THOMAS A. EDISON - PATENT DRAWING SIGNED - HFSID 350457
This rare document is a patent drawing, signed by Edison, for a Bolivian patent on the incandescent bulb. This patent was to protect Edison's rights to design of the bulb in Bolivia and has his full "umbrella" signature - a rarity.
Rare Patent Drawing signed: "Thomas Alva Edison". 1 page, 16x22, 12x18 visible. Headed: "Lamina 3/Bolivia" at upper right corner. This patent, which was filed in Bolivia, features two imprinted drawings for one of Edison's actual patents relating to his incandescent lamp.Also signed: "Chas H. Smith" and "Geo. T. Pinckney" as "Testigos" [Witnesses]. Edison (1847-1931) patented more than a thousand inventions, including the incandescent electric lamp, the phonograph (his favorite invention), the mimeograph, the alkaline storage battery and the microphone. Edison also filed and received patents in other countries. Most of them, such as this patent filed in Bolivia in 1880, duplicated the U.S. patents, but they protected his work in those countries. Edison's first successful test of this invention (now known simply as the "light bulb") was on October 21, 1879, when his incandescent lamp lasted 13.5 hours. Edison continued to improve his original design, and he applied for patents in 1880. Edison was fortunate that the U.S. Patent Office did not keep track of all patents filed in every country. From the U.S. Department of the Interior: "An invention must be 'novel,' or unique, to receive a patent." That is, inventions must not be described in printed publications before the patent is awarded or the inventor might lose the patent application. This happened to Edison in 1878, when he filed patent applications at the same time in Great Britain and in the U.S. The British patent was approved first (number 1644), and, unfortunately, the U.S. Patent Office decided that this constituted "prior publication" and rejected Edison's U.S. patent application. This had devastating consequences for Edison, because the patent included several important innovations to the phonograph, including the making of disc-shaped records. Since his U.S. patent was rejected, Edison's American competitors were allowed to copy it. If Edison had won the U.S. patent, there might still be an Edison recording company today. If Edison had lost his U.S. light bulb patent because of his patent filed in Bolivia, the future would have been far different for his Edison General Electric Company of New York (formed in 1889), which is now GE. Contains an excellent example of Edison's "umbrella" signature. Lightly creased, touching signatures of Witnesses and the upper portion of Edison's "umbrella". Rippled at blank areas. Several minor tears at blank areas, chipped at upper, left and right edges. Slightly soiled. Reinforced with tape at perimeter on verso, minor tape stains at upper and lower center on cloth tape (minor show through at blank areas at upper and lower margins). Overall, fine condition. Framed by the Gallery of History, 31¼ x 29¼.
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