What is a U.S. patent?   It is a right granted to an inventor by the federal government that permits the inventor to exclude others from making, selling, or using his invention for a specific period of time.  By obtaining a patent, an inventor safeguards his creation and can make a profit from his innovation.   The patent system is designed to encourage inventions that are unique and useful to society.

From the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, several Bishop Hill residents obtained patents for various tools.   These Colonists and their descendants created these innovations in the hopes that they would make life easier for future generations.  Some of these patents are displayed at the Steeple Building Museum as part of our Textiles to Tools exhibition. This exhibit will close on October 31 so please visit before they are gone!