Fireworks are patentable and have been around for awhile. The figures above are from US Patent No. 001,217,544 granted to William H. Willson of Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 1917.
As of July 2, 2013, we’re up to US Patent No. 8,474,092, meaning the USPTO has granted over 8 million patents since patent number 1 was granted on July 13, 1836 to J. Ruggles of Maine for a Steam Engine.
But patent number 1 was not the first patent. The first patent was number 1X, granted to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont on July 31, 1790 for a method of making potash. 9,957 patents were issued before congress decided to officially number them in 1836. They then went back and renumbered the 9,957 patents with an ‘x’ after their patent number to distinguish them.
The ownership of patents in the United States was written into our constitution by congress in 1790. Before that, patents created by the colonists were owned by the King of England. Another reason to celebrate the 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!