Home Today Years Ago July 31, 1790: The First U.S. Patent Is Issued
July 31, 1790: The First U.S. Patent Is Issued
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July 31, 1790: The First U.S. Patent Is Issued

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Today in 1790, the first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for a potash extraction process. The patent was signed by President George Washington. Potash is potassium salts which are used primarily for fertilizer. The potash industry became hugely important for the American economy for decades. Hopkins’ patent called for a second burning stage in a furnace, which resulted in much better carbonate formation.