perceptible from the beginning to the end of the canvass. As shown, however, by the statement above, notwithstanding the business of the Office has fallen off, there is still a net surplus to the credit of the Patent Office, after paying every expense incident to its maintenance, of over $100,000.
In my last report to Congress I had the honor to call attention to the utter inadequacy of room and facilities for conducting the business of the Patent Office. The Secretary of the Interior,by the act of July 7, 1884, as authorized to rent an additional building for the purpose of providing more room for the several bureaus of the Interior department. A building was secured, and the clerks and records belonging to the Indian Bureau were transferred to it. The Patent Office thereby acquired nine additional rooms, which was about one-fifth of the additional number needed for the proper conduct of the business of the Bureau. The atmosphere of the rooms vacated by this Office was constantly foul, and the rooms were totally unfit for habitation. When the desks were removed, the walls immediately behind were found to be covered with green mold, indicating how utterly unsuited the apartments were for occupation by human beings. Several deaths have occurred by reason of disease contracted in these foul, damp rooms.
I again call attention to the insufficiency of facilities for conducting examinations. We have no suitable laboratory, although it would cost a very inconsiderable sum to secure the room and necessary appliances. The need for such facilities is especially felt in the electrical department, where proper tests of apparatus relating to that branch of invention are exceedingly desirable. It would be entirely practicable to build a basement room or cellar in the center of the court of the Patent Office building, with one light story above, place an engine therein, and provide every other needful facility and appliance for making all necessary tests and experiments. All this could be done at a small expense, and there would still remain a very large balance of the net amount to the credit of the inventors, whose money the Government receives in trust for the uses and purposes suggested herein. I have the honor to recommend that a sufficient sum be appropriated to provide a laboratory and such other applicants and fixtures as are necessary, the purchases to be made by the Commissioner of Patents with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
Increase of Force
I have to repeat the recommendation of last year that the force of examiners be largely increased. That the present force is inadequate is beyond all question. That those having business with the Office have paid to the Government funds ample to provide everything essential to the prompt and proper dispatch of business, including increase of room, increase of force, and additional facilities, is certain, and I respectfully submit that it would be difficult to find a satisfactory reason for withholding the fund from the use for which the Government received it -- to wit, to pay the expense of a prompt and proper disposition of the business brought to the Patent Office. I am urged every day by gentlemen of both houses of Congress to make cases special on the ground that irreparable loss will result from the delay incident to having cases take their turn, and am very severely criticized, and not unfrequently condemned, because I refuse to violate the plain provisions of the rule which prohibits me from complying with such requests. It is true that many important interests are lost or greatly damaged by reason of the inability of inventors to have their applications disposed of within a reasonable time. Since there is no lack of revenue, as hereinbefore shown, to provide every needed facility and adequate force, there is just cause for complaints that in many instances inventions are lost, or their value impaired, by the delays which could easily be avoided if the funds paid by inventors in the shape of fees were applied to the purpose for which they are received by the Government. Those having business with the Office do not ask for reduction of fees, but they do insist, and very properly, that the money collected from them to defray the expense of doing the work should not be withheld from that use, and the work left undone. This savors greatly of injustice. I am aware it is urged by some that the business could be disposed of much more rapidly than it is with the force at hand. There are doubtless a few who could dispatch the business of examining cases more rapidly than the gentlemen at the head of the several divisions; there are a great many who think they could do so. The fact is that in point of experience, ability, and diligence in the discharge of their duties the examining corps of the Patent Office will compare favorably with any equal number of employees in any branch of the service of this Government, or any other. The fault is not with the examining corps, but with the inadequacy of the force and the palpable lack of suitable facilities.
In the legislative bill passed July 7, 1884, there was an addition of one (1) principal examiner, two (2) first assistant examiners, two (2) second assistant examiners, four (4) third assistant examiners, and ten (10) fourth assistant examiners. The Office is just beginning to realize advantage from this slight increase of force. It will be observed that it was necessary to teach each new appointee his duties. During the course of instruction, at least at its inception, the appointee was of little use to the Office, and beyond that the time of the examiner was consumed in instructing him.
It is proper in this connection to refer a moment to the character of the work to be done. Each year the field of investigation and research broadens and becomes more intricate and difficult. To illustrate: One the 7th of March, 18786, less than nine year ago, the first patent on the telephone was granted. Prior to that date it was unknown in the field of invention. Since that time, there have been issued over 1,000 American and over 500 foreign patents directly traceable to the parent invention. Ten years ago there were 168,000 American patents; today there are about 321 American, and over 500,000 European patents. This whole field of invention must be ranged over by the examiners in the Office, each one having a particular branch or section to explore. It will be observed that this requires a high degree of technical skill and familiarity with various sciences and arts, and such attainments as in almost any other vocation in life would enable the party possessing them to command a very much larger salary than is paid to members of the examining corps. The work of examination is so systematized (being divided into twenty six (26) examining divisions, each under the charge of a principal examiner, with a corps of assistants) that frequently it can be conducted by means of drawings, which reveal at a glance, or after careful inspection, the state of the art. On the passage of the legislative bill providing for the increase of force it was proposed to establish three additional examining divisions. Two have been established; the other relates to a division of the class of electricity, and will be organized in a very short time.
On the 1st of July last the work in the Copying and Assignment Division was from three to six months in arrears. The increase of clerical force in the grades of skilled laborer and laborer enabled the Office to bring that work up to date, so that orders for records and copies can now be promptly filled. The increase of force required in the Office is in the examining corps. No additional clerks are needed. A great saving to the Office could be effected by the employment of boys at twenty five or thirty dollars per months to act as messengers.
I have the honor to recommend that the examining force be increased as suggested in the report by the Secretary of the Interior -- that is, that there be added three (3) principal, four (4) first assistant, eight (8) second assistant, eleven (11) third assistant, and fifteen (15) fourth assistant examiners. I also recommend that appropriation be made for ten (10) boys at $30 per month to act as messengers.
Increase in Salaries
During the past year a number of the most efficient examiners in the corps have resigned, because of the inadequacy of salaries paid. The principal examiners should be paid not less than $3,000 a year; the first assistants, $2,400; second assistants, $2,000; third assistants, $1,600; and fourth assistants, $1,200. Inasmuch as promotion in the Office is slow, and is generally earned before received, the pay should be graded according to the length of service and efficiency of the officer, so that a fourth assistant could receive $1,400 the second year, and $1,600 the third year of service. As before stated, a high order of ability, a high order of attainment, and the strictest integrity are required in this service.
I desire to call special attention to the inadequacy of the salary of the Assistant Commissioner. It is required of him that he should have competent knowledge of law and be a skilled expert in mechanics, etc. He is called upon to hear important cases every day, involving valuable interests. I recommend that his salary be increased to $4,000 per annum.
The Official Gazette, which is issued on Tuesday of each week, contains the date and number of each patent, the name and residence of the patentee, a copy of the claims, and an accurate photolithographic reproduction of the invention. Representatives and Senators are each entitled to designate eight public libraries to which the Gazette is sent without charge. Thus mechanics and artisans and others interested may be advised each week of the growth of each and every particular art, so far as the same is reflected through the Patent Office. The number of Gazettes published is very small, and the edition is quickly exhausted. There is a very earnest desire expressed by many members of Congress, especially those representing manufacturing districts, that the edition be increased, in order that a greater number of public libraries and associations may be supplied, thus enabling those interested to keep constantly posted in regard to the growth of invention in the several arts, such knowledge being of itself a great stimulant to the inventive genius of our people.
Since I have held the office of Commissioner I have been at some pains to learn why it is that an amount sufficient to properly conduct the business of the Bureau has not been appropriated from the sum received by the Government for that purpose. The mistake was first made some years ago in permitting the Commissioner to control the entire fund without suitable and proper checks. This led to some abuse. The result was a move to the other extreme, so that so far from controlling the fund that is indispensably necessary to the conduct of the business of the Bureau, at no time within ten years has there been a sufficient amount appropriated to meet the actual needs of the Office. As the business increased, instead of the room being extended, it was actually reduced, so that when the business of the Bureau was doubled the room was reduced nearly one half.
Another difficulty in the way of securing proper appropriations has been a prejudice in the minds of many people of this country against patents and the patent system. It has been, certainly until very recently, a very common belief that the whole system was a humbug; that it was in fact an amiable way of permitting cranks to indulge their humors in regard to perpetual motion, etc., an inventive genius being regarded as one who was more or less erratic; and, as stated, there was and is today throughout the country an impression that the patent system in its practical operation levies a burdensome tax upon the people. It is also believed by a great many artisans, mechanics, and laborers that the system tends to abridge the opportunities for securing employment, and that it reduces wages.
Touching the first objection, I submit that a careful investigation will show that the patent system is the foundation upon which the industrial interests of this country are based. We are, in fact, indebted for our unequalled growth and prosperity as a manufacturing people to its influence. Nor is its healthful influence confined to the shops and factories, but extends to the fields, mines and forests. The mere desire which all our people naturally feel to secure increased comforts and improved methods would never have resulted in even a distant approach to our present condition as a productive nation but for the great incentive found in securing to the inventor for a term of years the absolute ownership of the improved machine, method, process, or discovery which is the result of his efforts. It has been urged that the inventive genius of our people would have given to the world substantially all the improvements we have now without this incentive. Such a proposition seems so unreasonable that it is hardly worth while to combat it by argument. We sow not only to reap, but in the expectation of reaping an adequate harvest. No one would devote years of patient study, careful and profound thought and investigation, based on experiments, merely to produce a machine for his own individual use. The British Parliament a few years since appointed a committee to take testimony to make full investigation to ascertain the influence of and necessity for a patent system. That investigation settled beyond all controversy, at least so far as the English nation is concerned, that without the patent system the inventive genius of that people would have remained inactive, and little progress would have been made during several centuries in the direction of developing the great industries which are now the source of English wealth and power.
While preparing the exhibits for the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition at New Orleans, I endeavored by correspondence to gather what information I could touching the relation our patent system sustains to the growth of our own industries, and from the investigations I have made I feel safe in saying that to this system we are chiefly indebted for our present great industrial prosperity. The percentage of manufacturing establishments in this country which have not utilized the patent system in one way or another, as a means either of founding a business or building up and extending it, is very small. But, as suggested before, it is urged that this exclusive property in a patent imposes burdens upon our people. The exact reverse is true. In this connection one important fact in the matter of using articles or machines which have been patented seems to be generally overlooked, and that is that no one is compelled to use any patented invention. The blessed privilege of sticking to the old ways abides with all of us, notwithstanding the patent system. Farmers are under no obligations whatever to lay aside the sickle, scythe, or cradle and use the reaper and mower. They may still, if they will, rake and bind wheat and oats with their hands, instead of doing it by machinery. There does not rest upon them the slightest obligation to use a thrasher or separator, since they are at perfect liberty to swing the flail or use the tramping floor. The hand loom may still be used, notwithstanding the inventions of Jacquard and Arkwright, supplemented and improved by modern inventions. The old spinning wheel need not be thrown aside because the inventive genius of man has given us the spinning jenny and its kindred aids in that art. There rests no obligation upon any of us to use the telephone, the telegraph, the locomotive, or the engine. In fact, in all things we may stick absolutely to the old way, and submit ourselves to all the inconveniences and discomforts of the olden times. Every farmer may continue to build a worm or post-and-rail or stone fence, instead of using barbed wire. In this connection it is proper to remark that he pays for his barbed wire fence but little, if any, more than fifty per cent of the cost of the old board or post-and-rail fence, and it has been demonstrated that the farmers of the country have in the last few years saved over sixty millions of dollars by the use of this valuable invention. In fact, all inventions are utilized not simply because they are more convenient, but because they are cheaper and better. Touching the statement that laborers are thrown out of employment and wages reduced by the use of patented devices, it is sufficient to say that the allegation is entirely at variance with the best information obtainable from the returns of the last census. The utilization of valuable inventions does not throw laborers out of employment, but redistributes labor, and opens up new avenues of employment, calls into requisition a higher order of skill, and secures an increase of wagers. For example, take the boot and shoe industry, where a few hundred machines have changed the whole course of labor. The census of 1870 showed that there was an average of twenty nine persons employed in every shoe factor in this country, whereas in 1880 there were fifty six persons so employed. The same number of persons in 1875 made three times as many shoes as in 1845. In a table prepared by Colonel Wright, chief of the Bureau of Labor, it is shown that in 1870 there were employed 91,702 men, women, and children, while in 1880 there were 111,152. In estimates based upon four hundred and sixty shoe manufacturing establishments in Massachusetts it is shown that three millions of dollars more are paid in wages than the capital invested, and that the labor saving machinery has given to the laborer in 1880 almost double the wages of 1850.
But for the growth of our industries due to the patent system there would have been no employment in this country, other than in the fields, for ten per cent of the immigrants who have come among us. While an important invention may result in utilizing a machine which will do the work of a dozen men, the result is to open up an avenue of employment which will give work to double the number. The comforts and conveniences of life are made more abundant and cheaper, the consumption larger.
When the advantages which our country derives from the patent system are considered, in connection with the fact that it does not cost the Government a farthing, the whole expense being paid by those having business with the Office, either as applicants for patents or otherwise, it would seem that there should be no hesitation in appropriating at least the money paid in and received by the Government in trust for the purpose of promptly and efficiently conducting the business of the Bureau. While the Patent Office has been more than self-sustaining, the cost to those having business to transact has been reduced and the facilities increased. A few years since it cost from $2/50 to $35 to obtain a copy of the drawings of a patent. Under the system of photolithographing now adopted the Office can supply copies of patents with perfect reproductions of the drawings at nominal cost -- viz., twenty-five cents for single copies, or ten cents when twenty or more are ordered. Not only this, but the entire expense of producing these photolithographic copies is more than paid by the proceeds of the sales.
I take the liberty to refer to the speech delivered by Hon. O.H. Platt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Patents, in the Senate on the 31st of March, 1884, in which our patent system was carefully and ably discussed, and the needs of the Bureau fully considered.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant