For more than 200 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been recording all patents. I got lost for hours on the National Archives‘ site looking at inventions such as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and Thomas Edison’s electric lamp. These curious patent drawings from the 19th century just go to show how wicked inventive and creative some people were. Fascinating!

(top to bottom: Drawing of Rocking Chair and Fan, August 7, 1847; Drawing for a Flying Machine, October 5, 1869; Drawing of Diving Dress, December 24, 1810; Drawing of Fan Moved by Mechanism, November 27, 1830; Drawing of Improvements in Hoop Skirts, April 2, 1861; Drawing of a Life Boat, November 11, 1837)