Creating a New Generation of American Ingenuity

CAZENOVIA, N.Y. – Dec. 29 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Alan Rothschild is passionate about patent models, the miniature scale pieces that were once a requirement for any inventor seeking a patent. His love for these historically significant relics is so strong that he transformed the lakefront home that he shares with his wife, Ann, and their dog, Moxie, in this upstate New York village into a museum. Rothschild’s home is a shrine to what he calls works of art that represent America’s heritage of ingenuity. With more than 4,000 pieces, Rothschild has what he believes is the largest private collection of patent models. There are more patent models visible at the Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum ( than at the Smithsonian.

Rothschild is committed to showcasing the innovation of the nation’s past and fostering a new generation of American ingenuity. He is selling a portion of his collection to fund endowments, and educational programs for prospective inventors.

*(Photo Caption: Example from Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum.)

“These models illustrate the innovation that shaped what America is today, but they also serve as an inspiration for the future,” the 64-year-old Rothschild said. “The U.S. has always been known for our inventiveness, for our new products. Presently, there are more U.S. patents being issued to inventors in foreign countries than to Americans. I want to help motivate people in our country to be inventive again.”

Rothschild’s plan is to develop a traveling exhibit of patent models that will appear at museums nationwide. He says he will use a portion of the proceeds from the patent models that he sells to fund endowments for inventors who have a patent-worthy idea but lack the funding and knowledge to secure a patent.

Rothschild can pick up any piece in his museum and give visitors a synopsis of its history. From 1790 to 1880, to gain a patent, people were required to submit a working model of their invention to the U.S. Patent Office. They were usually limited to no larger than 12 square inches, and were accompanied with paperwork and diagrams explaining the invention’s purpose, construction and operation.

“All of these models are one of a kind,” Rothschild said. “Invention is what made this country what it is today. Since all of these models revolve around the Industrial Revolution, there’s tremendous history to all them.”

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