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Confederate Patent Office

The Confederate Patent Office was the agency of the Confederate States of America charged with issuing patents on inventions. The Chief Clerk during its entire existence was Rufus R. Rhodes of Mississippi who resigned his post at the United States Patent Office after the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Confederate States of America
Patent Office
CSA Patent Office Seal.gif
Seal of the
Confederate States of America Patent Office
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 23, 1862
DissolvedMay 5, 1865
JurisdictionConfederate States of America
HeadquartersRichmond, Virginia
Agency executive
  • Rufus R. Rhodes, Chief Clerk

The Confederate Patent Office is known to have issued 266 patents, and likely it issued some more during the early months of 1865. Unfortunately, the records it contained were destroyed in a fire. Very few patent documents issued by the CPO, likely fewer than 10, are known to survive.

The first patent was issued to James H. Van Houten of Savannah, Georgia on August 1, 1861 for a "breech-loading gun".

One of the more well-known Confederate patents (at least based on the results) was Patent No. 100, granted to John Mercer Brooke for the design of the Confederate ironclad ship Merrimack, more properly known as the CSS Virginia.

External linksEdit

  • Confederate States of America. Patent Office; Rhodes, Rufus R (June 17, 1861). Rules and Directions for Proceedings in the Confederate States Patent Office. Richmond, Virginia: Ritchie & Dunnavant, printers.
  • The Confederate Patent Office
  • A History of the Early Patent Office - Chapter 27, The Confederate Patent Office
  • List of all known patents issued by the Confederate Patent Office