The Annotated Patent History Digital Archive invites you to investigate the history of patents in the United States. The site provides historical context for a range of patented inventions, in the form of essays that recount an innovation’s development, technical significance, and long-term effects on business, science, or society. The project also allows you to explore connections between inventions, in order to better understand who files patents and where, what counts as success for a patented invention, and, in general, the process of innovation in this country. We hope you use this resource if you’re interested in the history of science and technology, need to understand more about the legal infrastructure that protects innovation, or are looking for inspiration for your own inventions.

The project is currently in the early stage of development, consisting of a series of patent essays and various ways to sort them. In the future, we will develop data visualization tools to view connections between patents.

This Digital Humanities project is based in the Federated History Department of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark, and led by Professors Elizabeth Petrick and Alison Lefkovitz. Patent essays are primarily written by undergraduate students from a variety of majors who have done coursework in the history of technology. Essays are edited by graduate students and/or faculty. We are interested in collaborating with faculty and students at other universities, in order to expand the pool of essays featured on the site. Please contact us if you are interested.



NEWS: Get information on any updates to the project.

PATENTS: Here you’ll find the complete list of patent essays, in the order they were uploaded to the site. Click on FILTER to explore different ways of sorting and searching through the patents.

CONTACT: If you have a question or comment, this form will send a message to the project staff.



Project Director: Dr. Elizabeth Petrick

Co-Director: Dr. Alison Lefkovitz

Editor: Kurt Weinstein

Former Editor: Holly Stanton

Contributors: Timothy Bott, Rebecca L Davis, Gillian Frank, Robert Fullagar, Saniya Lee Ghanoui, Luke Gregory, Lauren Gutterman, Shahnawaz Khan, Kristen King, Brian Lallo, Joseph Macfarlane, Samantha Miccio, Devin McGeehan Muchmore, Elizabeth Petrick, Nicholas Porcelli, James Romano, Julian Royal, Rohit Saraiya, Naomi Segura, Jash Shukla, Michael Tadros, Jacqueline Tanis, Bryan Taveras, Joseph Tobon, Hope Welch

Research Assistants: Robert Hoberman, Michael Tadros



New Jersey Institute of Technology Faculty Seed Grant, 2016-2017


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