One-hundred and seventy years ago today, the USPTO issued US Patent 6469 to Abraham Lincoln. He was the only president to ever have a US patent, the 6,469th issued by the USPTO.
Linoln's patent, which he wrote himself, covers a method of bouying boats through shallow water, using internal inflation devices. The invention was never built-I guess he was busy with other pursuits.
The first patent was issued in 1790, and signed by George Washington. Do a little math, and you will find that patents were issuing at a rate of just under one a month for the first sixty years. That rate is significantly less than today. In 2013, the USPTO issued 302,948 patents, over 25,000 a month.
Besides the bit of trivia regarding Lincoln, I think it is interesting to note how long the US patent system has been operating. The basis of which is in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. "The Congress shall have Power To... promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries..."
Check out Lincoln's patent. I hope you enjoyed the history lesson.