New book explores 1,000 historic design patents from the past century


From weather vanes and electric cars to streetlights and office supplies, the new book by author Thomas Rinaldi, Patented, explores the history of industrial and product design through 1,000 innovative design patents. The selection of life-changing articles was curated from a pool of over 750,000 patents issued by the United States Patent Office since 1900. In an upcoming virtual conversation with Rinaldi, you will be able to explore some of the most revolutionary patents and surprising inventors presented in this unique field guide!

Patented: 120 years in 1,000 designs

In this speech:

  • Discover notable designers, architects and celebrities – Jacobsen, Dreyfuss, Eames, Rams, Saarinen, Knoll, Loewy, Sottsass and Starck are featured. There are also a few surprises: Prince, Elon Musk, Donatella Versace and Francis Ford Coppola are also included as inventors.
  • Rediscover little-known designs from famous designers unearthed by scanning design patents.
  • Discover prolific but long forgotten designers whose vast works are revealed in patent searches.
  • Explore the “curation” which pre-selected 1,000 designs from nearly 800,000 designs.
  • Learn about globalization and other underlying trends illustrated by patents – for example, U.S. patents issued to Chinese residents now exceed 20,000 per year, up from around 50 per year in the 1990s.
  • Save 20% on your own copy of Patented with a unique discount code

Tickets for this conference are only $ 10. You can access an unlimited number of free events per month and unlock a video archive of over 100 untapped New Yorker insider events from as low as $ 10 / month. Already initiated? Register here! Can’t you keep it alive? Register for this virtual conference and we’ll email you a recording when it’s over.

Image courtesy of Phaidon

Patented highlights objects everyone knows, from vegetable peelers and cash machines, to Elon Musk’s designs, a tape dispenser or a Vespa. From legendary classics to anonymous essentials in homes and offices, Patented contains patents which are not only fascinating design documents in themselves, but also form a unique design story. The uniform aesthetic of the patent designs means that all 1,000 models are treated the same, whether it’s a Gehry or Eames chair, a calculator, or a mixer.

In addition to offering a fascinating catalog of designs from the past 120 years, Patented features some of the biggest names in product design including Jacobsen, Dreyfuss, Eames, Rams, Saarinen, Knoll, Loewy, Sottsass and Starck. Patented also includes a few surprises, with names such as Issey Miyake, Donatella Versace, and Francis Ford Coppola included as inventors.

Image courtesy of Phaidon

Thomas Rinaldi is a New York-based architectural designer who graduated from Georgetown and Columbia Universities. He has written several architectural books and his photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post. He has lectured extensively, notably at the New York Public Library and the Society of Architectural Historians.

Patented: 120 years in 1,000 designs

Next, discover 10 things you didn’t know were invented in New York City

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