by Mark A. Ollig
Yours truly was researching inventions patented during the week of Jan. 26.
Surprisingly, there were some very interesting ones to be found.
For instance, on this day 140 years ago, the first electric dental drill was patented by George F. Green, of Kalamazoo, MI.
Green’s dental drill used an electromagnetic motor.
This electric dental drill provided faster relief from the tooth pain a patient normally experienced back when hand-operated, mechanical dental tools were being used.
It also assisted in preventing future tooth decay, by filing and polishing teeth.
“My invention relates to implements for sawing, filing, dressing, or polishing teeth, for drilling holes and preparing cavities, and for plugging the same. Its objects are to render dental operations more convenient, more rapid and less painful than they have heretofore been; to which ends my invention consist of an electro-magnet motor, as hereinafter more fully explained,” Green wrote in his patent application.
So, we need to thank Mr. Green, in part, for our having less tooth decay and brighter smiles, because of his invention.
George F. Green’s application was filed on Jan. 13, 1871, and was awarded US Patent 159,028 Jan. 26, 1875.
Here’s a photo of Green’s drawing taken from his patent: http://tinyurl.com/nmeonsw.
It was 135 years ago this week, when the patent for the first electric lamp was awarded to T. A. Edison.
Yes indeed, folks, Thomas Alva Edison’s application was filed Nov. 4, 1878, and was approved with US Patent 223,898 Jan. 27, 1880.
“The object of this invention is to produce electric lamps giving light by incandescence, which lamps shall have high resistance, so as to allow of the practical subdivision of the electric light,” Edison wrote in his patent application.
A photo of Edison’s drawing taken from his patent is here: http://tinyurl.com/l6x45jf.
This next patent is not for a device, but for a process.
The famous French chemist, Louis Pasteur, was awarded a patent for his improvement in the brewing of beer and ale, 142 years ago this week.
“Be it known that I, Louis Pasteur of the city of Paris, France, have invented certain new and useful improvements in the Process of Making Beer, for which Letters Patent were granted me in France on the 28th day of June, 1871,” wrote Pasteur in his US Patent application.
The patent for Pasteur’s better beer brewing process was awarded US Patent 135,245 on Jan. 28, 1873.
A photo of the drawing from Pasteur’s patent is here: http://tinyurl.com/jvzey3g.
Many of my readers, on a hot summer day (I know, it’s January), no doubt enjoy eating a couple of scoops of ice cream placed inside a round, tasty, wafer cone.
We have Carl R. Taylor to thank for inventing a waffled, cone-shaped wafer to hold our ice cream.
His Cone-Rolling Machine, patented 94 years ago, first produced these now familiar ice-cream cones.
“This invention relates to machines for forming thin freshly baked wafers while still hot into cone shaped containers such as commonly used in dispensing ice cream. Generally, the object of this invention is to provide a machine capable of more efficiently forming cone shaped containers from flat wafers,” Taylor wrote in his patent application.
Carl R. Taylor filed his application Feb. 16, 1921, and was awarded US patent 1,481,813 Jan. 29, 1924, for his ice-cream cone-rolling machine.
Taylor’s drawing from his patent can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/njwrucn.
Growing up, many of us boomers will remember observing the clerk at the local store operating a large mechanical, paper cash register machine, when ringing up the sale.
In the early 1880s, James Ritty and John Birch worked on an improved cash register, and wrote the following in their patent application:
“Our invention relates to an improvement in cash registers and indicators designed for the use of store-keepers and others as a means of accurately registering the total cash receipts for any given period of time – as a day, for instance – and for indicating to the customers that the amount paid has been registered by disclosing to their view such amounts upon figured tablets.”
James Ritty and John Birch filed their application Feb. 15, 1882, and were awarded US patent 271,363 Jan. 30, 1883, for their improved cash register machine.
So, the next time you nostalgically remember the sound of “cha-ching” from an old-fashioned cash register drawer being operated, you’ll think of Ritty and Birch.
Here is a photo from their patent drawing: http://tinyurl.com/l3a82k6.