We all know what a patent is in general, but how much do you really know about patents and how they have shaped America? Our advances in technology here in America have surpassed that of all other countries combined. Many do not like to hear that, but it is a fact, and it has more to do with how America moved ahead of other countries economically than any other factor and still does today.

In this article, I will cover many of the advances made by American Inventors throughout our relatively short history compared to other countries.

Not all inventions that helped make America great were originated in America, but even those that were not invented and patented here, were put to better use here, like a way to produce steel in large quantities for instance. Originally patented by a British inventor named Henry Bessemer. He invented the Bessemer Converter or the Bessemer Process.

He obtained his patent in 1855, even though the process was known in China in the third century. According to wikipedia.com, ” The key principle is removal of impurities from the iron by oxidation through air being blown through the molten iron. The oxidation also raises the temperature of the iron mass and keeps it molten.”

However, ingenious Americans like Andrew Carnegie put it to use and built everything from tin cans to skyscrapers to railroads and ships. Many American inventions were patented because of the ability to process steel faster.

Many people credit Benjamin Franklin for the discovery of electricity. While that is true, electrification is not quite the same thing. People like Thomas Edison had introduced direct-current systems, what we know as DC. Nikola Tesla worked toward using AC, or alternating current.

Tesla was Slavic, but a citizen of the US when he did all of his important work on electricity. At the turn of the century, Tesla was already working in fields like robotics and ballistics. George Westinghouse was a friend of Tesla’s and a major competitor to Thomas Edison. George Westinghouse put electricity to use in more practical ways than the inventors.

Westinghouse also invented things and held many patents of his own. People associate him with appliances, but he held patents that had to do with railroads as well. He held a patent on a system to put railroad cars back on the tracks after they had been derailed. He even held the patent for inventing the first air-brakes.

Electricity and Steel Processing are just two of the great scientific discoveries that made this country great. I only bring those scientific discoveries into this article to show you something about patents. Many people know about the significant scientific discoveries like nuclear power, the automobile, the airplane, electronics, radio and television, agriculture, computers, the telephone, air conditioning, refrigeration, spacecraft, the Internet, and so much more, most of which was either invented in America or put to the best use here in America.

But those significant scientific discoveries make up only a small percentage of all the patents that are applied for and granted. Most patents stem from one or more of the great scientific discoveries, but the patents are granted for the unique use of or combinations of the great discoveries.

The genius and inventiveness of the American citizen over all others can be attributed to the fact we are a free society. Free speech also means freedom of thought. Freedom of though leads to great knowledge and discovery.

While some inventions or great scientific discoveries can be attributed to people of foreign countries, nowhere are those discoveries and inventions put to better use throughout history than in the United States.

For each major scientific discovery, thousands of patents are filed that put it into practical use. Today, patents are still applied for at an extremely fast rate. America has not stopped inventing and patenting their ideas. As long as the American culture continues to foster this innovation, America will stay far ahead in all technological fields, while countries that suppress the freedoms of their citizens will lag far behind.

I hope this article, while we only touched on a few inventions and discoveries, gives you some insight into why America stays far ahead of the rest of the world through technology. Search through the US Patent Office Website and you will discover just how many inventions are patented every day.

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