- 7 April 2022
- Posted by: Stefano Gaffuri
- Category: Anniversaries of the first patents
Spring is in the air, and it brings.. patents! Isn’t that how the saying goes? All right, all right, we may not be experts in proverbs, but we are patent experts. We’re back with a new article for our column about the Anniversaries of the first patents, this time dedicate to those of March.
Let’s hit the ground running: on 1872, George Westinghouse registered the patent for the air brake bearing his name. The continuous automatic pneumatic brake is still the most widely used railway braking system in the world today.
TWO DAYS LATER, ON THE 7TH
7 March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted patent number 174,464. The document protected the intellectual property of one of the world’s most famous and popular inventions: “the method and apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically […] by means of electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying vocal or other sounds”, Bell’s telephone.
The invention patented on 10 March 1891 is closely linked to Bell’s idea: the Strowger switch invented in Kansas by the owner of a funeral parlour, the switch led to the automation of telephone lines, a sector in which his wife worked.
THE 14TH OF 1794
This is the precise date when American entrepreneur and engineer Eli Whitney filed a patent for the cotton gin: a simple but ingenious idea capable of quickly separating cotton fibres from the rest of the plant.
A historic day for all those who, like me, are passionate about motorbikes! 16 March marks the anniversary of the first registration of a patent for a two-wheeled vehicle filed in Paris by the engineer Louis Guillaume Perraux.
However, I should mention that the first “real” motorbike, meaning with a combustion engine, did not appear until 1879 when the engineer Giuseppe Murnigotti of Bergamo, Italy filed a patent application in Rome for his two-stroke two-seater.
Our patent roundup ends with the year 1855. On 27 March of this year, Canadian geologist Abraham P. Gesner patented his latest petroleum distillate: kerosene, the colourless, flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly used as a fuel or solvent.