Patent Searching

A few years ago, I submitted a small write-up for a society journal with tips for searching patents.  Today, while indexing some issues of the Roanoke Beacon newspaper for the NCGenWeb People in the Papers website , I was reminded on just how interesting it can be.  A notice from the October 12, 1900 issue of the paper reported that Mr. D.S. SETTLEMYRE of Connelly Springs (Burke County) received a patent for his “baby walker” invention. 

Roanoke Beacon, 12 Oct 1900

 Now, not that I advocate putting a baby in the walker all night, it was still an interesting notice. So, off I went to search US Patents via Google’s Patent Search, and surely enough I was able to find the patent information right away. And, it looks quite similar to our current baby walkers. 

U.S. Patent #658126

The patent application is worth a read – it’s full of detail about how the walker works. Notice that Settlemyre’s signature is on the drawing, as well as the signatures of his witnesses and his attorney.   His patent has influenced others also – including a 2004 patent filing for a remote -controlled and motorized baby walker. 

How neat if this were someone in your family. Wouldn’t you want to see the details of their inventions? PDF files of the patent applications can be downloaded from the Google site so you can keep it among your personal records. Take a moment to check it out!