Attention biographers of U.S. inventors: Google’s got a new patent search. It allows full-text searching all the way back to 1790 — which is 184 years longer than the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office allows.

So, if you wanted to easily find information on the daylight-fluorescent inventions of a couple of brothers back in the 1930s and 1940s, you’re in luck. If you’ve long since submitted the final manuscript of a book based in part on patents found the tedious, old-fashioned way, feel free to disregard — at least until you get going on your next project about inventors.


Just before I hit publish, I found a patent issued to my grandfather. How cool is that?