Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents to Congress
for the year ending December 31, 1890
Laid before the Senate by the Vice-President February 3, 1890,
referred to the Committee on Patents, and ordered to be printed.

Department of the Interior
United States Patent Office
Washington, D.C., January 31, 1891

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

It is provided by section 494 of the Revised Statutes that

the Commissioner of Patents shall lay before Congress in the month of January, annually, a report giving a detailed statement of all moneys received for patents, for copies of records or drawings, or for any other source whatever, a detailed statement of all expenditures for contingent and miscellaneous expenses; a list of all patents which were granted during the preceding year, designating under proper heads the subjects of such patents; an alphabetical list of all the patentees, with their places of residence; a list of all patents which have been extended during the year, and such other information of the condition of the Patent Office as may be useful to Congress or the public.

The history of this bureau for the past year has been, so far as relates to the amount of business successfully transacted, one of continued growth and prosperity. The aggregate number of applications for patents and for the registration of trade-marks and labels has exceeded that of any preceding year in the history of the Patent Office, and the number of patents granted and trade-marks and labels registered has correspondingly increased. This increase is due partly to the natural growth and expansion of the industries of the country, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the products of inventive genius, and is partly due to special efforts on the part of the entire force employed to prevent the work from falling into arrears, as a result of added burdens thereby imposed. At the same time the conditions under which the work has been done have remained practically the same. There has been no increase in room whatever, and no substantial increase in the force employed.

The Need of Additional Room

The first need of the Patent Office is additional room. During the past year the utmost effort and ingenuity have been rendered necessary in order to find space even for copies of patents as they have been produced from week to week. The income from these copies during the past year has been upward of $60,000. They have been stored in various parts of the building, upon different floors, in different halls and corridors, and only by the most careful systemization is a searcher, however experienced, enabled to know in what hall, corridor, or cranny he must look in order to find a particular patent. During the past year the Office has been compelled to appropriate to other uses one of the rooms occupied by inventors and their attorneys for the purpose of inspecting their pending applications, and the consequence is that the remaining room, the floor-space of which is only 23 feet square, is overcrowded and every day occupied by more than thirty persons at a time. An effort is now being made to restore to the inventors and their attorneys the use of the other room formerly occupied by them. This will be accomplished, if at all, by walling off a space in the already-crowded model halls. The Scientific Library, containing about 60,000 volumes, is crowded into disconnected rooms and galleries, appropriated from one of the model halls. The rooms of the examining divisions are overcrowded; some of them are unhealthy at best; others are rendered unhealthy by their crowded condition. From all parts of the Office arises a daily demand for additional room, which cannot be supplied, but which must, nevertheless, be supplied if the Patent Office is to do its work at all. It is nearly ten years since my predecessors directed attention to this imperative need. Not a report has been made to Congress during the intervening decade which did not dwell upon the necessity for additional room, and with increasing emphasis from year to year. Meanwhile the amount of work annually transacted has nearly doubled; meanwhile the records and copies have vastly accumulated; meanwhile the number of rooms and the extent of space occupied by the Patent Office have become gradually less and less. During the last six years the patrons of the Patent Office have paid into the Treasury over a million of dollars in excess of every expenditure of every kind, either by the Patent Office or by the Department of the Interior for the benefit of the Patent Office. The net income of the present year is greater than it was during the year before. Last year it was greater than during the prior year. The inventors of the country cannot understand why their money is taken while adequate facilities are denied. The policy of making the Patent Office a permanent source of revenue -- a bureau of taxation for the general purposes of the Government -- has never been advocated, so far as I know, by any one. The time will soon arrive when it will be impossible to discharge the functions of this bureau unless some provision is made to afford relief for its overcrowded condition; and I earnestly request that relief may be afforded.

Official Gazette

The present edition of the Official Gazette consists of 7,000 copies, of which 2,953 copies are furnished to subscribers, at five dollars per year, and 3,576 copies are distributed to public libraries, members of Congress, and public officers in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress of May 18, 1872. Of the remaining copies a large portion are sold and delivered in miscellaneous numbers, the special orders for miscellaneous copies aggregating nearly 5,000 during the last calendar year. The necessity of reproducing the numbers from January to July after the first edition of 6,500 copies had been exhausted increased the expense of photolithographing the Official Gazette over that of the previous year; but the contract for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891, entitles the Office to 7,000 copies at the same aggregate price at which 6,500 copies had been furnished heretofore. The contract was made with the Norris Peters Company, which succeeded to the photolithographic business built up and managed by Norris Peters.

Unquestionably this work should be done by the Patent Office; but with the present room, force, and facilities it is impracticable.

The acts appropriating money for the photolithographing have for several years contained the following provision:

Said photolithographing or otherwise producing plates and copies referred to in this and the preceding paragraph to be done under the supervision of the Commissioner of Patents and in the city of Washington, if it can there be done at reasonable rates.

Under this provision in the last appropriation act the photolithographic work of the Patent Office for the present fiscal year has been contracted for in accordance with the practice which has prevailed for many years. The prices are the same as paid during previous years, excepting that, as I have stated, 7,000 copies are furnished at the same aggregate price which has heretofore been paid for 6,500 copies. This reduction was believed to be due to the Office as a reasonable recognition of the advantage derived by the contractors from the corresponding increase of work in preparing drawings for patents and copies. No claim has been made to me, or to my knowledge by any competitor or expert, that the rates paid are not reasonable within the meaning and intention of the act making provision therefor.

Increase in Force

The work of the Office requires a larger number of examiners, with a slight increase also in the clerical force. The examining divisions at present are thirty in number. This has been the case since July 1, 1888. The number of applications filed during the year 1888 was 35,797. During the year 1889 the number was 40,575; for 1890 the number of applications, exclusive of applications for the registration of trade-marks and labels, was 411,048. Not only has the number of applications increased one-seventh since the number of examining divisions was fixed at thirty, but new classes of invented articles have come into being, thereby creating a necessity for new examining divisions. In my opinion there should be at the very least two new examining divisions, with a complete corps of examiners, clerks, copyists, and laborers for such divisions and such a further increases of forces would be rendered necessary in order to conduct the augmented operations of the other divisions of the Office.

I am deeply impressed with the fact that the pace kept up in the Patent Office now, as in all recent years, is inconsistent with that high degree of care in conducting examinations which the patent system calls for. The Government undertakes on behalf of the inventor not only to give him a patent, if his improvement is new and useful, but to conduct a painstaking examination in order to ascertain what the fact may be in that regard. The search for anticipatory devices and processes should continue until a moral certainty is reached that further search would be unavailing. A patent should evidence such painstaking care in examination that upon its face it should warrant a preliminary injunction, and there can be but little doubt that the continuance of the "American" examination system depends upon so conducting examinations into the novelty of alleged inventions as to make the seal of the Patent Office create a powerful if not conclusive presumption that the patent is valid. I am aware that after the most exhaustive examination there would still remain a margin of possibility that an anticipatory device or description has been overlooked. No examiner can possibly be aware of all that has been done which has not found a place in patents or in printed publications; but in this age of printing and publicity there is no reason why an examination should not be made sufficiently careful and exhaustive to afford a practical guarantee that the patent granted is a valid patent. I look forward to the day when a sufficient portion of the surplus funds paid into the Patent Office will be withheld from the Treasury to afford the amplest facilities for prosecuting the work of examination until the presumption that the field of research is exhausted shall amount to a moral certainty.


The Patent Office still awaits a suitable laboratory. The great number of applications for patents relating to metallurgical, chemical, and electrical inventions renders it necessary that a completely equipped laboratory should be at the services of Examiners and applicants for patents. At present the Examiners are compelled to determine questions by the exercise of judgment, based upon general information, which everywhere else than in the Patent Office are determined by practical test and experiment. Complaints are not infrequent that applications are unduly delayed when the only method of adequately determining whether a patent should be granted -- to wit, the method of experiment and test -- is not available. An inconsiderable sum would secure the necessary apparatus and appliances. What is needed is suitable room or rooms, and the merest fragment of the surplus fund which the inventors have paid into the Office during the current year would be sufficient to equip a laboratory that would meet every requirement.


The salary of the Assistant Commissioner of Patents is $3,000 per annum. It is less than that of either the Deputy Commissioner of Pensions or than that of the Assistant Commissioner of the General Land Office. His duties require the highest legal and scientific ability. Owing to the large number of appeals which come before the head of the Office in a judicial capacity, the Assistant Commissioner is daily called upon to hear and decide important controversies, involving large pecuniary interests, as well as to assist in all the processes of executive management. In the absence of the Commissioner the entire management of the bureau devolves upon him. No officer of the Government discharging such important duties is so inadequately paid.

The salaries of the Examiners-in-Chief and principal Examiners are also inadequate. The present salary of the principal examiners was fixed in 1848. A sum which was compensatory forty years ago is not a just equivalent for the same services now. Aside from the fact that all salaries have been increased on account of the increased cost of living, the present Examiners of the Patent Office do far more and better work than formerly. Owing to the wonderful progress in every art, they are required to be much more learned; they are experts in their several departments of scientific thought and acquisition; they are learned in the law, and as heads of divisions they are called upon to exercise administrative ability. What I have said of principal Examiners is true in proportionate degree of the assistant Examiners. The Patent Office cannot expect to maintain an examining corps of the highest order of ability unless the salaries are made commensurate with the services rendered.

In this bureau there are seventy-six employees classed as copyists receiving a salary of $720 per annum. Prior to the last appropriation act these copyists were known as "skilled laborers," although their duties were for the most part clerical. In June, 1888, these skilled laborers were brought within the classified service by Executive order. Since that time all vacancies in such grade have been filled through the Civil Service Commission in the methods prescribed by law. At the present time one-half of the seventy-six copyists have passed the civil service examination. As the matter now stands there is a disposition on the part of the copyists receiving this salary to seek transfers to other bureaus in which for the same services the compensation is $900 per annum. Not only is this the case, but difficulty is experienced in filling vacancies when they occur in this grade. A considerable number of persons who have been certified for appointment during the past year have declined to accept their appointments, upon the ground that the compensation is not sufficient and is less than that paid for equivalent services in other bureaus. When it is remembered that these copyists are engaged in transcribing patents, assignments, and other important documents and papers, and that a high degree of care and intelligence is required therefor, it will be conceded that this discrimination against the employees of the Patent Office is unjust in principle and unwise as matter of policy.

Model Room

The model halls contain about 154,000 models. The number added during the past year was 535. The present practice of the Office dispenses with models excepting when required by the Commissioner. The work of repairing models, which was abruptly suspended during 1886, has been resumed in earnest during the past year and is now progressing as rapidly as the available force for that purpose will permit. There are 25,000 models which require repairing to a greater or less extent. The models contained in the model halls are not only of great interest to the public at large, who evince their interest by visiting them daily in large numbers, but they are of almost inestimable advantage to the examiners by enabling them to conduct their investigations expeditiously. A considerable per cent of the applications for patents received from day to day are found to be met and anticipated by the contents of the model cases. I regard it as nothing less than a public calamity that the Office was several years ago compelled to suspend the reception of models, except in special instances, for want of space in which to store and exhibit them. A public gallery containing specimens of all the inventions of the past ten years would furnish an exhibition of industrial growth of marvelous interest and value and would be of vast assistance to inventors and examiners in enabling them to really ascertain whether inventions for which protection is sought have been patented previously. I venture to express the hope that the time will come when models will again be required in connection with all applications, and that when that time arrives an effort will also be put forth to obtain specimens of the more important inventions which have been patented during the intervening period.

Scientific Library

A vast amount of work has been done in the Scientific Library during the past year in arranging and indexing books and patents. This library at present consists of 59,856 volumes. During the past year 1,713 volumes have been added. During the calendar year the amount expended for books and for the transportation of publications ($2,670.86) has been distributed as follows:

Periodicals and foreign serials                        $659.99

Law books and non-technical books for use of examiners  299.30

Technical works                                       1,004.22

Law books for law library                               108.70

Transportation                                          598.65

The exchange of the Official Gazette authorized by Congress in the last appropriation act has resulted in a practical increase in the fund available for the purchase of books.

Abridgement of Patents

In my report to Congress for the calendar year 1889 I dwelt at some length upon the desirability of a classified abridgement of patents, and called attention to the fact that such work was begun about ten years ago, Congress having made an appropriation of $10,000 for that purpose. No subsequent appropriation was made, however, so that nothing further has been done, and no money has been available for the publication of the digest even as far as completed. In the report referred to the advantages of such a digest were summed up in the following language:

In the first place it would be of the greatest value in facilitating the labors of this Office by lessening the work of examiners, and, excepting as the number of applications should greatly increase in the future, would permit of a decrease in the number of the force. It would also be the means of preventing the granting of worthless patents through the failure to discover apt references -- a failure which must result in a certain small percentage of cases so long as Examiners are deprived of the most efficient means of conducting their investigations. It would enable the patrons of the Office to prepare their cases intelligently, and by enabling them to readily ascertain the state of the art pertaining to a supposed new invention would, in a vast number of cases, cause the withholding of applications which now take up the time of Examiners to no useful purpose. It would to a very great extent transfer the work of examination from the Patent Office to the offices of attorneys, and thus afford great relief in the present overburdened condition of the examining divisions. It would enable patentees and manufacturers to definitely understand the extent of their rights as secured by patents, and by disseminating knowledge of what has been done in all the various arts would prevent inventors from traversing the ground occupied by predecessors in their noble pursuit. It would be remunerative to the Government, because such a digest would meet with a ready sale among inventors and manufacturers, and the entire cost of its preparation and publication would soon be reimbursed. And finally it is indispensable if the United States would keep pace with other nations in whatever pertains to the development of its patent system.


Date of Letters Patent, Section 4885

Section 4885 of the revised statutes provides that --

every patent shall bear date as of a day not later than six months from the time at which it was passed and allowed, and notice thereof was sent to the applicant or his agent; and if the final fee is not paid within that period the patent shall be withheld.

This section of the law permits an inventor to wait six months after the allowance of his application and after notice sent before paying the final fee, and yet it requires that the patent shall bear date not later than six months from the sending of such notice of allowance. The Office can do nothing toward preparing the Letters Patent until the final fee is paid, after which payment between two and three weeks must elapse before the patent is fully prepared for signature. In order to issue the patent upon the day of its date it has long been the practice of the Office to send a second notice of allowance in cases where the fee is paid so late that the patent cannot be ready for signature within the six months prescribed by law. This practice seems to be the only practicable one, but it certainly does not commend the statute which makes it necessary. I recommend such an alteration of this section as will remedy the defect which has been pointed out. One remedy which has been suggested is to require all patents to be granted as of the day on which the application was allowed and the patentee notified, six months being allowed for the payment of the final fee, as heretofore. Another method is to provide that the patent shall bear date not later than seven months after the allowance of the application and the sending of the notice. The latter method, which is perhaps the preferable one, would permit the Office to begin preparing the patent for signature after the payment of the final fee in all cases, and would also afford sufficient time to permit the Office to begin preparing the patent for signature after the payment of the final fee in all cases, and would also afford sufficient time to permit the issues for a given week to bear date the same day, in accordance with the present practice. It would probably be unwise to shorten the period for paying the final fee, as the present practice of making payment within six months has become so firmly established that numerous forfeitures would inevitably result from requiring the fee to be paid during the shorter period.


Trade-marks are now registered when used in foreign commerce and in commerce with the Indian tribes. The question of registering trade-marks used in interstate commerce is presented in a new aspect by the adhesion of the United States to the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property. Article 6 of the convention acceded to provides:

Every trade or commercial mark regularly deposited in the country of origin shall be admitted to deposit and so protected in all the other countries of the union.

Additional legislation would seem to be required to enable citizens of the United States to lay a basis for registration abroad by first effecting domestic registration when their trade-marks are used in commerce among the States, and also to enable aliens to secure by appropriate Congressional action the benefit of the treaty stipulations. Again, section 7 of the act to reduce the revenue and equalize duties on imports and for other purposes, approved October 1, 1890, provides that no article of imported merchandise which shall copy or simulate the name or trade-mark of any domestic manufacture or manufacturer shall be admitted to entry at any custom-house of the United States, and that any domestic manufacturer who has adopted trade-marks may require his name and residence and a description of his trade-marks to be recorded in books which shall be kept for that purpose in the Department of the Treasury, etc. No provision seems to be made in said act for determining whether the manufacturer registering the mark is the owner thereof, or for determining to which one of two or more persons or parties claiming the same mark the title thereof belongs. Under the law as it now exists the Commissioner of Patents is clothed with the power to settle such questions prima facie for all the purposes of registration, and suitable statutory provisions and rules prescribed by departmental authority regulate the methods of procedure to be followed. It would seem to be the part of wisdom to extend the authority of the Commissioner so as to include the registration of trademarks used in interstate commerce in some manner consistent with the law already providing for registration in the Treasury Department. Such legislation would enable the Department of the Treasury to have the benefit of the investigations and conclusions of the Patent Office, and would at the same time provide a single system of registration and a single place for registration for all trade-marks employed in connection with any department of commerce within the regulative power of Congress.

Charge for Certified Copies of Printed Matter

There should be a law authorizing the Commissioner to furnish certified copies of printed patents at the same rates as are now charged for uncertified printed copies of patents, with the additional fee prescribed by law for the official certificate. As the law now stands ten cents per hundred words must be charged for a certified copy of a printed patent, although the same patent could be furnished unaccompanied by a certificate for the maximum price of twenty-five cents no matter how many words it might contain.

Limitation of Patents

Attention is again respectfully directed to the existing law which provides that patents granted for inventions which have been patented in a foreign country shall be so limited as to expire at the same time with the foreign patent. The attention of Congress has been directed to this subject in all or nearly all the reports of Commissioners of Patents in recent years. No adequate reason can be given why an American patentee should pay the penalty of having the term of his patent shortened because he has elected to patent his invention abroad. The practical difficulties of administering the present law in this bureau are very great. It is manifestly impossible to certainly ascertain whether or not a patent has been granted in foreign countries prior to the very day on which the American patent is to issue. Again, the American inventor is often compelled to forego the benefits designed to result from the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property by the necessity of applying for a foreign patent before his patent can be granted in due course in this country. He must apply in foreign countries within seven months from the date when he files his application in this country or he loses the benefit of the period of priority conferred upon citizens and subjects of nations which are parties to the Union; but in many cases the American patent cannot be granted until the expiration of a longer period than seven months from the date of filing the application. In such a case the patentee must consent to have his American term shortened or, as I have already stated, forego the benefits of the period of priority as against subjects of other nations which he might otherwise enjoy.

Interference Proceedings

Section 4904 of the Revised Statutes requires that when an application is made for a patent which in the opinion of the Commissioner would interfere with any pending application, or with any unexpired patent, he shall institute proceedings to determine the question of priority of invention. The statute evidently contemplates a single proceeding, resulting in the grant of a patent to the prevailing party, unless such party has already received his patent. It not infrequently happens, however, that when the successful party is about to go out with his patent a stranger to the previous proceedings files an applications, and as the law now stands a second interference is instituted with all its prolixity of procedure, thereby detaining the first applicant for still another period of controversy, and unduly postponing the time when the true inventor shall come into the enjoyment of his rights, and also the time when seventeen years later the public shall be entitled to enter into the unrestricted use and enjoyment of the new art of manufacture. I am sorry to add that it is currently believed that in some cases new parties enter the field no so much to obtain a patent for themselves as to obstruct and postpone the rights of meritorious inventors. In my opinion a law providing that a party prevailing upon the first proceeding shall be permitted to take his patent, and that subsequent applicants shall contest priority with a patentee instead of with an applicant, would be found to constitute a practical remedy for some of the incidental evils of the system as it at present exists.

Refundment of Moneys Paid by Mistake

For many years it has been the practice of the Patent Office to refund moneys paid by actual mistake, such as a payment in excess, or when not required by law, or by neglect or misinformation on the part of the Office. This practice is based upon a rule established by the Commissioner of Patents with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior under authority conferred by section 483 of the Revised Statutes. The amount refunded during the past year was $13,394.45. It is found in practice that the course prescribed by the rule is the only one adapted to the transaction of the business of the Office. The fees paid, although amounting to a considerable sum in the aggregate, consist, for the most part, of very small items. Practically speaking, refundments must be made by the Commissioner of Patents, or not at all, in the great majority of instances. I am satisfied that this course of business in respect of refundments of moneys, which is found to be necessary, should stand upon a more satisfactory basis than an Office rule. I know of no reason why a statute should not be enacted directly authorizing the Commissioner to make refundments out of any money in his hands in all cases where payments have been made by actual mistake, such as payments in excess, or when not required by law, or by neglect or misinformation on the part of the Office. By no possibility could detriment result if such a law were enacted. Under the system of accounts now employed the accounts of the Patent Office are thoroughly examined every month by expert officials of the Treasury Department; and the Commissioner, the Chief Clerk, and the Financial Clerk are all bonded officers.

The Conference at Madrid

In my last annual report I directed attention to the conference at Madrid of the members of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, then about to be held in April, 1890. It was pointed out that there was reason to believe that the "period of priority" accorded to inventors for "depositing" their inventions or applications in other countries than their own was agreed upon without taking into full consideration the peculiar feature of the American patent system, which requires a careful examination after the application has been filed and before a patent is granted. At the same time I expressed the opinion that the United States should be represented at the conference by delegates learned in matters pertaining to the American law of patents and trademarks, in order that through the efforts of such delegates a change might, if possible, be effected which would make the treaty subserve the needs of American inventors seeking patents in foreign countries. As a means of accomplishing this result it was suggested that Article 4 of the final protocol might ultimately be so amended as to make the seven months' right of priority run from the date of publication of the patent first applied for instead of from the date of the application itself.

In according with these suggestions an act was passed authorizing the Secretary of State to appoint delegates, and Examiner F.A. Seely, of this Office, and Mr. Francis Forbes, of New York, were appointed. These delegates, acting in conjunction with the United States Minister at Madrid, represented the United States at said conference, and although well-directed efforts, prosecuted with zeal and ability, were put forth by them they were not able bring about the result anticipated.

Centennial Celebration

The first American patent law went into effect on the 10th day of April, 1790; the hundredth year dating from that event has therefore terminated. It is in contemplation, however, to celebrate the beginning of the second century of the patent system. The movement in the direction of such a celebration originated outside of official circles, and had its origin in the recognition of the influence, both beneficent and marvelous, which the patent system has exerted. The century ending in 1890 had seen more of material progress than many preceding centuries had witnessed. During the same period of one hundred years the American patent system had been in being, and along with other systems in others countries, most of them of more recent origin, had stimulated and protected inventions and inventors. It was impossible to overlook the coincidence or to disregard the lesson thereby suggested. It was impossible that the vast human interest which invests everything pertaining to the Patent Office should not obtain expression, and it would have excited an unbounded surprise if the opportunity afforded had not been seized upon. It is now too early to forecast and announce in detail the exercises that will take place, but the time selected is the 8th of April, 1891, and the two succeeding days. There is every reason to expect that the celebration will be worthy of the occasion and the transcendent importance to the American people of their patent system.

Business of the Patent Office

The following statements exhibit in detail the business received and transacted by the Office during the last calendar year. In general it may be stated that the total number of applications received, including mechanical applications, designs, and reissues, and excluding applications for the registration of trade-marks and labels, was 41,048; that the total number of patents granted, including mechanical patents, designs, and reissues, was 26,292; that the total number of registrations was 1,719; that the total receipts were $1,240,373.66, and that the total expenditures were $1,099,297.74, leaving a surplus of $241,074.92 to be turned into the Treasury of the United States, making a total balance in the Treasury to the credit of the Patent fund of $3,872,745.24.


Detailed statement of all moneys received for patents, for copies 

of records or drawings, or from any source whatever.


    Cash received                  $1,153,802.54

    Cash refunded                       4,998.00


    Net Cash                        1,147,898.54

    Certificates of deposit            51,910.00


       Total cash and certificates  1,199,803.54



    Cash received                     106,453.62

    Cash refunded                       4,676.64


    Net cash                          101,776.98

    Certificates of deposit               748.50


       Total cash and certificates    102,525.48


Recording assignments

    Cash received                      22,818.38

    Cash refunded                       1,230.46


    Net cash                           21,587.92

    Certificates of deposit               250.00


       Total cash and certificates     21,837.92


Subscription to Official Gazette

    Cash received                      13,407.57

    Cash refunded                          83.35


    Net cash                           13,384.22

    Certificates of deposit                84.50


       Total cash and certificates     13,468.72


Registration of labels

    Cash received                       4.993.00

    Cash refunded                       2,406.00


    Net cash                            2,587.00

    Certificates of deposit               150.00


       Total cash and certificates      2,737.00



    Cash received                  $1,300,621.11

    Cash refunded                      13,394.55


    Net Cash                        1,287,229.66

    Certificates of deposit            53,443.00


       Total cash and certificates  1,340,372.66



Amount received by this Office under the several appropriations 

from January 1, 1890, to December 31, 1890

Salaries                             $657,505.15

Official Gazette                       61,439.20

Photolithographing                     95,063.80

Scientific library                      1,954.43

Transportation of publications 

  to foreign governments                  410.40


    Total                             816,372.98


Approximate amount reported by the Department of the Interior as expended on account of this Office from January 1, 1890, to December 31, 1890. [fn.: A literal compliance with the provisions of the statute requiring "a detailed statement of all expenditures for contingent and miscellaneous expenses" is not possible, for the reason that the contingent fund for the several bureaus of this Department was consolidated by the act of March 3, 1883, and hence no part of that fund is disbursed by the Patent Office, and I am furnished only with an approximate sum expended on behalf of the Patent Office.]

Stationery                             $9,368.45

Postage on foreign matter               1,361.20

Printing and binding                  241,743.86

Watch force                            16,600.00

Furniture                               7,592.42

Carpets                                   512.17

Ice                                       550.76

Telephones                                469.10

Washing towels                            120.78

Sundries                                4,606.02


    Total                             282,924.76


Aggregate amount of expenditures    1,099,297.74


           Receipts over expenditures 

Total receipts                     $1,340,272.66

Total expenditures                  1,099,297.74


Receipts over expenditures            241,074.92


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, 1890     3,631,670.32

Amount of receipts during the year 1890              1,340,372.66


    Total                                            4,972,012.98

Deduct expenditures for the year 1890                1,099,297.74


Balance January 1, 1891                              3,872,745.24


    Summary of the Business of the Patent Office

Number of applications for patents for inventions       39,884

Number of applications for patents for designs           1,016

Number of applications for reissues of patents             118


    Total number of applications                        41,018


Number of caveats filed                                  2,311

Number of applications for registration of trade-marks   1,087

Number of applications for registration of labels          875

Number of disclaimers filed                                  5

Number of appeals on the merits                          1,390


    Total                                                6,208


    Total number of applications, etc., requiring 

      investigation and action                          47,256


Number of patents issued, including designs             26,208

Number of patents reissued                                  81


   Total                                                26,292


Number of trade-marks registered                         1,415

Number of labels registered                                304




Number of patents expired during the year               11,616

Number of patents withheld for non-payment of final fees 3,559

Patents issued

Patents issued to citizens of the United States, with the ratio of population to each patent granted[omitted KWD]

Patents granted to citizens of foreign countries

[omitted KWD]

The following tables present a comparative statement of the business of the Patent Office since the enactment of the statute of 1836 and exhibit in detail the business of the Office during the last calendar year:

[omitted KWD]

Statement showing the number of the first patent, Design patent, and reissued patent, and the number of the first certificate of registration of a Trade-Mark and a Label issued in each calendar year since July 28, 1836, when the present series of numbers of Letters Patent commenced, together with the total number of each issued during the year. [Actually, patent No. 1 was issued July 13, 1836. KWD] [fn.: The number of patents granted prior to the commencement of this series of numbering (July 28, 1836) was 9,957]

[omitted KWD]

Herewith accompanying this report are lists of indexes, arranged in yearly form, of all patents granted during the calendar year 1890, properly classified under subjects of invention, and alphabetical lists of all patentees, with their places of residence. No patents were extended during the year.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C.E. Mitchell,


<< Return to Patent History Materials Index