How would a Mississippi riverboat captain’s dream ship have looked in 1870? For David De Haven of New Orleans, it would have featured spiral staircases, arched passageways, private promenades for the ladies and one for “gents,” and luxury cabins opening into sky-lit rotundas. "Water closets" for passengers were to be tucked behind the two towering side wheels. Captain De Haven submitted his drawings to the U.S. Patent Office and received a patent for the innovative floor plan in 1870. Although the designs and accompanying text are part of the U.S. PTO’s online database, they cannot be retrieved through a simple Google search.
MU’s Government Information librarians are available to help you navigate the rich history of our nation’s innovations, whether they be physical machines, new ways of doing things, or artistic innovations such as steamboat designs. We have been an official depository for federal government since 1862. Our trained government information specialists are ready to assist library patrons search more than nine million U.S. patents dated from 1790 to the present. Contact Marie Concannon at 573-882-0748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule training session for your class.
D. De Haven, “Ship Building,” U. S. Patent #105,438. July 19, 1870. To view the patent online at high resolution, enter patent number 105438 at the US Patent Full-Page Image search page: http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/patimg.htm