Historical Display

Historical Display Contest TC2900
Historical Display Contest TC2900

The Historical Display Committee was formed in March 1994 for the purpose of enhancing the appreciation of PTO employees for the fascinating history of the Patent and Trademark Office.

The method we have chosen to carry out this purpose is by selecting projects centered around placing historical type displays in prominent spots somewhere in the PTO that draws attention to the history of the PTO and/or to the PTO Museum. The PTO Museum was established by the PTO to increase public awareness of the role played by intellectual property in our National economy and also to raise awareness of the unique history of the Office. The museum is located in Madison West.

Among our past projects have been placing a historical display case in the library located on the first floor of Remsen. The display case contains a number of historical patent-related artifacts, including an old Society Journal and photographs of patent examiners from 1872 and 1895. 

To help us to carry out our efforts, we are looking for history and display design enthusiasts throughout the PTOS.  If you would like to try your hand at helping us with our history-related activities, please contact Committee Chairman Eric Keasel at 571 272 4929.


Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) was the American literature icon that was the subject of the trivia contest.

He was the inventor for three US patents

Patent No. 121,992, issued in 1871, was for suspenders (Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments)

Patent No. 140,245, issued in 1873, was for his famous Mark Twain's Self-Pasting Scrapbook.

Patent No. 324,535, issue in 1885, was for an educational game that helped players remember important historical dates.


The quotation is from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court


“That reminds me to remark, in passing, that the very first official thing I did, in my administration -- and it was on the very first day of it, too -- was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn't travel any way but sideways or backways.”


Congratulations to Christopher Johnson who was randomly selected from the 109 entries with all correct answers.