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Jan 30, 2005


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U.S. Patent No. 1,515,389, issued on November 11, 1924 to Clarence V. Hopkins for Goggles.

no, don't think so, Kevin. No. 1'515'389 uses liquids for shading, not for refraction. No. 2'051'791, inventor Leonhard E. Luce, filed April 16, 1935, however, uses liquid for refractioning.

How about:

504,890 - Ohmart "Device for reflecting and refracting radiant energy" - 1893 (Gas or liquid introduced to change shape of lens)
1,269,422 - Gordon "Lens" - 1918 (eyeglasses)
1,378,011 - Cregier "Telegraph Register Receiving Apparatus" (Fluid lens to enlarge ticker tape)

This one is pretty hard, so maybe we ought to work together.

I figure that the World War II comment isn't a red herring, and thus the patent came out in 1930-1939.

With Google, you can search for patents that would have been issued then.
[numrange:1700000..2400000 patent]

Having used this with "camera," "lens," "~fluid," "~liquid," "filled" and various combinations thereof, it seems that there is a reasonably good chance that the patent is not on more than a few sites on Google. Searching for numbers between 1930 and 1939 also seems useful.

I then spent some time going through patents between 1930 and 1939 by classification. I tried a few in 359 (optics), in particular 359/832 (fluid-filled).

Generally, once I have a lead, I just check the number of claims. If there aren't 14, I move on.


I could only find one, how about 2062468?

David, how do you search through the old patents on Google?

- Dan

I searched Google to find references (not in the technical sense) to candidate patents. I took the numbers and ran them through the EPO to get the pdfs (whose database is faster than the PTO's).

The patent has been found -- Thanks for everyone who participated!!! I'll post a note on it later today or tomorrow. (I want to hear from the winning searcher whether he/she want to be publicly revealed as the search contest winner.)

In fact fluid-filled lenses go back to at least the 18th century in the literature and there was a rather nice one patented by Cusco in Paris in 1879...

If you read the refs in my research papers you should find these which predate all the 20th century stuff...

Joshua Silver

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