an odd patent

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Nov 25 20:10:48 UTC 2002

This is off-topic, but some of you folk are skillful at searching the Patent Office records, and this is an interesting story.  Is there any record of such a patent being granted?

The Black Legs and the Patent Swindling Bag.  ***   [The Sheriff arrests gamblers, finds false dice], numerous packs of artful marked cards, together with a sweat cloth and two boxes for dealing cards at the Pharo bank.  [One of the pharo boxes is said to be the invention of] the noted gambler Baily, who had a patent for the same, from the patent office of the United States.  ***  We have heard of many patents . . . , but this is the first time we have heard of a patent for an improvement in the art of swindling – [the patent is said to have been] obtained through the influence of a conspicuous member of our national legislature. . . .   Commercial Advertiser, March 24, 1815, p. 2, cols. 4-5, from the Bedford, Pa., Gazette of March


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

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