Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office | A Continuous Lean.

Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office

Aug 25th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Design, History | by Michael Williams

You can find some serious gear from the U.S. Patent Office archives. It is amazing what turns up on the internet these days. A months ago I received an email from an ACL reader name Gary that included a few links to some clothing patent diagrams. I wasn’t moved at the time, but once I got a hang of the search procedures I uncovered some really interesting stuff and some serious Americana. A hat tip and a cold beer to Gary for the inspiration. Indulge in diagrams and patents for some classic gear, some of which is probably sitting in your place right now.

LL Bean Duck Boots c.1921




The original Levi’s rivet patent by Jacob Davis from May 20th, 1873.



The first Zippo lighter design and patent.


Steel lunch box with thermos holder, for the workin’ man.


Hamilton Carhartt’s denim overalls from April 17, 1916.


CC Filson shirt design from 1912.


Coleman steel-belted cooler aka the Official Beverage Temperature Control Device of ACL.


Thermos design from The American Thermos Bottle Company c.1915.


Comments: 16

16 Comments to “Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office”

  1. Brad
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 8:23 AM

    I don’t know what’s going on with that Filson shirt.

  2. Michael Williams
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 8:25 AM

    Here’s the Filson pages:

  3. Jack
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 10:09 AM

    wow even the patent drawing of the bean boots makes them look good.

  4. ad ease
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 10:12 AM

    Nice finds. Inspiring for my own work

  5. James of Secret Forts
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 10:14 AM

    Amazing stuff. Love the hand-drawn-ness of them. Who drafts stuff like this these days. It’s all CAD, etc…Really great finds.

  6. Jedd at Men & Women of Industry
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 10:49 AM

    I was going to say the same about the Filson shirt “. . . additional pockets of various design for special purposes.” Good enough for me. Even if I don’t get it, I sure like it.

  7. plaidout
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 11:08 AM

    The Filson shirt is a great find. I’ve knocked at least a year off my life digging through old patents: buckles, fasteners, buttons, zippers. Great post. Thanks for including the Filson pages in the comments.

  8. Lesli Larson
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 1:01 PM

    An advertisement to go with the Filson patent:

  9. CE
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 4:48 PM

    Awesome! As part of securing a patent you are required to disclose everything about your invention, including exactly how to reduce it to practice (how to make it) — and that information is available to the public. There’s a wealth of information at the US Patent Office — and apparently through that new google search site too!

  10. Isaac Buie
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 9:41 PM

    Absolute brillinace once again. Thanks Michael.

  11. Andrea
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 10:59 PM

    The text for the Filson shirt is great reading. Replicating the 1912 shirt is now officially on my life list of vintage sewing projects.

  12. jfox
    on Aug 26th, 2009
    @ 1:07 PM

    total daywrecker. a+

  13. Harold & Zooey
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 12:04 AM

    Oddly fascinating. Great post!

  14. jt
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 11:17 AM more examples here<<

  15. Strong Kent Wythe
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 9:51 PM

    these are such beautiful documents. Leon L Bean’s hand written signature – does it get better? amazing stuff, ACL!

  16. Ivan Mendizabal
    on Aug 29th, 2009
    @ 12:09 PM

    We just started talking about patents in law school, so this post really, really, hits home. I may have to share this one with the Prof.