In the late 19th Century, otherwise known as the Gilded Age, the United States experienced tremendous economic growth — an important aspect of which was innovation.
According to the Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, “the number of patents issued by the Patent Office increased steadily” following the Civil War’s end in 1865 — from 1,045 in 1844 to 7,653 in 1860 to 45,661 in 1897. Among those who received patents were Wiltonian inventors like David Lockwood and Samuel Osborn.
Mr. Lockwood received a patent (No. 301,732) in 1884 for improved dandy rolls for paper-making machines. In his patent description, Mr. Lockwood described his dandy rolls as “simple and economical in construction” and “exceedingly durable,” adding that they “[had] and will always preserve a perfect cylindrical form.”
In 1890, Mr. Osborn received a patent (No. 422,617) for a “new and useful improvement” for checking and unchecking horses.
On Sunday, March 22, Matthew Warshauer, a history professor at Central Connecticut State University, will lead the last scholarly series lecture on the Gilded Age at the Wilton Historical Society, from 4 to 5:30.
“My focus is going to be on the shift in American society — from pre-Civil War to post-Civil War,” he told The Bulletin. “Essentially, how industrialization took off after the Civil War.”