Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Thomas P. Jones Collection, 1834-1848

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Thomas P. Jones collection
Creator: Jones, Thomas P., 1774-1848
Inclusive dates: 1834-1848
Extent: 39 items
Abstract:
This collection contains 36 incoming letters that Thomas P. Jones received while working as a patent examiner and patent solicitor for the United States Patent Office in the early 19th century, as well as 1 letter he wrote and 2 receipts. The letters concern patents or patent applications, and several include technical drawings and explanatory information about the inventions.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated, Clements Library Associates (CLA), 1964. M-1321.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Thomas P. Jones collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Thomas P. Jones was born in Herefordshire, England, in 1774, and emigrated to the United States before 1796. Trained as a physician, he became a popular lecturer and delivered speeches on a variety of scientific topics. In 1814, he joined the faculty of the College of William and Mary, and in 1824 he helped found the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jones became a professor of mechanics at the college and published The Franklin Journal and American Mechanics' Magazine (later known as Journal of the Franklin Institute. Jones joined the United States Patent Office as its interim head in 1828, and later worked as a patent examiner and patent solicitor. He also served as the chair of the chemistry department at Columbian College (now part of George Washington University). He and his wife had two children. Thomas P. Jones died on March 11, 1848.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 36 incoming letters that Thomas P. Jones received while working as a patent examiner and patent solicitor for the United States Patent Office, as well as 1 letter he wrote and 2 receipts. The letters concern patents or patent applications, and several include technical drawings and explanatory information about the inventions.

The correspondence includes letters about pending applications and changes to recently granted patents, as well as other official business.

The inventions described in detail are

  • A machine for making nets, by George M. Gibbes
  • A method for using paddlewheels below water (illustrated), by George M. Gibbes
  • A method for paving streets (illustrated), by Antoine Würmser and Alphonse Minard
  • A method to regulate the supply of water from pumps to steam engine boilers (illustrated), by John Cochrane
  • An "endless chain" (illustrated), by George Merrick
  • An invention to free locomotives from the danger of fires caused by sparks, by John S. Lafitte

Mahlon Gregg included an updated technical drawing for an unidentified invention. Other authors commented on the state of their applications and other aspects of the official patenting process. Thomas P. Jones wrote a letter to J. Eckstein & Company about the proper attribution for one of their patents, and wrote a receipt for an item from the American Art Union, later returned with a note from the recipient. Two receipts are addressed to Thomas P. Jones for the cost of transferring several patents and for his membership in the American Art Union.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • American Art-Union.
    • Inventions--United States--History.
    • Patents--United States.
    • United States. Patent Office.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Inventions--United States.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   1  
    Thomas P. Jones collection,   October 22, 1834-January 4, 1848, and  undated [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Jones, Thomas P. An Address on the Progress of Manufactures and Internal Improvement, in the United States: and Particularly, on the Advantages to Be Derived from the Employment of Slaves in the Manufacturing of Cotton and Other Goods. Philadelphia: Published by Judah Dobson, agent, 108 Chestnut Street. Jesper Harding, printer, 1827.

    Paimboeuf, Louis. Circular. Paimboeuf's Fire-proof Paint...: Washington, December 9, 1836…[and] March 1, 1837...Having Made My Second Public Experiment under the Superintendence and Direction of Dr. Thomas P. Jones... [Washington, D. C.: 1837].

    To Dr. Thomas P. Jones. Sir: Having Seen a Publication of Yours in the Globe of the 17th Instant...I Was Struck With the Bold Effrontery with Which You Deny That You Were Removed from the Patent Office... Washington: 1831.

    Bibliography

    Havlik, Robert J. "Jones, Thomas P." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press: 2000. doi: 13-008833