Selden Road-Engine Specifications, U. S. Patent Number 549,160, November 5, 1895

Summary

George Selden conceived, but did not build, a gasoline-powered self-propelled vehicle in 1877. Selden, a patent attorney, shrewdly waited until 1895 to receive a patent on the idea -- long enough for the automobile industry to emerge and his patent to become valuable. After an eight-year legal fight led by Henry Ford, Selden's broad patent claim was severely restricted in 1911.

George Selden conceived, but did not build, a gasoline-powered self-propelled vehicle in 1877. Selden, a patent attorney, shrewdly waited until 1895 to receive a patent on the idea -- long enough for the automobile industry to emerge and his patent to become valuable. After an eight-year legal fight led by Henry Ford, Selden's broad patent claim was severely restricted in 1911.

Artifact

Patent

Date Made

1895

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

86.185.116

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Printing (Process)

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 11.375 in

Width: 7.875 in

Inscriptions

first page: UNTIED STATES PATENT OFFICE / GEORGE B. SELDEN OF ROCHESTER, NEW YORK / ROAD-ENGINE [...] NOVEMBER 5, 1895 / Application filed May 9, 1879 second page: G.B. SELDEN / ROAD ENGINE / 2 Sheets- Sheet 1 third page: G.B. SELDEN / ROAD ENGINE / 2 Sheets- Sheet 2

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