The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
MIND: Documenting Invention

Inventing | Documenting | Things to Collect | Resources

Writing (notebooks, journals, diaries, correspondence)

Inventors understand that priority of invention often determines patent rights, so documenting their invention process in writing is common practice. Inventors record details of the progress of their work, their personal reflections, and new ideas, typically in invention notebooks, and often have witnesses sign the document when important steps in the process are noted. Through correspondence, they build relationships, secure financing, and make business deals. Important documentation may be found in unexpected places, such as family records and email files.

See examples from the collections »

Last Update: 27 Oct 2010

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