The National Archives Podcast Series

The National Archives

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Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.


From cotton spinning to coffins: specifications for patents of invention

December 18th, 2009

Episode 124 of 474 episodes

Patents of invention cover a vast range of ideas, from the industrial and agricultural revolutions, to transport, domestic life and health. Many are bizarre, and some are even horrific, but they all have a fascinating story to tell. The specifications are the written descriptions of how the invention will work, with drawings where appropriate. This talk focuses particularly on the drawings, while explaining the process of enrolling the specifications themselves and exploring a remarkable range of inventiveness.