August 27, 2012

August 3, 2012

Five New Articles Found About Patent

Jim Powell has found five more articles reporting Clark's invention. Four of them were published in 1875, one in 1889.
       As you will see if you go to the sites, it is very hard to read the OCR scans of these old newspapers. There are numerous transcription errors, and the topics follow one after the other without paragraph breaks in some of them.
       The Daily Alta California gives a lengthy essay on the history of flight titled Sailing in the Air, Attempts at Aerial Navigation in the Last Hundred Years, in which it is stated: "Micajah Dyer of Union county, Ga., obtained a patent on an air-ship in 1875, but it, too, failed to sail." The author is mistaken in that remark.  An opinion obtained from a patent attorney about Micajah Clark Dyer's patent states that there are four things necessary for approval of a patent application: 
            1. It has to be a new item or process and not a mere obvious change
            2. It must be clearly apparent that the invention works as described
            3. It must be useful in its application
            4. A working model must be submitted with the patent application
       Since Clark's application was approved by the U.S. Patent Office and a patent certificate was issued to him, there is little doubt that the airplane actually flew. Furthermore, we have the testimony of eye-witnesses who saw it fly.     
      Here are links to each of the newspapers:
       1.  Ft. Wayne Weekly Sentinel, Jul. 21, 1875:
      2.  Iowa State Reporter, Jul. 14, 1875:
      3.  Stevens Point Daily Journal, Jul. 31, 1875:
      Jim Powell's newly found articles bring to 18 the number of newspapers we know about that reported the story of Clark's invention. It is very likely that there will be others found in the future as old newspapers are scanned and made available online.