Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office

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 on “Classic Goods from the U.S. Patent Office

    Bradon August 25, 2009 @ 8:23 AM:

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

    Michael Williamson August 25, 2009 @ 8:25 AM:

    Here’s the Filson pages:

    Jackon August 25, 2009 @ 10:09 AM:

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

    ad easeon August 25, 2009 @ 10:12 AM:

    Nice finds. Inspiring for my own work

    James of Secret Fortson August 25, 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.

    Jedd at Men & Women of Industryon August 25, 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.

    plaidouton August 25, 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.

    Lesli Larsonon August 25, 2009 @ 1:01 PM:
    CEon August 25, 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!

    Isaac Buieon August 25, 2009 @ 9:41 PM:

    Absolute brillinace once again. Thanks Michael.

    Andreaon August 25, 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.

    jfoxon August 26, 2009 @ 1:07 PM:

    total daywrecker. a+

    Harold & Zooeyon August 27, 2009 @ 12:04 AM:

    Oddly fascinating. Great post!

    jton August 27, 2009 @ 11:17 AM: more examples here<<

    Strong Kent Wytheon August 27, 2009 @ 9:51 PM:

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

    Ivan Mendizabalon August 29, 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.

Comments are closed.