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    Description

    George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Signed Patent. One partially printed page of vellum, 12.5" x 15", Philadelphia; August 17, 1793. A Letters Patent acknowledging that "Samuel Brouwer...hath alleged that he has invented a new and useful improvement in the Manufacturing of Brick and Pantile..." and that the U.S. government grants "according to law...for the term of fourteen years, the full and said exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using, and vending to others to be used the said improvement, a description whereof is given in the woods of the said Samuel Brouwer himself..." Countersigned by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State and Edmund Randolph as U. S. Attorney General. Paper seal of the United States affixed at lower left, with a small green ribbon. Accompanied by Brouwer's descriptions of the machine's construction and operation [12.5" x 15"], and a large diagram of the machine, illustrated by J. Mackay [12" x 18"]. Beneath the diagram are numbered explanations of each Plate. All three documents have been framed so that both sides may be visible, to the overall size of 44" x 23.25".

    The full text of the Letters Patent reads:

    "The United States of America.
    To all to whom these Letters Patent shall come:

    WHEREAS Samuel Brouwer, a citizen of the State of New York, in the United States, hath alleged that he has invented a new and useful improvement in the manufacturing of Brick and Pantile which improvement has not been known or used before this application; has made oath, that he does verily believe that he is the true inventor or discoverer of the said improvement; has paid into the Treasury of the United States, the sum of thirty dollars, delivered a receipt for the same, and presented a petition to the Secretary of State, signifying a desire of obtaining an exclusive property in the said improvement, and praying that a patent may be granted for that purpose: THESE ARE THEREFORE to grant, according to law, to the said Samuel Brouwer his heirs, administrators or assigns, for the term of fourteen years, the full and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, using, and vending to others to be used the said improvement, a description whereof is given in the words of the said Samuel Brouwer himself, in the schedule hereto annexed, and is make a part of these presents.

    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

    GIVEN under my hand, at the City of Philadelphia this Seventeenth day of August in the Year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and ninety three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the Eighteenth.
    G:o Washington
    By the President
    Th: Jefferson

    City of Philadelphia, TO WIT:
    I DO HEREBY CERTIFY, That the foregoing Letters Patent, were delivered to me on the twentieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three to be examined; that I have examined the same, and find them conformable to law. And I do hereby return the same to the Secretary of State, within fifteen days from the date aforesaid, to wit: On this twentieth day of August in the year aforesaid.
    Edm: Randolph / Atty. Gl. of the U.S."

    On verso, there is docketing that reveals that Brouwer sold his patent in 1793. It reads, in full: "I the within named Samuel Brouwer, for, and in consideration of the sum of Two hundred and Fifty five Pounds to me in hand paid, do Transfer and Assign to Effingham Lawrence of the City of New York Druggist, his Heirs, and Assigns all my Right Title and Interest in the within Patent: In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal at New York this 28th Day of August, One thousand seven hundred and Ninety three."

    This patent is one of only seven known to be signed by both Washington and Jefferson, and it is one of only two known to survive that was signed under the 1793 Second Patent Act, which was heavily influenced by Jefferson. Only 67 patents were issued while Jefferson served as Secretary of State (57 under the Patent Act of 1790, and 10 under the Patent Act of 1793). After extensive research, we have found five belong to institutional collections, and only one other Washington and Jefferson signed patent exists in a private collection. This patent can be found in the U. S. patent records and is assigned the number 65X. According to the Directory of American Tool and Machinery Patents: "Most of the patents prior to 1836 were lost in the Dec. 1836 fire. Only about 2,000 of the almost 10,000 documents were recovered. Little is known about this patent. Only the patent drawing is available. This patent is in the database for reference only."

    Samuel Brouwer was born in New York in 1762. Not much is known about his life, but records show that he worked as a carpenter, a drum-maker (barrel-maker), and a fanlight maker (decorative door windows). The illustrator of the machine diagram is likely John McKay, who worked as a painter and glazier in New York City. He painted the portraits of numerous prominent New Yorkers, and his portrait of Catherine Brower, painted in 1791, resides in the National Gallery of Art.

    Condition: The patent and all other papers have flattened folds, with light edge toning. The paper seal is intact. Minor soiling throughout, else very good. The page of technical descriptions has more moderate toning as well as further soiling on verso. The illustration has moderate toning throughout, with minor chilling at the edges and corners. Minor dampstaining on verso. There are small pieces of archival tape on verso, which have been used to reinforce some edges and folds. Overall, very good.

    Reference: Directory of American Tool and Machinery Patents. 2014. (Accessed April 5, 2019).


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    14th Tuesday
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