Categories: Business and Industry, Invention and Technology, Women

The Inventive Minds of Connecticut Women: Patents in the 19th Century

In 1809, a Connecticut resident received the first US patent issued to a woman, but it would not be until after 1840 that women’s patents made their mark in the United States Patent Office. Between 1790 and 1930, Connecticut residents were issued the most patents in the US per capita, many of them inventions by women. From improvements in skirt elevators, to the invention of a rotary cutter, to a combined bath and bureau, women’s patents helped change the way we lived, worked, and played both in the state and around the country.

Ann F. Stiles, Case for Daguerreotype Pictures, Patent Number 7,041 - January 22, 1850, Southbury

Ann F. Stiles, Case for Daguerreotype Pictures
Patent Number 7,041
– January 22, 1850, Southbury

Sarah Jane Wheeler, Curry Comb, Patent Number 31,199 - January 22, 1861, New Britain

Sarah Jane Wheeler, Curry Comb
Patent Number 31,199
– January 22, 1861, New Britain

 Sarah A. Baldwin, Door Plate and Card Receiver, Patent Number 36,388 - September 9, 1862, Waterbury

Sarah A. Baldwin, Door Plate and Card Receiver
Patent Number 36,388
– September 9, 1862, Waterbury

Catharine Allsop Griswold, Improvement in Skirt Supporting Corsets, Patent Number 56,210 - July 10, 1866, Willimantic

Catharine Allsop Griswold, Improvement in Skirt Supporting Corsets
Patent Number 56,210
– July 10, 1866, Willimantic

Jane E. Gilman, Improvement in Combined Dressing Bureaus and Bath Tubs, Patent Number 107,479 - September 20, 1870, Hartford

Jane E. Gilman, Improvement in Combined Dressing Bureaus and Bath Tubs
Patent Number 107,479
– September 20, 1870, Hartford

Mary Ann Boughton, Forming Air Chambers in Dental Plates, Patent Number 111,429 - Jan. 31, 1871, Norwalk

Mary Ann Boughton, Forming Air Chambers in Dental Plates
Patent Number 111,429
– Jan. 31, 1871, Norwalk

Carrie Jessup, Culinary Vessel, Patent Number 112,352 - March 7, 1871, New Haven

Carrie Jessup, Culinary Vessel
Patent Number 112,352
– March 7, 1871, New Haven

Catharine A. Griswold, Improvement in Corsets, Patent Number 116,585 - July 4, 1871, Willimantic

Catharine A. Griswold, Improvement in Corsets
Patent Number 116,585
– July 4, 1871, Willimantic

Mary M. J. O'Sullivan, Improvement in Dinner Plate Covers, Patent Number 120,995 - November 14, 1871, New Haven

Mary M. J. O’Sullivan, Improvement in Dinner Plate Covers
Patent Number 120,995
– November 14, 1871, New Haven

Emily M. Norton, Improvement in Step Ladders, Patent Number 123,287 - January 30, 1872, Bridgeport

Emily M. Norton, Improvement in Step Ladders
Patent Number 123,287
– January 30, 1872, Bridgeport

Ann Harrison, Improvement in Sleigh Bells Patent Number 147,259 - February 10, 1874, East Hampton

Ann Harrison, Improvement in Sleigh Bells
Patent Number 147,259
– Feb. 10, 1874, East Hampton

Elizabeth E. Norton, Improvement in Skirt Elevators, Patent Number 150,777 - May 12, 1874, Bridgeport

Elizabeth E. Norton, Improvement in Skirt Elevators
Patent Number 150,777
– May 12, 1874, Bridgeport

Evelyn Beecher, Improvement in Till Alarms, Patent Number 219,796 - September 23, 1879, New Haven

Evelyn Beecher, Improvement in Till Alarms
Patent Number 219,796
– September 23, 1879, New Haven

Annie Maria H. Moss, Dust Pan, Patent Number 267,242 - November 7, 1882, Monroe

Annie Maria H. Moss, Dust Pan
Patent Number 267,242
– November 7, 1882, Monroe

 Leila C. Harrison, Hitching Device, Patent Number 306,484 - October 14, 1884, New Haven

Leila C. Harrison, Hitching Device
Patent Number 306,484
– October 14, 1884, New Haven

Emma J. Swartout, Machine for Sewing Hat Tips, Patent Number - April 21, 1885, Danbury

Emma J. Swartout, Machine for Sewing Hat Tips
Patent Number 316,414
– April 21, 1885, Danbury

Evelyn Beecher, Rotary Cutter, Patent Number 364,792 - June 14, 1887, New Haven

Evelyn Beecher, Rotary Cutter
Patent Number 364,792
– June 14, 1887, New Haven

Mary F. Bishop, Means for Operating Egg Beaters, Patent Number 384,674 - June 19, 1888, Bridgeport

Mary F. Bishop, Means for Operating Egg Beaters
Patent Number 384,674
– June 19, 1888, Bridgeport

Corinna Thatcher Rogers, Satchet Bag, Patent Number D19,774, April 22, 1890, Ansonia

Corinna Thatcher Rogers, Sachet Bag
Patent Number D19,774
– April 22, 1890, Ansonia

Mathilde Schott, Surgical Knife, Patent Number 431,153 - July 1, 1890, New Haven

Mathilde Schott, Surgical Knife
Patent Number 431,153
– July 1, 1890, New Haven

Mathilde Schott, Die and Dice Box, Patent Number 435,635 - September 2, 1890, New Haven

Mathilde Schott, Die and Dice Box
Patent Number 435,635
– September 2, 1890, New Haven

Alice M. Hobson, Steam Cooker, Patent Number 466,137 - December 29, 1891, New Britain

Alice M. Hobson, Steam Cooker
Patent Number 466,137
– December 29, 1891, New Britain

Jennie Snyder and Fred Lockwood, Culinary Vessel, Patent Number 485,993 November 8, 1892, Mianus

Jennie Snyder and Fred Lockwood, Culinary Vessel
Patent Number 485,993
– November 8, 1892, Mianus

Lucilla Mallory, Garment Stretcher Patent Number 529,283 - November 13, 1894, Bridgeport

Lucilla Mallory, Garment Stretcher
Patent Number 529,283
– November 13, 1894, Bridgeport

LEARN MORE

Websites

“Connecticut Patents Project.” Connecticut State Library, Museum of Connecticut History, 2016. Link.

Documents

“Guide to U.S. Patent Research.” Connecticut State Library, 2016. Link.

Books

Roe, Joseph Wickham, and Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut. Connecticut Inventors. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1934.
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