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PATENTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas, approved by the electorate on September 5, 1836, conferred upon Congress the right to grant patents, but Congress made no provision for them for almost three years. Within a few weeks of the establishment of the republic, however, inventors in the United States were interested in obtaining Texas patents. On November 20, 1837, Secretary of State Robert A. Irion recommended that Congress establish a patent system, and the Matagorda Bulletin, on October 18, 1838, proposed that the republic grant patents to those who held United States patents. On January 28, 1839, President Mirabeau B. Lamar approved an act establishing a patent office within the department of state. Citizens of Texas and those who had filed intentions of becoming citizens who had made original inventions could obtain patents, to run for fourteen years or for any part of that time they remained within Texas, by paying a thirty dollar fee and by filing a drawing or model of their inventions. In 1839 six patents to six inventors and in 1841 eight patents to four inventors were granted. Although others were granted, the records list only fourteen patents: brickmaking machine, 1; lamp, 1; pile driver, 1; snag remover, 1; shingle machine, 1; chimney, 1 ; mill dam, 1; patent medicine, 1; mills, 2; plows, 2; and cotton gin machinery, 2. When Texas was admitted into the Union, no provision was made in the treaty for the incorporation of the Texas Patent Office into that of the United States, although the United States patent commissioner recommended that such action be taken.


Andrew Forest Muir, "Patents and Copyrights in the Republic of Texas," Journal of Southern History 12 (May 1946).

Andrew Forest Muir


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Andrew Forest Muir, "PATENTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.