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Period depiction of Patent Office fire, 1877
 

"Relic" of the Patent Office Fire
1877

The nation's best ideas go up in smoke
On September 24, 1877, fire swept through the north and east wings of the United States Patent Office building in Washington, DC. More than 76,000 patent models were destroyed, many of them dating back to the 1830s. This melted "relic"--a mass of melted models and building materials-- is a vivid reminder of the national treasures that were lost in the blaze.

Notes
Bits of glass, plaster, wood screws, brass, steel shaft, car wheels
Web display only

Learn more!
· Patent Models
· U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
· U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website

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