Dating antiques by patent number
These dates are a handy reference that you may find useful for figuring out when an item was first produced.For example, if you find something with a patent number of 1,941,448 on it, you will find in the chart below that it was patented in 1933. Most British patents from 1890 onwards are available on the European Patent Office's Espacenet database which you can access free of charge on the internet.We do have paper copies of these patents but access to them is restricted for conservation reasons.Original records relating to Irish patents have not survived but some records held by the National Archives contain references to Irish patents.Although printed copies of these Scottish and Irish patents are not available the British Library does have some indexes which are available to researchers in the Business and IP Centre reading room.We also have a few examples of Scottish and Irish parchments.From October 1852 onwards British patents covered the whole of the United Kingdom and were printed and published regularly each week in pamphlet form.
The transcribed text of each patent and any drawings was then printed and published as a numbered pamphlet.
The sequence runs from GB1 of 1617 to GB14359 of September 1852.
If a technical specification for any of these patents was found, then its text was transcribed in full and engravings were made of any drawings.
One of them is now a used car salesman and the other is even less reputable.
Anyway, you can bounce around the United States Patent and Trademark Offices website and look at the other options that are available, but not much works for pre-1976 patents.