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115527 Russ Allen <rcallen@x...> 2003‑03‑20 In search of a router patent (long)
Subtitle: A patented what?

   Short version:  see http://home.xnet.com/~rcallen/patent/ for a
picture of a router I bought. Read on to find out about the patent
date marked on it.

   Looong version:

  I was searching for a patent issued on June 9, 1925.  That date is marked
on the thumb screw of a broken router plane I bought.  My original intention
to recast a complete router was put on hold while patent search fever took
hold.

  I began by asking Ralph Brendler if he had this patent in the datamp
database.  Strike one.  The next step was to determine the first and last
patent issued on that date.  I used the chart of first patents by year on
the mwtca.org site.  I calculated the mid point in 1925 and began searches
by patent number.  The patents in question range from 1,540,742 through
1,541,776.  Searches in the category 30 did not turn up the patent in
question.  Strike two.  For those familiar with patent searches, here is
the advanced search I tried:
(pn/1540$ and ccl/30/$) or (pn/1541$ and ccl/30/$)

   I tried to make sense of the categories in an attempt to close in on the
patent.  In the end, I decided that the shotgun approach (can I tm this?)
would be best.  I'd view  all 1035 patents issued on the day in question.
Thanks to a new feature (Jan 17, 2003) on the uspto site, I was able to
generate urls to directly view the images I wanted.

   After a while of shotgun(tm?) searching, I gave up on the notion of 
having a single favorite patent for this day.  My favorite changed with 
nearly every image I retrieved.  I was blown away by the diversity and 
peculiarity of the day.  Seven different shoe related patents?  Patented 
undergarments?  Patented Hosiery?  Two lawn mover patents?  A book mark? 
A tonsil snare?  Ouch.  Perhaps even more painful, the patented scalp syringe.
A patent assigned to Kodak (my first post college employer) for film.
Wicket and stake for indoor croquet?  It might be easier to list what wasn't
patented on this day. Three tobacco pipes and a cap for one?  A Fountain pen?
A neck tie?  Seven game related patents?.  A Christmas tree holder?  Honest
I'm not making this up.  I'm not this creative.  Four telegraph related
patents?  Three automobile turn signals?  One of which involves a fake arm and
hand dropping down to signal a turn.  Ok, maybe this is my favorite of them
all.  A patented pitchfork attachment?  Who knew there were pitchfork
attachments, let alone patented ones?   Where can I get one?  What a day.
A foldable golf club (golf stick)?   A method of treating molten
magnesium- sadly there is no drawing.  I know the importance of this.  I have
seen magnesium stuck to the ceiling 20 feet off the floor in a foundry.  I
heard how it put two men in the hospital

  Continuing on, a vehicle?  It looks like a city bus.  Given the 46 pages
you'd probably be able to build one for yourself without any infringement
worries.  A garment hanger?  Wasn't Dave Tardiff looking for one?  Oops,
his patent was issued a different day.  A stopping mechanism for roving and
the like machines?  We are fortunate to live in a time free from runaway
rooving machines- thanks to Mr Adonias D. Bolduc, of New Bedford, Mass.'s
patent.   My hard drive runneth over with these images.  Was every patent
Tuesday like this?  Fifty-four apparatuses (apparati)?  It seems like
including the word apparatus in the title was a sure fire way to get your
idea patented.  A shoe polish box patented by one Stanley H. Lindgren
of Maywood, Il.  Perhaps a relative of our own Mike Lindgren?  I almost
didn't want to find the router patent- this was *that* interesting.
For most of the patents, I viewed only the first image page.  I was
compelled to view more pages on some patents.  How could you not read
the description of crab wrapper and wrapping method?

   Of interest to the dat-amp-inians (dat-amp-ites?, the datamp.org stewards),
"Hand brace and similar tool", "combination tool" where the axe head
separates- who thought this was a good idea?  "Gauge" -for marking window
frames and sashes.  "Tool" in case you drop something down a well.
There are also six wrench and three plier patents issued on this day.
Possible galoot projects include "combination ironing board and serving table"
or "cabinet with secret compartment".  The latter one is funny, since the
secret is given away in the drawing.  Over a hundred patents include
the word "machine"- of possible interest to the OldWWMachines folks:
automatic drill milling machine and several kiln related patents. 

   I decided it would be worth publishing my page of links to the patent 
images of this day.  Others could scan the patents I saw and become hooked
on the patent search game.  Bait left at the top of the patent slippery slope
to ensnare future datamp stewards.  I'm sure that some of the patents I 
encountered should be imported into datamp.  Ralph, is there a steward for 
June 9, 1925? :-)

The next step?  Get a cable modem and write a perl script to retrieve a few
thousand patents per day.  Write some text recognition software and output 
xml.  Or get 3,900 other people to each document 1,000 patent.  Then we'd 
have a searchable system for all the pre-1976 patents.  Then we'd have 
something.  Or maybe I better quit the patent search game before I slide 
further down this slope...  ah I feel the fever lifting.

  I bought the router plane at the St. Francis Mwtca meet last month.  I can
hardly wait for Sunday's meet in Rockford.  I'll be bringing along my new
router if anyone is interested in seeing it.

  Oh, I almost forgot, the patent I was looking for turned out to be for
the thumb screw not the router.  I found it after viewing all but 164 of
this day's patents.  Now I'll have to try to figure out if the thumb screw
belongs to the router or to something else- the router may not have been
manufactured.

Russ Allen
http://home.xnet.com/~rcallen/patent/


115534 "Ralph Brendler" <ralph@b...> 2003‑03‑20 Re: In search of a router patent (long)
Russ Allen writes:

>   I was searching for a patent issued on June 9, 1925.  That date is
marked
> on the thumb screw of a broken router plane I bought.  My original
intention
> to recast a complete router was put on hold while patent search fever took
> hold.

[snip-- another galoot bitten by the patent bug ]

> The next step was to determine the first and last
> patent issued on that date.  I used the chart of first patents by year on
> the mwtca.org site.  I calculated the mid point in 1925 and began searches
> by patent number.

Actually, one of the more useful pages on the DATAMP site is the
first-and-last patent pages.  We calculate the first and last patents of
each day/month/year based on the patents we have in our DB.  It is a very
useful starting point for starting these kinds of searches.

http://www.datamp.org/patentsByYear.php

We have a lot better coverage for pre-1900 patents than for the later ones,
but it is still a useful thing for later patents.

[more snippage]

> The next step?  Get a cable modem and write a perl script to retrieve a
few
> thousand patents per day.

These already exist!  Ace DATAMP steward Jeff Joslin wrote a Perl script
that processes a list of patent numbers and downloads the first page of the
specification.  It's what he used for most of his data collecting.  Since I
am a Python and Linux kind guy, I took Jeff's ideas and created a more
generalized Python script to do patent downloads.  In addition to the
picture download, my script can create a PDF for an arbitrary patent (using
some open source graphics tools), and generate shell XML for DATAMP upload.

Both of these are pretty straightforward to use.  Jeff's are simpler and
more robust, while mine are more for hard-core computer doinks.  These will
eventually be moved to the datamp code repository, but for now are available
from the authors.

And now, a plug for DATAMP...

We are always looking for folks to do data collection-- if you'd like to
have the kind of fun Russ is talking about, come on down to the datamp
mailing list, and let us help you get started!  It's pretty easy to do, and
absolutely fascinating to do this kind of research.

Check out the datamp mailing list at:

   http://lists.iarc.uaf.edu/mailman/listinfo/datamp

We are also looking for developer-types to help us enhance the site and
create new steward tools.  If you've got PHP, Perl, Python, MySql, or
XML/XSL experience and want to help us develop patent searching tools, drop
me a line...

Come join the patent cabal!
-- 
Ralph Brendler, Chicago, IL - OTLM, ENB, FOYBIPO
"Science works even if you don't believe in it..." - Penn Jillette



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