Saturday, July 10, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #28 - Patents and Trademarks

Do you have Patience for Patents?

This week's challenge in 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy is to spend some time with patents and trademarks. The two sites recommended for use were the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and Google Patent Search.

I had little patience for the U.S. Patent Office web site. There were just too many links to wade through, so I returned to my good friend Google and tried its patent search for the first time. I typed in a couple family names with no results, then remembered that the brother-in-law of my great-grandmother was an inventor. I typed in the surname "Garrigus" and got a result that I will gladly add to my genealogy research.

Clarence Garrigus was, indeed, an inventor. Earlier this year, I learned that he had developed the Universal Breadmixer in 1903. He and his wife, Agnes Welch Garrigus, used their kitchen as a laboratory to develop the product. His obituary stated that during the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904, Garrigus passed out samples of bread made with the mixer from his wife's recipe.

A quick search and there on the computer screen in front of me was the drawing for Clarence's Dough Mixer, No. 736,956 patented August 25, 1903.

I found several more of Clarence Garrigus' patents. Another one that interested me was his Vibration Eliminator for Phonograph Turntables in 1929.

That patent application begins "The invention relates to sound translating apparatus as utilized in the recording and reproduction of sound, more especially a turntable for supporting and rotating a suitable disk record or blank and to which table rotational movement is communicated through an intermediate shaft from a suitable driving member, as a spring or electric motor."

That makes me wonder what Clarence would have thought about CDs and mp3s!


  1. What an awesome find on Google Patents! Great sleuthing!

  2. Thanks for the comment and for visiting my blog, Dorene!