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    Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren Letters Patent Signed as president and Secretary of State. One vellum page, 11" x 14.5", Washington, January 11, 1830, granting a patent to William E. Arnold for "...a new and useful improvement to a machine that washes clothes, which improvement he states has not been known or used before his application hath made oath that he does verily believe that he is the true inventor or discoverer of the said improvement..." and "...grant, according to law...for the term of fourteen years...the full and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using and vending to others...the said improvement." Paper Seal of the United States affixed at lower left. Countersigned by John Macpherson Berrien as U. S. Attorney General. Ink is fading slightly, but Jackson's bold signature is mostly unaffected, as is the signature of Van Buren. Moderately toned along the left margin with few foxing spots.

    This patent is found in the U. S. patent records and is assigned the number 5,773X. According to the "Directory of American Tool and Machinery Patents," the existence of this patent is unknown: "Most of the patents prior to 1836 were lost in a December 1836 fire. Only 2,000 of the almost 10,000 document were recovered. Little is known about this patent. Only the patent drawing is available." With an incomplete, two page (also vellum) explanation of the technical workings of Arnold's invention.

    Reference: Directory of American Tool and Machinery Patents. 2012. (accessed March 4, 2012).

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