Wyoming Inventor Fun Facts
Anson Mills, a Captain of the Eighteenth Infantry and Brevet Lt. Colonel of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory (within the current border of Wyoming) received the oldest "Wyoming" patent. Patent number 67,898 for an Improvement in Cartridge-Belts was issued on August 20, 1867. Fort Bridger is currently located in Uinta County, Wyoming.
The first patent issued to a resident of the Territory of Wyoming was patent number 101,711. George C. Choate of Wyoming Station, Albany County, in the Territory of Wyoming, patented an improvement in shovel-handles on April 12, 1870.
The first patent issued to a resident of the State of Wyoming was patent number 440,473. James N. Farlow of Lander, Wyoming, patented a new and improved friction wrench on November 11, 1890.
The first Wyoming woman to receive a patent was Myrtle M. Wallin of Rock Springs. She received patent number 664,597 for a Work-Holder on December 25, 1900.
The only Wyomingite to ever receive a plant patent was Richard N. Asay of Thayne, WY. He received patent number PP12188 along with Dale E. Kester of Davis, CA in 2001 for a Prunus Rootstock name "Nickels".
Richard N. Asay, along with Thomas M. Gradziel and Dale E. Kester of Davis, CA, received a second plant patent on November 26, 2002. PP13286 is for an Almond tree named "Winters".
According to a U. S. Patent and Trademark Office report Buttons to Biotech: U.S. Patenting by Women, 1977 to 1996, Joan D. Sheridan of Cheyenne was the 19th most prolific woman inventor during 1992-1996. She received 20 patents.
William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody received patent number D49949 on November 28, 1916. This recently discovered design patent -- Design for a Bit -- was a previously unknown fact about Buffalo Bill.
The most prolific inventor in the Wyoming Inventors Database is Remington Arms gun maker John D. Pedersen. Between 1909 and 1944, he received 68 patents under the name John D. Pedersen and an additional patent under the name John Douglas Pedersen. However, his most famous invention, the "Pedersen Device", was top-secret and not patented.
Perhaps Wyoming's most famous invention -- the hydraulic gallows -- was never patented. Cheyenne architect James P. Julien designed the hydraulic gallows in 1892 and it was used most notably to execute Tom Horn in 1903.