Patent Models

Patent models were required as part of a patent application for a United States patent until 1880. In 1926 the stored patent models were sold by the U.S. Patent Office. Some were given to the Smithsonian, some were returned to inventors’ descendants, and the rest were sold as a group. As groups changed hands in later years in unsuccessful attempts to start a museum individual models started appearing in the marketplace. A model usually has an official tag.