Hagley Museum and Library Loans Early Patented Items to PHL

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is fortunate to have been loaned 49 miniatures from the Hagley Museum and Library for the new exhibition Artifacts of Invention: Patents from Hagley Museum and Library, 1845-1895”,  located in the airport’s C/D connector .   

The items on display at PHL are only a fraction of the 5,000 pieces that the Hagley Museum possesses. In the past, miniature patent items were created to satisfy the submission requirements for inventions to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The scale items were either created by the inventor or a professional model maker.

“The objects on display are related to Philadelphia or to transportation,” said Chris Cascio, Hagley’s Alan W. Rothchild Assistant Curator. “The exhibit features inventions connected to travel, food, and drink- hot topics for passengers.”

For example, the exhibit includes the patent model for the improved traveling trunk invented by Louis Ransom in 1867. It was a predecessor to the wheeled luggage commonly used today. Ransom’s cylindrical trunk, which could be rolled along, represented a different approach to the bulky, rectangular trunks porters had to carry around.

According to Leah Douglas, Director of Guest Experience, “The patent model exhibition has proven to be extremely popular with our guests and employees. The models spark interest as curious viewers take a closer look to find out the purpose of each invention. Some are less obvious than others which makes the exhibition intriguing to so many.”


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Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
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Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
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