Original patent model for a sliding door lock and latch by E.G. Kehoe in brass, retaining its original Patent Office Tag dated November 15, 1870, Patent No. 109,220. Together with a Certificate of Authenticity from the United States Patent Model Foundation.
The passage of the Patent Act of 1790 required that every application include a miniature working model of their idea. Over the next 90 years more than 200,000 models were submitted, until lack of storage space and fires finally forced the Patent Office to eliminate the model requirement.
In 1925 the US government decided to sell off the models after bequeathing 2,500 models to the Smithsonian. They rest were bought by Sir Henry Wellcome, founder of the pharmaceutical company Glaxo-Wellcome. Eventually, when his dream of creating a patent model museum was destroyed by the Great Depression, Wellcome’s collection was broken up and sold to other collectors throughout the country. Today, they are seen as reminders of America’s ingenuity and creativity.
Rothschild-Peterson Patent Model Museum.