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ON LETTERS PATENT

· FOR INVENTIONS.

BY

FREDERICK EDWARDS, JUN.

AUTHOR OF
“OUR DOMESTIC FIRE-PLACES,"

AND

A TREATISE ON SMOKY CHIMNEYS."

LONDON:

ROBERT HARDWICKE, 192, PICCADILLY.

1865.

[The right of translation or reproduction is reserved.]

LONDON:

PRINTED BY J. DAVY AND SONS, 137, LONG ACRE.

PREFACE.

At the conclusion of a treatise by the author on the economical use of fuel in domestic fireplaces, published a year since, he added some observations on the patent laws, in which he shortly expressed many of the views contained in the following pages.

In extending his work for a second edition, he proposed to rewrite his « observations at greater length ; but on considering that the patent question was receiving increased public attention, and that if he had anything new to offer at all, he might most usefully accomplish his purpose by giving it separate publication, he was induced to reprint his former observations, and to delay the preparation of his new little work until a recent publication and the enlarged edition of his “ domestic fire-places " had brought him sufficient support to give a pleasure

and zest to his labours. Such support he has had, and sufficient to lead him to hope that as the nature of his publications becomes better understood, they will gradually succeed in bringing to the public some of the benefit of which his suggestions may be capable.

The author cannot regret the little delay in preparing the present treatise, as it has given him the opportunity before writing, of perusing the interesting parliamentary report on the working of the patent law, and he now consigns his pages to his readers, in the hope that on a subject which demands the efforts of many, they may not be without useful influence.

The author has the pleasure to acknowledge the assistance he has received from the observations of Sir William Armstrong, Mr. William Hawes, and Mr. R. A. Macfie, Chairman of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and of others who have preceded him in discussing the patent question.

Great Marlborough Street,

April 4th, 1865.

ON LETTERS PATENT FOR INVENTIONS.

Of the many important subjects that relate to the well-being of the community, there are, perhaps, few more generally interesting than the application of inventive skill to the products and principles of nature for the purposes of life. The machines by which remarkable results are effected, and the appliances by which bodily convenience or comfort is obtained or enhanced, address themselves so directly to the curiosity and understanding, that they are necessarily capable of receiving a larger amount of attention than can be commanded by subjects which, appealing more exclusively to the mind, give greatest satisfaction to the few. And, not merely is there an intrinsic cause for such popularity, but there is one that may be considered peculiar to our time. The wonders which our age has witnessed,—the rapid establishment of railway communications, of steam vessels, of the electric telegraph, the cheapening of manufactures, and the spread of those manufactures to most parts of the globe,-give to all matters connected with discovery and invention a significance they have never had be

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