Thomas Jefferson
Patent for a Machine for Dressing Flax and Hemp
Location of original: Offices of Beem Patent Law Firm, Chicago, IL

Key Signers
President: Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of State: James Madison
Attorney General: Caesar Rodney

Patent Information
Date signed: January 18, 1809
Inventor: Richard S. Chappel
Invention Title: Machine for Dressing Flax and Hemp

One of the most unique items in the Beem collection is a patent for a “Machine for Dressing Flax and Hemp.” The patent was issued in 1809 and signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison. The Seal of the United States is affixed to the patent and a blue ribbon binds the pages of the patent together.

In the display, a miniature portrait of the inventor Richard S. Chappell is shown below the patent page. To the right is a sampler made from a piece of fabric woven by the machine that is the subject of the patent. The text in the sampler was hand-embroidered and includes the inventor and his family.