The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, in speaking of the labors and responsibilities of the departments at Washington, says:— "The Patent Office Bureau is one of sufficient importance to justify its organization as a department. The Commissioner of Patents is a judicial, as well as ministerial office, and we frequently have occasion to notice that in his decisions are involved questions of greater magnitude, in a pecuniary point of view, not only as between individuals, but as between them and the public at large, than any other that are ever before any other branch of the government. Thus, the late decision in favor of the application of Charles Goodyear for the extension of his patent for vulcanizing india rubber, involves some millions of dollars— that is, the extension applies to manufactured products amounting to eight millions of dollars a year, and upon which the manufacturer makes a profit of fifty per cent. If the patent were thrown open to the public, the profit of the manufacturer would be reduced and regulated by competition. The history of this case, as presented to the bureau, occupied the space of fourteen volumes octavo. I mention the above only as an instance of the labors, 1 responsibilities and powers of the bureau of- \ ficers.
This article was originally published with the title "The Patent Office Bureau" in Scientific American 13, 45, 356 (July 1858)