With a change of administration there will no doubt be a change in the Patent Office. This has been the rule, and we suppose ever will be. A new Commissioner of Patents has always been appointed with the elevation of an opposite political party to power. The present Commissioner, S. H. Hodges, Esq., has been but a short time in office, but during that period he has earned for himself in his new capacity, a high character for urbanity, ability, and courtesy. He has qualities of mind which eminently fit him for such an office, and had his political party been successful, we would have anticipated much good from his future administration. This, however, we cannot expect, and we have no views to present opposed to political rules when good men are selected to fill the places of good men. The office of Commissioner of Patents is a very responsible one, and politically speaking is one of great influence. The number of inventors in these United States is not small, and their influence we know is very powerful. A man of courteous manners, of a clear mind well acquainted with law, mechanics, and scientific matters, and of an honest open character, is required to fill such an office. He should also be intimately acquainted with inventions and the affairs of the Patent Office. No w where is the man to be found in the political ranks of the successful party who has these personal qualifications, without which we would not desire to see him appointed Commissioner of Patents. The Hon. D. K. Cartter, of Ohio, the present Chairman of the Committee of Patents in the House of Representatives, appears to us to be well qualified to fill it. We have no interest in the matter excepting the desire to see a good and proper Commissioner appointed. We certainly have some knowledge oi the ijualificatiuns necessary for any man to fill that office, and we merely point to a gentleman who appears to us to possess them. We do not say who should get the office, we merely point out the qualifications a person must have to perform its duties for the benefit of inventors, the progress of art and science, the honor of our country, and the credit and influence of the party in power.
This article was originally published with the title "The Commissioner of Patents" in Scientific American 8, 24, 189 (February 1853)