By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal
February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which, not that long ago, warranted its own holiday. Abraham Lincoln is the only president to earn a patent — U.S. Patent No. 6469 on Buoying Vessels of Shoals:
Lincoln was also the author of one of the pithier quotes about the patent system. By giving the inventor the exclusive right to use the invention for a limited time, the patent system “added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”
This was not Lincoln’s only brush with the patent system, however, and he has been celebrated in several patents that are worth dusting off on his 209th Birthday.
U.S. Patent No. D2983 protects this sculpture of Abraham Lincoln with General Grant and Secretary Stanton:
U.S. Patent No. 9403 protects an embroidery pattern featuring Lincoln:
U.S. Patent No. 22304 protects this spoon design featuring Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois, and his tomb:
U.S. Patent No. D12634 protects the design of this drinking vessel, on which Lincoln shares the limelight with Garfield, the second president to be assassinated: