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The First Patent Issued in the United States

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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First U.S. Patent Awarded to Samuel Hopkins by President George Washington, July 31, 1790

Samuel Hopkins (1743-1818) became the recipient and holder of the first United States Patent, and the Patent was signed by President George Washington.  Hopkins lived at 119 Arch Street. On July 31,1790, Hopkins received a patent for an improvement in making potash, a major industrial chemical. In succeeding centuries, the U.S. Government has issued millions of patents protecting inventors and their innovations.

In the spring of 1765, Hopkins married Parrish's sister-in-law, Hannah Wilson, and together they raised six children in Philadelphia. The 1790 U.S. Census listed Hopkins's occupation as "Pott Ash Maker". The City of Philadelphia directories of the period listed him as a "pot-ash maker" and a "pot-ash manufacturer".

Samuel Hopkins, Holder of First U.S. Patent, Issued by President George Washington, July 31, 1790

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Former Home of Samuel Hopkins (not open to the public)
119 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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