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Confederate Patents

At the last roundtable meeting a friend gave me a magazine article about a wounded Confederate soldier and the impact of his wound which get me to thinking. Always dangerous but here is a piece of what I discovered.

How many patents were issued by the Confederate Patent Office?

266 patents were on record as of 17 October 1864. A few more may have been issued in 1865 but the records were lost as the Confederate government collapsed and records were destroyed. C. Williams of St. Louis received four patents, two for “Submarine Boat” (258 & 260) and two for “torpedo” (255 & 256). The first Confederate patent went to J. H. Van Houten of Savannah, GA for a breechloading gun on 1 August 1861. Confederate Private James E. Hanger received two patents (155 & 201) for prosthetic legs. Hanger had lost his left leg in the August 1861 West Virginia battle at Philippi and his company Hanger Limb is still doing business today as the Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc, the worlds largest manufacturer of prosthetics. B.H. Washington of Hannibal, Missouri received the most patents (7) for various machines.

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