Saturday, November 27, 2010

Using the US Patent Office For Family Tree Research

It is a small percentage of people that may have an ancestor that has been granted a US Patent, but since patent searches are on-line, they are a quick easy source to check.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has on-line data access. A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. The first U.S. patent was granted in 1790 to Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia for "making pot and pearl ashes"-a cleaning formula used in soapmaking. So far over 7 million have been granted

There are two places to search

First is at the USPTO and a google search of uspto patent search will bring you to it. It requires a TIFF viewer and is more difficult to use than the Google Patent search

Do a Google search for Google patent search. Once found simply type in the patent number, or last name of the person, or full name, or town, or county, or state, or invented item you are looking for in the search box. Once you find a good one click on abstract for the information. As an example Delmar Delaware;

A list of patents that contain the word Delmar and or Delaware will appear. The first one we see is a patent ( 891056 ) to Ira T. German of Delmar Delaware issued to him in 1908 for a Music Leaf Turner. This device flipped pages of sheet music. I vaguely recall that Ira German (besides being part of the Delmar German family) was a music teacher at the high school. His patent claim was witnessed by James H. Tyre and W. E. German. So for the German family in Delmar there are several bits of family history.

Various town names can be searched such as Salisbury Maryland; we have Harry A. Wilson who in 1919 received a patent (53548) for a wooden ice cream spoon or Noah J. Tilghman who in 1853 received Patent 9835 for a Crow Killer ( the crow landed on a post and a spear came out and stabbed him) or George C. Hill (Salisbury Undertaker) who in 1878 received patent 201525 for an improved corpse cooler.

Over in Sharptown, Maryland we have John Robinson of Eli who received a patent for a portable turn Table for a railway in 1859 Patent 26053. John Robinson of Eli was a wheelwright in Sharptown and in the census records he always had his name listed as John Robinson of Eli, to distinguish him from the other John Robinsons in the area.

An accountant I knew, Edward Leach, received a patent for a vacuum sewage collection system. Now it took some looking for the patent (lots of Edward Leachs) but eventually I found it. In 1987 his patent was number 4663056. I remember how proud he was of it and how he showed it to everyone, He died of cancer a couple of years later.

So if you want to see the patents Thomas Edison received or Samuel Colt's firearm patent (1836 patent #9439) or just spend some time looking up family names to see if they received a patent, play around with it, all sorts of things come up, not just family history either.

For God, Glory, And Delmar

Well my wife and daughters have left for the Division 2, St. Elizabeths vs. Delmar game tonight at Baynard Stadium, Wilmington, Delaware.

All are bundled up like Ralphie's little brother from the "Christmas Story" and they are going to need all of those clothes tonight with lows in the upper 20's.

Go Wildcats!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After

We had a very good Thanksgiving yesterday with company, family, and food as What a smell said Yes Howard's family does have a lot to be thankful for. I indulged over indulged really pigged out yesterday on food and drink which resulted in the day after having a sugar level sky high which has pretty much put me out of commission. Damn and I was sooo looking forward to going Black Friday shopping with my daughters. Well it is an ill wind that blows no one good. Today and for a while I will be eating steamed vegetables with a little turkey until the sugar level stabilizes.

Annapolis is the nation's capital - 1783

Nov. 26, 1783, to June 3, 1784. Annapolis served as capital to newly forming American nation when Continental Congress met at Annapolis.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did He or Didn't He?

Normally a President will issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation giving thanks to God for the bounties of the day, etc. As you recall last year President Obama drew criticism for his lack of mentioning God in his 2009 speech. In reading over the 2010 speech I think it counts as mentioning God - maybe not as frequently as other Presidents but God is in there.

A beloved American tradition, Thanksgiving Day offers us the opportunity to focus our thoughts on the grace that has been extended to our people and our country. This spirit brought together the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe -- who had been living and thriving around Plymouth, Massachusetts for thousands of years -- in an autumn harvest feast centuries ago. This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage. We also pause our normal pursuits on this day and join in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude for the year's bounties and blessings.

Thanksgiving Day is a time each year, dating back to our founding, when we lay aside the troubles and disagreements of the day and bow our heads in humble recognition of the providence bestowed upon our Nation. Amidst the uncertainty of a fledgling experiment in democracy, President George Washington declared the first

Thanksgiving in America, recounting the blessings of tranquility, union, and plenty that shined upon our young country. In the dark days of the Civil War when the fate of our Union was in doubt, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day, calling for "the Almighty hand" to heal and restore our Nation.

In confronting the challenges of our day, we must draw strength from the resolve of previous generations who faced their own struggles and take comfort in knowing a brighter day has always dawned on our great land. As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation. This Thanksgiving Day, we remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and they and their families deserve our profound gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

This harvest season, we are also reminded of those experiencing the pangs of hunger or the hardship of economic insecurity. Let us return the kindness and generosity we have seen throughout the year by helping our fellow citizens weather the storms of our day.

As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God. Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same.

Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 2010, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together -- whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors -- to give thanks for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and to share our bounty with others.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

--Barack Obama

Apple and Cider Are Pardoned

So on behalf of Michelle, Sasha, Malia and myself, I want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy and safe Thanksgiving. And now, it is my great honor, as well, to give Apple and Cider a new lease on life. So as President of the United States, you are hereby pardoned from the Thanksgiving dinner table. (Laughter.) May you have a wonderful and joyful life at Mount Vernon.

Yes once again the President has pardoned two turkeys read it here

The Other Delmar Bloggers

Since I have nothing to write about today, plus company is coming and we are getting ready for Thanksgiving, take a look at the other Delmar Blogs.

Over at What A Smell he talks about thanksgivings and uses the word "disingenuousness"

At The Delmar Daily he comments on the space heater that is used at town hall by using cartoon popups. I guess since he discovered photoshop we will be seeing more of these.

and at Delmarva Sportsman he is out West in Washington State.

The Stuff Just Stays Around Forever - Waiting

An article from Spiegel on line

An entire village in northern France has been evacuated for a week while bomb removal experts clear 30 tons of shells -- 1,652 in total -- discovered in a German munitions depot from World War I.

A village in northeastern France has been evacuated following the discovery of a German World War I munitions dump containing 1,652 artillery shells weighing a total of 30 tons.

The 450 inhabitants of Coucy-les-Eppes north of Reims were ordered on Monday to leave the village during the daytime for the whole week while a bomb disposal squad removes the shells. They can return to their homes in the evenings when no shells are being moved.

"If the munitions aren't being moved there is no danger," said a spokeswoman for the local authority.

A total of 26 bomb experts are working to clear the shells and move them to military sites where they will be destroyed. The depot measured 16 meters long by 1.50 meters wide and was discovered one-meter below ground by a villager who was digging in his garden.

Experts believe the shells date back to between 1915 and 1917. The biggest shells have a diameter of 21 centimeters. The area was the scene of major battles on the Western Front in World War I.

Farmers and construction workers in France and Belgium still frequently find shells from the war in the former battlefields.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Markell's Traveling Road Show Hits Delmar and plays to an empty house

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell gave his talk called "Conversations about Stronger Schools" at Delmar tonight. With him was Delaware Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery, Delaware State Education Association President Diane Donohue and John Hollis, Director of Community Relations of Nemours Health and Prevention Services, former Delaware Community Foundation executive, and former teacher/administrator in Seaford who represented the business community. This is number six of eleven scheduled meeting thru out the state.

In his talk Gov. Markell said He "would like to see all the seats full in the auditorium because of interest from the community." As he was saying this he was looking at an audience of about 50 people 40% of which was school staff.

Tom Luffman, in the question part of the program, pointed out to the Governor that had Delmar people had problems with the Delmar School District they would be out in mass but since they were happy with it most didn't show up for tonight's talk.

Delaware was the top scorer on the Federal government Race To The Top (RTTP)Program. Race To The Top is a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education program designed to spur reforms in state and local district K-12 education. It is funded by the ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and was announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on July 24, 2009. Delaware will receive $119 million over four years from it.

Spending of this money will take different forms from bonuses of $10,000 for outstanding teachers, to funding new teachers, to partnership zones for low performing schools. Mostly it seems to being spent on encouraging and improving teachers.

It was a very interesting talk and as people know I am not a fan of Gov. Markell but I thought his presentation and program was very well put together.

His belief is Stronger Schools Attract Jobs

Gov. Markell old running mate Barb Hudson asked a question

One of the questions asked by Mayor Niblett was "if a Maryland student graduated from Delmar could they attend the University of Delaware at an in state rate?" The governor asked a few questions about class size and said he would talk with his staff when he got back to Dover.

The show was over about 7:45PM

The Delmar Mayors and Council members were there tonight

Tom Luffman and Carl Anderton gang up on the Delaware Governor

Maryland Commissioner Carl Anderton presses his point to Gov. Markell

Eastern Shore Tumbleweed

This dead grass has been blowing about and accumulating in little corners and nooks

Pond's Edge Swings Into Action

Bright and early this morning Stalling Landscape was in Pond's Edge removing and replacing trees. As you recall from the writeup of the Joint Council Meeting last night part of having the infrastructure accepted by the town was the replacement of four dead trees.

Woodland Beach Park

This postcard, I recently purchased, is of Woodland Beach Park - 8 miles East of Smyrna Delaware
Described as Beach Motel, Cabins and cottages - near the board walk and shaded grove.

Looks like the 1950's - hard to believe cottages like these once were the "norm", now days they look like migratory workers camps. Some, like these, I have stayed in would have a central bathhouse instead of plumbing in the cottages. Other might have a sink to wash your hands at but that was about it. They cost about $2 to $8 a night but usually would rent by the week.

Delmar Ebay item

I see over on Ebay is a RR PHOTO PRR K4s ENGINE 5394 DELMAR DELAWARE in 1948 for auction.

Korea is in the news

Scary thing with North Korea and South Korea exchanging gun fire. I can imagine what every American Military Installation in Asia must look like at this moment. Full alert status, confined to base, bringing up everything into a ready state. No doubt our new Mayor, Mike Houlihan, is dusting off the old Air Force Uniform just in case they call him up and send him back to Korea.

A little look at the two sides;
-- North Korea has 1.19 million troops in active service, and more than 7.7 million reservists. It is one of the world's most militarized countries and has a population of 23.4 million.

-- South Korea has 687,000 troops on active duty, and about 4.5 million reserve forces. They are reinforced by 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in the South.

-- North Korea has some 4,100 tanks and more than 2,500 armored personnel carriers. Much of the equipment is believed to be Soviet-era procurement and in need of upgrading. The T-54, the North's main combat tank, began to be phased out by most other countries in the 1970s.

-- North Korea also has more than 17,900 artillery pieces -- including 4,400 self propelled, 2,500 multiple rocket launchers and 7,500 mortars.

-- South Korea has 2,750 main battle tanks and 2,780 armored personnel carriers. It has 10,470 artillery pieces including 1,089 self propelled and 3,500 towed. South Korea has 185 multiple rocket launchers.

-- Soviet-made MiGs make up the bulk of the North's 620 air combat capable aircraft. The fleet is largely obsolete and not fit for modern combat. The South has about 490 combat aircraft.

-- North Korea is believed to be steadily building its submarine fleet, with its 71 vessels outnumbering the South's dozen or so. Its 420 warships also outnumber the South's roughly 140 vessels, but the South has been adding powerful destroyers to its fleet.

-- North Korea has limited fuel supplies, and relies heavily on China for its crude oil and gasoline.


-- North Korea has more than 800 ballistic missiles and more than 1,000 missiles of various ranges. It has sold missiles and technology overseas, with Iran a top buyer. South Korea is limited in pursuing missile development under a treaty with the United States but has recently deployed new long-range cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 km which can hit all of North Korea and also targets in China and Russia.


-- North Korea is believed to have produced about 50 kg (110 lb) of plutonium, which experts say would be enough for six to eight nuclear weapons. North Korea's last week disclosed the existence of an ultra-modern uranium enrichment facility. The reported sighting of more than 1,000 centrifuges at its main nuclear complex appears to confirm the impoverished North, which has a plutonium-based atomic program, is working to create a second source of arms-grade nuclear material. -- It has twice conducted nuclear tests but has yet to show that it has a working nuclear bomb.

-- South Korea, an advanced nuclear power state, does not have a nuclear arms program, although Washington has promised protection under its "nuclear umbrella."


-- The main frontline 2nd Infantry Division is armed with 140 M1A1 Abram battle tanks, 170 M2 Bradley Fighting vehicles, rocket launchers, tactical missiles, Patriot missile defense systems. The U.S. Air Force operates F-16 fighters, ground attack planes and three U-2 spy planes.

(Source: Reuters/South Korea's Defence White Paper, Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, IISS 2010 Military Balance)

Delmar Daily Comments

Over at Delmar Daily, Tom is commenting on his version of the Town Council meeting he calls it The Delmar Parking Debockle

Monday, November 22, 2010

Delmar Joint Council Meeting - Nov 2010

Tonight the Delmar Joint Council Meeting was held. All members were present and found their proper seats with little confusion. All the men on the Delmar, Delaware Council side wore ties and looked very dapper.

My usual disclaimer is I am not part of the council and what I write is my personal views, not the minutes, of the meetings. It is also just the parts I want to comment on or write about. If you want to know the real story go to the meeting.

The Maryland Elected officials

Really not much happened in the joint council meeting. Delaware's Mayor Houlihan was the lead Mayor tonight and he introduced Gregory Smith, the Delmar Delaware councilperson who was appointed.

Councilman Smith (on the left) has lived in Delmar for 16 years, is a retired Salisbury fireman, who worked on PR. Mayor Houlihan put him on the Public works Commission.

The Delmar Maryland side accepted the infrastructure for Pond's Edge Apartments with the clause the apartments would replace four dead trees in their landscape.

The Mayors have suggested cost cuts to the design of the new Town hall and have sent those cuts to the three low bidders.

In Councilperson comments, Jim Henderson said he mistaking wandered into a Chamber of Commerce meeting and is now the liaison between the Town and the Chamber.

Mayor Niblett pointed out if anyone needed tickets for the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of year dinner to see Jim Henderson.

Besides a newspaper reporter and a couple of Bloggers this was the lone John Q Citizen at the meeting. Even the Woodcreek's girls didn't show up tonight.

Must be due to the full moon out tonight.

It was over with by 8 PM when the councils went into executive session.

Delmar Utility Commission Meeting - Nov 2010

The Delmar Utility Commission meeting was held tonight at 6:30 PM at Town Hall. All were present with the exception of Maryland Commissioner Henderson who arrived late.

Very little went on tonight.
The Infrastructure at Pond's Edge apartments, which has been in place for a couple of years now, was approved by the utility commission to be accepted into the town and this approval was forwarded to the joint council.
There was an executive session meeting.
and that was about all that went on tonight.

43rd Annual Senior Art Show

Yes, for better or worst, it is the 43rd annual senior art show at Fulton Hall Gallery in Salisbury University and it starts tomorrow from 10 to 4. Thirty one graduating senior "Fresh Talent" artists will participate. There will be an artist reception from 6 to 8 on December 10th, but of course you will be at the Delmar House Tour which is the same night, so you won't be able to attend.

American Made Razors

I went shopping at Walmart this morning, might as well call that place the Chinese Outlet Store, for a disposable razor. As you know WalMart sells about 20 different kinds, but looking for one that was American made was the problem. Some said the blade was made in the USA, but handle made in China, Brazil, France etc. Most were totally made in a foreign country as I still consider Mexico to be a foreign Country. I finally found a pack of them made by Wilkinson Sword (division of Energizer Personal Care), Tech 3s that said Razor and Blade cartridge are made in the USA so I went with them. Now I use to consider Wilkinson Sword to be British but with mergers and buy outs you can never tell what the nationality of a company is.

I have also noticed the Television advertisement for electric shavers have started up again. If those things were any good they would be advertised at sometime other than Christmas.

Page 3

This week, according to The Sun, the newspaper marks 40 years of Page 3. The Sun is, of course, the British newspaper that always has a semi nude girl on page 3. As to be expected the page is not without controversy; sexism in action, devalues and dehumanises women, contributes directly to sexual harassment of women, women as sex objects, etc. all are complains. The real problem is Page 3 is aimed at straight men, and therein lies the complain against it. Homosexuality, the latest fashion dress, etc can be spoken of in glowing terms but anything that is aimed at straight men has no place in a newspaper. It's a hypocritical world but I for one hope Page 3 will have another 40 years ahead of it.

Urban City Photos of Delmar

There are a number of photos of Delmar at a photo thread site called
Skyscrapercity. Actually the photos are clean sharp photos and I think it makes the town look better than what it is. Nevertheless the photos elicited such comments as;

cute small town. sad some of the buildings look so run down
So many wires!
it looks so abandoned
it's a pretty sleepy town

xzmattzx also does a daily photo blog of Delaware

The Delmar Joint Council Meeting Is Tonight

Tonight, Monday, November 22, 2010, the Joint Council, consisting of the Mayor & Council of Delmar, Delaware and the Mayor & Commissioners of Delmar, Maryland, will meet at the Delmar Town Hall for their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00 pm. Looking at the current Agenda I see the only other than normal business is the Parking Ordinance. I think this is referring to Woodcreek and people parking to close to homeowners driveways. If you think Woodcreek receives more attention to their problems than the rest of Delmar it is probably because they show up to the meetings and you don't.

The Ark and The Dove leave England

1633, Nov 22 - Leonard Calvert, brother of Cecilius, Lord Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, sailed with 128 emigrants to Maryland on the The Ark and The Dove.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Eastern Shore Invasion - 1861

Three online newspapers I look at when following a local civil war story is the Philadelphia Inquirer Olive Civil War archives which has the Philadelphia Inquirers for the civil war they are located here

Another source is the the Perseus Collection of the Richmond Times Dispatch during the civil war. It is located here

A third source is always the New York Times archives from 1851 to 1980, which is located here

Below is the write up that appeared on Nov 21 1861 Philadelphia Inquirer of the "Expedition of General Lockwood." Naturally click on photo to enlarge

A Scene From Early Delmar

This postcard I picked up merely says "A Scene near Delmar, Del.
on the back it is addressed to Mr. J. W. Virden, 1206 B St, Wilmington Del
and the only message says "from Your Wife"

The man in the center is wearing has one of those civil war kepi hats.
The orchard has pink and white blooms and the tree trunks are painted white to coat the cracks developing in the bark so the bugs won't crawl into the cracks and kill the tree.

I am thinking between 1870 to 1900 period

Woman Dies At 113 Years

From the June 24th, 1910 edition of The New York Times


Mrs Hester Cordrey of Delmar, Del.,
Buried Her second Husband In 1864

DELMAR, Del., June 23. -- Mrs. Hester Cordrey, said to have been 113 years old, died on Tuesday at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Ulysses G. Melson. She had been ill about four weeks.

Mrs. Cordrey had fourteen brothers and sisters. Her mother died when she was fifteen years old. Mrs. Cordrey was married twice, her second husband dying in 1864

Robert (Franklin) Stroud

Robert (Franklin) Stroud Died 21 Nov 1963 (born 1890) American criminal, known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, a convicted murderer who became a self-taught ornithologist during his 54 years in prison, 42 of them in solitary confinement. In Leavenworth he began raising canaries and other birds, collecting laboratory equipment, and studying the diseases of birds and their breeding and care. Some of his research writings were smuggled out of prison and published; his book, Stroud's Digest on the Diseases of Birds, published in 1943, was an important work in the field. In 1942, however, Stroud was transferred to Alcatraz, where he was allowed to continue his research but denied further right of publication. He spent the last four years of his life at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners at Springfield, Mo.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Today in 1934 -- Date of the alleged rape in Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird. "

The Bacon Switch Inventor

North of Delmar is Bacon Switch. Bacon Switch, at one time, was a thriving town with stores and a busy railroad stop. It was named after the Bacon family, none of whom resides in Bacon Switch anymore. Thomas and Amelia Bacon had a farm in Bacon Switch in the 1880's and they had a number of sons (Frank, Albert, Thomas, William and Harry) and one daughter, Fannie. Besides farming they had a sawmill and basket making plant.

In March of 1884 Thomas Bacon Jr applied for a patent for an egg carrier. On June 3rd 1884 US Patent No. 299715 was granted to him for his egg carrier.

His egg carrier, called a "Cell Case For Carrying Eggs," seem to have been of a collapsible type. I recall some saying it was designed for shipping eggs on the railroad to Philadelphia and it could be collapsed down to be returned to the farmer. Interestingly the two witnesses to the patent application were Harvey Marvil and Joshua Marvil who ran a large basket making operation in Laurel and elsewhere. I have also heard the reason our area has so many gum trees and a few copperheads is that the seed for the Gum trees and the snakes came up from North Carolina in the lumber the Marvils were hauling into Laurel and Sharptown for their basket making operation.

Anyway Thomas, Sr and his wife died around the 1900's (buried in Bacon Switch) and the remaining Bacon family scattered across the county. Some headed out west, Frank to Idaho, Harry to Oklahoma, Albert to Utah, Fannie married Solomon S. Kenney and moved to Georgetown Del. and Thomas Jr, inventor, to Wilmington North Carolina where he became involved in sawmill operations. Thomas Jr died in 1939.

Whitesville Is Born

Picked Up From "This Day in Delaware History:"

November 21, 1856 Joseph G. White began the village of Whitesville on the Maryland line near Delmar with the opening of his store.

This Day in Delaware History facts were compiled by historian Roger Martin and brought to you by the Delaware Public Archives. Visit and discover what DPA has to offer!