Report of the Commissioner of Patents to Congress for the Year Ending December 31, 1891
Laid before the Senate by the Vice-President February 1, 1892,
referred to the Committee on Patents, and ordered to be printed

Department of the Interior
United States Patent Office
Washington, D.C., January 30, 1892

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

This report is rendered in compliance with the following section of the Revised Statutes:

Sec. 494.

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 detailed statements, tables, and lists above specified will be found at the end of this report, following what is intended to be such "information of the condition of the Patent Office as may be useful to Congress or the public."

More Room Needed

The most pressing and urgent need of the Patent Office is more room. Every division of the Office needs it and calls for it daily. From week to week ingenuity is taxed to the utmost to find space wherein to dispose of the printed copies of the patents as they are issued. More than six hundred thousand of these printed copies are sold each year, bringing in an income of more than sixty thousand dollars, and more than six hundred thousand other copies are selected each year for the use of the Examiners and the various departments of the Government. They are now disposed in separate and disconnected parcels upon five different floors, partly under stairways, and in every sort of an out-of-the-way place that a great building can furnish. The selection of two copies which stand next to each other serially not rarely takes the person who is selecting them from the lowest of these five floors to the highest and from one extremity of the building to the other. Where these weekly issues of copies are to be put in the near future, no one at present can possibly tell.

As regards the rooms occupied by the Examiners, the need is almost as urgent. These rooms, omitting two store-rooms and two hearing-rooms, are forty-eight in number. Their combined capacity in cubic feet, deducting the space occupied by cases and the like, is 247,441 feet. The number of occupants is 270. The cubic feet of space per occupant is therefore 916 feet. Dr. John Billings, in his work entitled "The Principles of Ventilation and Heating," gives 4,200 cubic feet as necessary for each person in a room with "ordinary ventilation" for two consecutive hours of occupancy. These Examiners' rooms are occupied seven consecutive hours each day, with the exception of half an hour for luncheon. These rooms hardly attain what might be called "ordinary ventilation," for all of them are dependent upon the doors and windows for fresh air, except that one of them has a small ventilating-register, which cannot be used, and five of them have grate-fires, which to a degree assist the ventilation. The heating is attained in some rooms by the steam-pipes, in others by hot-air registers, and in still others by stoves. It is the rule rather than the exception in these rooms that the floor-space is so occupied by desks and cases for papers that the occupants move about in them through tortuous lanes. Cases of drawings belonging to the patented files are necessarily located in large numbers along the sides of the corridors, where the public passes to and fro. This is unsafe and unsightly. This state of affairs not only puts unnecessary discomfort upon the Examiners, but it also unfavorably affects their health and, to a degree that is more than noticeable, prevents them from doing work to their full capacity. The accompanying diagram has been prepared in order to show at a single glance the degree to which these rooms are crowded beyond the ordinary requirements for ventilation:

Diagram showing crowded condition of the U.S. Patent OfficeCubic feet per occupant and number of occupants [2100 cubic feet is minimum supply for one hour per occupant with ordinary ventilation according to Billings per chart]

Div  Room   CuFt/oc  No. occs

 1   245    1202     5

 1   246    1054     3

 2   106    1079     7

 3   149     760     3

 3   151    1049     5  w/open grate fire

 4    32     817     9

 5   217     875     8

 6   155     393     8

 7   240    1160     8

 8   249    1070     7

 8    25    2018     2

 9   118    1115     5  w/open grate fire

 9   120    1304     4

10    85     549     8

11   105     848     8

12    30     560     9

13   251    1470     4

13   252     836     3

14   209     718     7

15   211     606     8

16    89     657     7

16    91     562     4

17   213    1220     2

17   215     757     7

18   248     728     7

19   100    1644     3

19   102    1087     5

20   153     574     8

21    93     768     9

22   107    1220     4

22   109    1244     4

23   221     566     9

24   122    2620     2  w/open grate fire

24   124     847     6  w/open grate fire

25   243    1350     5

25   244    3368     2

26    87     481     9

27   223     588     8

28    35    2170     4

28    37    1740     5

29   121     980     5

29   123    1189     4

30    95     813     5

30   126    2880     2

31    39    1682     2

31    41     960     5

32   111     846     7

INT   46    1486     5

APPL 246     977     3  w/open grate fire

More Force Needed

Within the latter half of the year just past, ten persons have been added to the examining corps and four persons to the clerical force of the Patent Office under provision made for that purpose by the last Congress, and that addition is a most grateful one. The experience of the last few months shows that the present examining corps may possibly be able to keep the work from falling behind to a greater degree than it is at present, although that is by no means sure. However that may be, it is certain that a substantial addition ought to be made to the examining corps and the clerical force of the Patent Office, not only to bring the work of examining applications for patents up to date and readily keep it there, but also to provide for the needs of the immediate future. At the close of the calendar year 1891 the Patent Office, not only to bring the work of examining applications for patents up to date and readily keep it there, but also to provide for the needs of the immediate future. At the close of the calendar year 1891 the Patent Office had issued 476,271 patents, constituting a vast field, some particular line in which has to be explored from first to last in connection with every one of the forty thousand applications for patents which are made each year. Twenty-five thousand new patents are added to this vast field of exploration yearly. An intelligent and practically perfect classification of this great field of patents is necessary. Each patent should be digested and the classified digests should be printed, so that each Examiner may always have before him the complete digests of every class of inventions in which an improvement presented in an application for patent can possibly be found. These classifications necessarily overlie each other in such a way that each Examiner, in order to do his work properly, needs to have before him, not only the digests which pertain purely and simply to his own classes of work, but also those which pertain to cognate and overlapping classes, in order that his search may be thorough and exhaustive. There are thirty-two examining divisions in the Office, and I recommend that one Examiner, of the rank of fourth assistant, be added to each of these divisions for the purposes pointed out.

Importance of the Office Work

It is believed that the patent system and the Patent Office deserve generous treatment by Congress, and that it is of the highest importance to the material interests of the whole country that the Office should have the completest facilities for the transaction of the public business entrusted to it. It is a fact, and it ought not to be an unfortunate fact, that there is nothing spectacular or of ordinary political interest about the work of the Patent Office. It stands in close touch with the vast business interests of the country and, in unison with them, performs its great burden of work quietly. But the importance of its work is in inverse ratio to its quiet character. That importance is not likely to be overrated. Thoughtful students of our national life have not rarely said that no other feature of our institutions has played so large a part in the development of the splendid material prosperity of our nation. The proposition is believed to be a reasonable one. The vast majority of our great manufacturing industries were originally based upon inventions recorded in the United States Patent Office. The following are a few and only a few of the American inventors whose reputation has become national and whose improvements have formed the foundation of manufacturing industries of great magnitude: John Fitch, Robert Fulton, and James Rumsey as to steamboats; Eli Whitney as to the cotton-gin; Oliver Evans as to milling machinery; Amos Whittemore, Erastus B. Bigelow, and Barton H. Jenks as to looms; Eli Terry, Ira Ives, Noble Jerome, and Chauncey Jerome as to clocks; Peter Lorrilard as to tobacco-making; E.I. Dupont de Nemours as to gun-powder; Jesse Reed as to nail-making; William Edwards as to leather-making; Jethro Wood as to iron plows; Thomas Blanchard as to lathes for turning irregular forms; Asa Spencer as to geometrical lathes; Richard M. Hoe, Isaac Adams, Stephen P. Ruggles, Andrew Campbell, Moses S. Beach, and G.P. Gordon as to printing-presses; Samuel W. Collins and Elisha K. Root as to ax-making; Oliver Ames as to shovels; William Wordworth as to wood-working; Thaddeus Fairbanks as to scales; John J. Howe and Chauncey O. Crosby as to pin-making; Eliphalet Nott and Jordan L. Mott as to stoves; Robert L. and Alexander Stuart as to sugar-refining; Matthew W. Baldwin and Ross Winans as to locomotives; Cyrus H. McCormick and William P. Ketchum as to mowing and reaping; Samuel Colt, Ethan Allen, Christian Sharps, Edmund Maynard, Rollin White, Christopher M. Spencer, Horace Smith, and Daniel P. Wesson as to fire-arms; Alonzo D. Phillips as to friction-matches; Henry A. Wells as to hat-making; Charles Goodyear, Nathaniel Hayward, and Horace H. Day as to india-rubber, John Ericsson as to naval construction and hot-air engines; Elias Howe, Jr., Allen B. Wilson, Isaac Singer, J.E.A. Gibbs, William O. Grover, and William E. Baker as to sewing-machines; S.F.B. Morse, Royal E. House, and David E. Hughes as to telegraphs; Henry B. Tatham as to lead pipe; Cullen Whipple as to wood-screws; Jonas Chickering and Henry Steinway, Jr., as to pianos; Henry Burden as to horseshoe machinery; Linus Yale as to locks; John A. Roebling as to cables, chains, and bridges; George H. Corliss as to steam-engines; Asa Whitney and Nathan Washburn as to car-wheels; Gail Borden, Jr., as to condensed milk; William and Coleman Sellers as to shafting and iron-working; Henry Disston as to saws; James J. Mapes as to fertilizers; John Stephenson as to horse-cars; R.P. Parrott as to cannon; Richard J. Gatling as to Gatling guns.

These men and thousands of others like them enjoyed for a little time the ownership of the property they produced by their own brains and their own hands, out of materials belonging to no one else, and that property of vast and peculiar value has been given to the American people forever. Even during the few years that they enjoyed the ownership of the property, which was theirs by the best and highest of all possible titles -- that of creation -- they realized but a small fraction of the benefits flowing from their improvements. Even during that limited period the lion's share inured to the public benefit in added comfort and lowered prices.

The patent law does not exist for the benefit of inventors. It exists for the benefit of the public. The enlightened public selfishness which called that act into being was expressed in the organic law -- in the Constitution of the United States -- when Congress was therein authorized to secure "for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries," in order "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." The magnificent degree in which the progress of science and the useful arts has been promoted in America by wise patent laws ought to be clear to the dullest comprehension.

The benefits of the patent system are by no means confined to the manufacturing industries. It may well be doubted whether the larger benefits do not flow to that portion of our people who seem to have the least connection with those industries. It was Whitney's improvement in the cotton-gin which made possible the marvelous cotton culture of the South, producing thirty-six hundred and twenty-two million pounds of the staple in 1889, which without the school-master's invention would have required the labor of three millions of men for a year simply to clean it.

The settlement and cultivation of the great West have been made possible only by patented improvements in agriculture and in transportation. Under the old order of things it would have required the labor of all the men and boys in the United States, some twenty-four millions in number, to plant and till and harvest the American corn crop in 1889, it being more than two thousand millions of bushels, raised upon seventy-eight millions acres of land, leaving to take care of itself meanwhile four hundred and ninety millions bushels of wheat and seven hundred and fifty millions bushels of oats produced in that same year. And under that old order of things the value of each bushel of this grain would have been consumed in transporting it three hundred miles, while it is now carried across a continent and across an ocean and still sold at a living profit.

There is no class or condition of men in the whole country which has not felt the blessings of American inventive genius, fostered into its fullest flower by wise and kindly patent laws.

That same inventive genius has greatly enlarged the employment of manual labor and enhanced its wage. Every calculation to the contrary, based upon doing a modern volume of business by the number of men who would have done it under the old order of things, has the fatal defect of forgetting the inevitable relation between lessened price and increased consumption. The man who, at the meeting of the American Social Science Association in 1878, calculated that on a single great modern daily newspaper a few men, using modern machinery, had practically displaced more than five thousand printers, using the press of Benjamin Franklin, omitted to note that the wages of this army would have so raised the cost of the journal as to annihilate its circulation and destroy the enterprise. It is an absolute condition of the doing of any modern volume of business that it shall be done in the way it is done.

No greater labor-saving device than the sewing machine was ever invented, or is ever likely to be; but its introduction into common use greatly enlarged the field of manual labor. In 1838 Walter Hunt had all but perfected a practical sewing-machine; but upon the protest of his wife as to its effect upon tailors and sewing-women he gave his invention over to darkness and oblivion. Nevertheless, the sewing-machine was made a common thing between 1850 and 1870 -- a period of time in our national life more important and interesting in most particulars than any other similar period. In 1850 there were fifty-two thousand tailors in a population of twenty-three millions, or one tailor to four hundred and forty-two inhabitants. In 1870 there were one hundred and six thousand tailors in a population of thirty-eight millions, or one tailor to three hundred and fifty-eight inhabitants. Population in these two decades increased sixty-five percent; but the number of tailors increased more than one hundred percent. Meanwhile the manufacture and sale of sewing-machines had given profitable employment to at least forty thousand persons, and millions of sewing-machines had gone into use in factories and families, effecting a saving well-nigh measureless in that labor which is performed with the needle.

The locomotive is another immense labor-saver, which first became common in America in the period between 1850 and 1870, and while in those two decades the population increased sixty-five per cent the makers of common carriages and wagons increased in number more than two hundred per cent.

Among English-speaking peoples never since they crept out of the twilight of the Middle Ages has the beneficial effect of wise patent laws been seriously questioned. It is to be hoped that the doing of such a thing has not been reserved for people living in the American Republic and in the closing years of the nineteenth century.

"A patent for a useful invention is not, under the laws of the United States, a monopoly in the old sense of the common law." (Atty. Gen. v. Rumford Chemical Works, 32 Fed. Rep. 608) It is of the essence of a monopoly that it takes away from the public some right that it had before. A patent can never do that. It can only apply to some new thing that an inventor has created, and if during the few years that we permit the creator to enjoy his own we are not willing to pay for sharing that improvement with him it is always our right to use the thing we had before.

Perhaps no idea was ever so much opposed to reason and to evidence as the notion that inventors are not actuated by the motives common to the human race, and that if the incentive to invention be destroyed inventors will continue to invent from motives of pure benevolence. A British parliamentary commission took some evidence a few years ago upon this point. A host of inventors came before them, with the inventor of Bessemer steel at their head, and made it wholly evident that without the incentive and protection of a patent law no inventor will invent and no capital will take the hazard of investment in an untried thing. It is wholly within our power to kill the goose that lays the golden egg; but the laying will stop with the killing.

No Radical Departure Asked

All that is necessary to insure to the Patent Office the room and the force it needs is a continuance of the policy which originally enacted the patent law and which authorized the existence of the Patent Office building. The entire structure in which the Patent Office now does its work was planned as a Patent Office and was ordered to be built for the Patent Office by act approved July 4, 1836. The entire structure, although wholly planned, was not wholly built at the first, because the Patent Office did not then need so much room; but the growth of the patent system was foreseen and judiciously provided for in the original plan of the building. Hundreds of thousands of dollars taken directly from the patent fund have been used in construction of the Patent Office building. More than four millions of dollars paid by inventors are now lying in the United States Treasury and unapplied for their benefit; and this surplus increases year by year. These facts seem to constitute a reasonable claim on the part of the Patent Office to the use of all the room in this building required for its needs and the employment of the necessary force to transact its business properly and promptly. It has been said that --

when the inventor gets his patent he has received the consideration for his money, and the transaction is at an end. The ground assumed by those who claim the Patent Office as the property of inventors necessarily involves the proposition that they are entitled not only to their franchises, but also the price which was paid for them. Upon the same principle the purchases of public lands might claim a right to control the appropriation of money which they paid for them, or the consumers of dutiable goods the privilege of regulating the expenditure of the revenue of customs.

Such a saying is believed to be based upon clear and fundamental errors. The Government does not charge the patentee the thirty-five dollars which he pays in connection with the procurement of his patent as a consideration for the franchise. It is altogether too small in amount to have any such relation to the franchise. It is true that a patent is a contract between the inventor and the public; but the mutual considerations are something entirely different from those expressed in the foregoing quotation.

This grant is not the exercise of any prerogative to confer upon one or more of the subjects of a government the exclusive property in that which would otherwise belong to the common right. It more nearly resembles a contract, which, under the authority conferred by the Constitution, Congress authorizes to be entered into between the Government and the inventor, securing to him for a limited time, the exclusive enjoyment of the practice of his invention, in consideration of the disclosure of his secret to the public, and his relinquishment of his invention to the public at the end of the term. (Atty. Gen. v. Rumford Chemical Works, 32 Fed. Rep. 608)

The thirty-five dollars are no part of the consideration moving from the inventor; they are demanded and paid for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Government in passing upon the application and keeping a record of the transaction. It is believed that money paid for patent fees ought not, under the Constitution and laws, be treated as money raised by way of taxation. Those parts of the Constitution which authorize the raising of money by taxation are well defined and generally understood, the chief of them being the "power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and exercises." The requirement of fees from patentees is made under quite another clause of the Constitution -- to wit, that which says that "Congress shall have power ... to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries," and this points to the conclusion that in the form of constitutional intent and good morals, money paid into the Treasury by inventors should be applied for the benefit of the patent system, or, at least, that so much thereof should be applied as is requisite to the full transaction of the public business connected with that system.

Desired Legislation

The following amendments to the patent law and the trade-mark law are recommended:

First. An amendment to the effect that no improvement shall be patentable which has been, for more than two years before application for patent thereon, disclosed in any patent or printed publication issued in this country. Under existing law two years of public use in this country creates such a bar, and, on principle, two years of disclosure in a patent or printed publication should be put upon the same footing.

Second. An amendment to the effect that a patent shall not expire with the expiration of a prior foreign patent for the same invention. The existing law upon this subject has been found to work confusion, uncertainty, and fraud.

Third. An amendment compelling an applicant to take action upon his application at least once in every six months, in lieu of once in two years, as at present; and a further provision that a patent shall in no case live for more than twenty years from the date of the first application therefor. The adoption of such amendments would put an end to keeping applications for patents pending many years prior to issue.

Fourth. An amendment requiring patent licenses to be recorded, the same as assignments and grants. Licenses are often so drawn as to convey away the whole substance of a patent, and yet, under existing law, they do not need to be recorded. The same reason that calls for the recording of assignments and grants calls equally for the recording of licenses.

Fifth. An amendment putting aliens upon the same footing as citizens as to the filing of caveats. In all other respects than this our patent law makes no distinction between citizens and aliens, and the retention of this distinction in the statute is clearly an oversight.

Sixth. An amendment abolishing interference contests in the Patent Office and relegating them to the courts. These interferences are, to all intents and purposes, law-suits between two or more parties who are seeking to patent the same invention. The Patent Office has not the power to compel witnesses to behave properly in these matters. It has not the tribunals adequate for the trial of these causes, and they entail a grievous burden or work upon the Office, which, distributed among the different courts, would not be felt as a sensible addition to their labors. Moreover, a court adjudication of one of these cases would be of great practical value to an interference contestant, which value is wholly lacking in an adjudication given by the Patent Office, and the cost of the litigation in a court could not be greater than it is at present.

Seventh. An amendment of the patent law requiring a fee of ten dollars for every appeal or petition taken from a Primary Examiner directly to the Commissioner of Patents. The present tendency is to needless multiplication of these so-called interlocutory appeals upon pretexts many of which are frivolous.

Eighth. An amendment providing that no damages or profits shall be recovered in a suit for infringement, except such as accrue within the six years last preceding the bringing of the suit. The reason for the enactment of this statute of limitations is apparent without detailed explanation.

Ninth. A statute providing that an injunction issued by a court against the transfer of a patent may be registered in the Patent Office and thereupon be constructive notice to all the world. It is believed that the propriety of such a provision is obvious.

Tenth. A statute giving courts of equitable jurisdiction power to pass the title to Letters Patent in a proper case without any action on the part of the defendant. Now the courts must act in such a case by compelling the defendant to sign the necessary conveyance, and a defendant can readily defy the court by putting himself outside of its territorial jurisdiction.

Eleventh. A provision in the law to the effect that the Commissioner of Patents may refund to the payer money paid into the Patent Office by mistake. This is the present practice of the Office -- a practice founded in equity; but it ought to have the express sanction of law.

Twelfth. A permanent provision in the statute defining the duties of the Assistant Commissioner of Patents.

Thirteenth. An amendment to the trade-mark law permitting registry of trade-marks which are used in commerce between the States, the permission now being restricted to trade-marks used in foreign commerce or in commerce with the Indian tribes.

Miscellaneous Matters

The need of a laboratory for the Office has been specified in former annual reports; that need continues and grows.

The statute makes the salary of the Chief Clerk $2,500. In the total amounts of the last appropriation act that sum was provided for and was appropriated; but in engrossing the bill and error was made, which is apparent. The amount practically appropriated was only $2,250. It is hoped that the error will be corrected and the deficiency made good.

An increase of the salary of the Assistant Commissioner and of the salaries of the Examiners-in-Chief, the Principal Examiners, and the Assistant Examiners has been recommended in former annual reports; such increase is again recommended; the present salaries were fixed many years ago, under greatly different conditions as to cost of living, and are now inadequate, while the character of the force and of the work it does has greatly improved.

The seventy-six employees of the Office classed as "copyists," formerly a part of the classified service, receive each a salary of $720 per annum; as the same class of employees receives $900 or more in other bureaus and departments, copyists are transferred away from this Bureau with such frequency as to seriously interfere with the Office work. In order to treat these employees as other employees of a similar class are treated, their salaries should be raised to $900 per annum.

The First Century of the Patent System

In addition to the usual statistical information there are added to this report two tables and two diagrams (See Appendices A, B, C, and D) illustrative of the growth of patent-granting from 1790 to 1890, the first century of the existence of the American patent system. The first table gives the patents granted in that period by years and by States to our citizens. The second table does the same for patents granted to citizens of foreign countries. The first diagram has one line illustrating graphically the growth of patent-granting during the century, along with another line denoting the increase of population in the same period. The second diagram has one line illustrating the growth per capita of patent-granting as a whole during the century, and other lines illustrating the growth per capital of patent-granting in the States, by groups of States. These tables and diagrams can hardly fail to furnish interesting and valuable material for study. There is also a list of patentees and their improvements, by years, prior to A.D. 1800. (See Appendix E.)

Business of the Patent Office

The following statements exhibit in detail the business received and transacted by the Office during the last calendar year. The total number of applications received, including mechanical applications, designs, and reissues, and excluding applications for the registration of trade-marks and labels, was 40,522. The total number of patents granted, including mechanical patents, designs, and reissues, was 23,244. The total number of registrations was 1,899. The total receipts were $1,271,285.78; total expenditures, $1,139,713.35, leaving a surplus of $131,572.43 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 $4,004,317.67.


Detailed statement of all moneys received for patents, for copies 

of records or drawings, or from any source whatever.


  Cash received                    $1,098,538.00

  Cash refunded                         4,724.00


  Net cash                          1,093,814.00

  Certificates of Deposit              47,408.40


    Total cash and certificates     1,141,222.40



  Cash received                        99,157.78

  Cash refunded                         5,450.87


  Net cash                             93,706.91

  Certificates of deposit                 581.35


    Total cash and certificates        94,288.26


Recording assignments

  Cash received                        22,332.86

  Cash refunded                         1,268.30


  Net cash                             21,064.56

  Certificates of deposit                 208.00


    Total cash and certificates        21,272.56


Subscription to Official Gazette

  Cash received                        13,244.33

  Cash refunded                            65.52


  Net cash                             13,178.81

  Certificates of deposit                 142.75


    Total cash and certificates        13,321.56


Registration of labels

  Cash received                         4,099.00

  Cash refunded                         2,960.00


  Net cash                              1,139.00

  Certificates of deposit                  42.00


    Total cash and certificates         1,181.00



  Cash received                    $1,237,371.97

  Cash refunded                        14,468.69


  Net cash                          1,222,903.28

  Certificates of deposit              48,382.50


    Total cash and certificates     1,271,285.78



Amount expended by this Office under the several appropriations 

from January 1, 1891 to December 31, 1891

Salaries                              $671,614.05

Official Gazette                        60,107.20

Photolithographing                      88,755.86

Scientific Library                       2,771.16

Transportation of publications 

    to foreign governments                 462.90

International Union for Protection 

    of Industrial Property                 673.54


Total                                  824,384.71


Approximate amount reported by the Department of the Interior as 

expended on account of this Office from January 1, 1891 to 

December 31, 1891.  [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                             $19,825.66

Postage on foreign matter                1,866.00

Printing and binding                   258,542.43

Watch force                             16,600.00

Furniture                               13,070.30

Carpets                                  2,253.94

Ice                                        331.89

Telephones                                 468.00

Washing towels                             128.19

Sundries                                 2,232.23


   Total                               315,328.64


   Aggregate amount of expenditures  1,139,713.35


          Receipts over Expenditures

Total receipts                      $1,271,285.78

Total expenditures                   1,139,713.35


Receipts over expenditures             131,572.43


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, 1891    $3,872,745.24

Amount of receipts during the year 1891              1,271,285.78


  Total                                              5,144,031.02

Deduct expenditures for the year 1891                1,139,713.35


  Balance January 1, 1892                            4,004,317.67


Summary of the Business of the Patent Office

Number of applications for patents for inventions          39,418

Number of applications for patents for designs              1,025

Number of applications for reissues of patents                109


  Total number of applications                             40,522


Number of caveats filed                                     2,408

Number of applications for registration of trade-marks      1,906

Number of applications for registration of labels             698

Number of disclaimers filed                                    29

Number of appeals on the merits                             1,136


  Total                                                     6,177


Total number of applications, etc., requiring 

  investigation and action                                 46,729


Number of patents issued, including designs                23,164

Number of patents reissued                                     80


  Total                                                    23,244


Number of trade-marks registered                            1,762

Number of labels registered                                   137


  Total                                                     1,899


Number of patents expired during the year                  12,230

Number of patents withheld for non-payment of final fees    3,456


Patents Issued

Patents issued to citizens of the United States, with the ratio of population to each patent granted.

[table omitted KWD]

Patents issued to citizens of foreign countries

[table 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

Comparative statement of the business of the Office from 1837 to 1891 inclusive

[table 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.

[The number of patents granted prior to the commencement of this series of numbering (July 28, 1836) was 9,957]

[table omitted KWD]

Respectfully submitted,
W.E. Simonds


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