Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/461

This page needs to be proofread.


The Green Bag

invent or to promote invention can be sure that any particular invention will not be one of a class that is necessarily rendered unprofitable because the law fails to give him a free field for effort during the term of the patent. The simple provision of the United States patent law that after the grant of his patent the patent owner shall control the invention absolutely for a short but definite term, having no more payments to make and no fear of inter ference from competitors during the term, gives to our people a far greater stimulus to invention than does the law of any other country. Today there are not only a very large number of men struggling with inventive problems or who are on the lookout for the opportunity to invent, but the effort has been systematized to a large extent in accordance with the scien tific principles upon which modern busi ness is carried on. With the large enterprises of the country, invention is as much a part of the systematic organi zation of the business as manufacturing or selling. Intelligent men are em ployed to determine the problems of the business and to find in what direc tion improvements should be made that there may be extension into new fields, increased production, greater economy or an improved product. Highly trained engineers and inventors attack the prob lems as they are presented and work them out in well-equipped laboratories where not only technical skill, but thorough scientific investigation, car ried on almost regardless of expense, are applied to their solution. Meantime, as always, individuals, even the most humble, are inventing or hoping to in vent. They know that nothing is more likely to advance them in wealth and comfort than an invention, the oppor tunity for which is wide open before

them, reward in proportion to the merit of what they may accomplish being almost more certain than in any other field of human endeavor. Progress under American Patent System In 1850 the manufactures of every kind in the United States amounted to $1,019,106,616. In 1880 they had imcreased only to $5,369,579,191. In 1910 they had attained the enormous total of $20,672,051,870, an amount equal to one-fifth of all the wealth of the United States, six times the total money in cir culation, nine times the total gold and silver in circulation, twelve times the total domestic exports, thirteen times the total imports, twenty times as much as what would be required to pay the national debt, and two hundred and sixteen times the value of all the gold produced in the United States. Between 1905 and 1910 the number of establishments engaged in manufac ture increased nearly twenty-five per cent, from 216,180 to 268,491. The number of employees increased nearly twenty-four per cent, from 5,981,939 to 7,405,313. The wages of employees increased from $3,184,884,295 in 1905 to $4,365,612,851 in 1910, nearly thirtyeight per cent. The amount of wages paid in manufacturing industries in the United States in 1910 amounted to nearly two-thirds of the total wealth of the United States in 1850, nearly one and a half times the total money in circulation in 1910, nearly twice the amount of wages paid out in 1900, over two and a half times the amount of ex ports and nearly three times the amount of imports in 1910, four times as much as would be required to pay the national debt, four and a half times the amount of wages paid out in 1880, eighteen times the total wages paid out in 1850, and