Inventing the Industrial Revolution: The English Patent by Christine MacLeod

By Christine MacLeod

This booklet examines the advance of the English patent method and its dating with technical swap through the interval among 1660 and 1800, whilst the patent method developed from an tool of royal patronage into one among advertisement pageant one of the inventors and brands of the economic Revolution. It analyses the criminal and political framework in which patenting came about and provides an account of the motivations and fortunes of patentees, who acquired patents for quite a few reasons past the easy safeguard of an invention. It comprises the 1st in-depth try and gauge the reliability of the patent information as a degree of artistic task and technical swap within the early a part of the economic Revolution, and means that the distribution of patents is a greater advisor to the improvement of capitalism than to the centres of artistic job. It additionally queries the typical assumption that the executive aim of inventors was once to avoid wasting labour, and examines modern feedback of the patent method within the mild of the altering conceptualisation of invention between usual scientists and political economists.

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8) which ordained 'that bonnets and caps should be thickened and fulled by the strength of men, and not in a fulling mill, for it was holden inconvenient to turn so many labouring men to idleness'. Otherwise, where no statute stood in the way, it was left to the discretion of the Privy Council to determine 'inconveniency'. 53 The 1624 Act looked back to the exacting operation of a patent system, designed to further an enlightened industrial policy in the early decades of Elizabeth I's reign, and to common-law precedents.

Only the last minute intervention of the London Gold and Silver Wire Drawers, who feared Garill's monopoly would exclude them from their own trade, halted the patent. 8 3 Subsequently it was discovered that Garill's scheme would have operated against the interests of crown and kingdom. T h e officers of the Mint, consulted for the first time, put the Council straight both on a point of law and on its economic reasoning. Further arguments, advanced by the Goldsmiths and Wiredrawers, clinched the case against Garill: they could not imagine how he hoped for any profit except through malpractice and abuse.

65 Samuel Pepys, as Secretary to the Navy, was instrumental in securing several patents. 66 Pepys was required to secure a patent in Bayly's name and to pay half its cost as well as £50 Tor his half part of building^and fitting each other engine' and £62 1 os per annum towards the running and management costs. 67 Pepys was disappointed of his profit when shareholders in one of Bayly's earlier patents successfully petitioned that this latest patent covered the same engine as theirs (in which they had invested over £3,000), 'to his own separate profit .

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