For the past fifteen years, Congress has been in the habit of publishing annual reports of the proceedings and business transacted at the Patent Office As this department has increased in usefulness, the reports have increased in size and interest ; and from a meager little volume, they have gradually swelled to three volumes of what are called the " mechanical reports," which contain the claims of every patent issued and a short description of the machine, accompanied with suitable engravings to illustrate it, together with another volume, devoted entirely to agriculture Of the many reports and collaborations published by our government, the mechanical reports of the Patent Office are the most valuable and interesting, for they contain a fund of information that cannot be obtained elsewhere The " agricultural report" is, we think, an almost unnecessary book ; it contains little original matter, and every subject there mentioned, generally speaking, has been quite as well treated in the numerous agricultural journals of the country It has been the habit of Congress to annually print several thousand extra copies of these useful reports, and give them to the Senators for distribution among their constituents ; but this year, the Chairman of the Committee on Printing, (Mr Johnson,) with a false idea of economy, proposes to save thirty thousand dollars by printing only a greatly reduced number of copies, and giving them principally to Senators for distribution, and thus cutting off the hitherto generous supply furnished to the Commissioner of Patents, who knows better how to dispose of them than any other functionary Mr Johnson gives what at first seem to be many excellent reasons for this retrograde step, but really all resolve themselves into a fact long established and wellknown, namely, that the copies are not distributed among t he right persons ; and Senators do not take that amount of interest which they should in the distribution of the books given to them for that purpose We think that if Congress will leave the mechanical division alone, and retrench on the agricultural, the country will be better served On the motion of Mr Wilson, it was decided to restrict the Commissioner to a report of one volume of eight hundred pages— engravings and all This is indeed a wholesale slaughter! The report for 1856 consisted of seventeen hundred and fifty pages ; yet the Senators, in their wisdom, expect the report for 1857, of which there is as much, or more, to be compressed into one thousand pages less Notwithstanding that the honorable gentlemen who form the committee cannot appreciate much that is in a Patent Office Report, yet all inventors know the value of them The Commissioner's report is already written —part of it has appeared in our columns—and to cut it down would be an aot of barbarism This matter had better be reconsidered ; and when the subject comes before the House, we hope that some member will be found to lay the matter calmly and firmly before that body Inventors at the present time sadly want a champion in Congress, and the advent of such a hero we should gladly hail ; perhaps the present occasion may call one out —we hope eo At any rate, we would ask the Senators and Representatives to be well posted in the pro's and con's of the case, and coolly weigh its merits and demerits before they decide on so important a subject If we consulted only our own personal interest in this matter, we should be glad to have the most narrow views upon this subjact prevail It would aid the circulation of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN very materially if inventors and patentees were obliged to look into its columns as the only source of information about patent claims ; but we take no such narrow, selfish view of the matter ; and while we condemn everything which appears like needless expense in the affairs of the nation, we cannot advocate this particular mode of retrenchment The Patent Office Reports have become exceedingly valuable ; they constitute a history of invention from year to year, and supply a kvant which no weekly journal could meet