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Old 04-02-2016, 09:51 AM
UncleFred UncleFred is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 753
Originally Posted by kayT View Post
Not sure if this is really a GQ but we'll try it here. Today's Writer's Almanac had the following:
On this day in 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia patented the first pencil to have an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is still something of an American phenomenon; most European pencils are still eraserless.
eraser? Or do Europeans not make mistakes? EuroDopers, please explain.
Coming at this from a different angle, I am amazed that he was able to get a patent. I've been involved with patents for years (got 6 of them) and one rule is something like "You can't patent sticking two existing things together unless it introduce some new feature or function (other than the convenience of having them in the same place.) The oft-given example is "You can't patent sticking an eraser on a pencil" although that would seem to be untrue. Perhaps the rules for patent were more lenient back then.