Image: Michael Patterson
Englishman Winston Churchill once said: “Americans always do the right thing, but only after exploring all the alternatives”. The USA has always been a consumer driven society, obsessed with invention, liberty and sex. The trend of modern materialism in the Western world is mainly down to the American appetite for more. Israel Zangwill described America as “God’s crucible”.
Americans have always loved to come up with new ideas, and patent them. This has its basis in the Constitution where early Americans defined their freedoms. Article 1, Section 8 guarantees “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”.
Americans are obsessed with sex, as some of the history of patents shows. An 1879 address to the Baltimore Medical and Surgical Society caused a national debate about the hydraulic principles of erection, and in 1897 the first truly effective penile dorsal vein clamp was patented in Washington by inventor Horace D Taggart of Akron, Ohio.