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These three casebooks cover the period October 1878-April 1884. They contain copies of the claims from Edison's U.S. patent applications. There are also some claims from applications by Otto A. Moses, William Holzer, Calvin Goddard, John Lawson, and Charles S. Bradley. The entries are in order by case number (#166 - #619) and relate to electric lamps, dynamos, electric lighting systems, electric railways, ore separators, storage batteries, and telegraphs. Some of the entries are incomplete or contain very little detail, while others are accompanied by illustrations and a substantial text. The relevant dates of filing, rejection, amendment, interference and, if appropriate, dates of acceptance are listed in the margins next to the claims. However, the information in the books was not consistently updated, and the subsequent disposition of the applications was not always recorded.
The patent claims of other inventors have not been selected. The claims for Edison's issued patents are available elsewhere in the digital edition. For that reason, only the claims for Edison's abandoned applications have been selected here. In order to identify the abandoned applications, the claims in each casebook entry were compared with the claims of all issued patents that were applied for on the same day. Whenever it appeared likely that the original claims had been amended before the patent was issued, the casebook entry was also compared with the original application in the National Archives (Record Group 241, Records of the Patent Office). Ninety of the applications in these books were subsequently determined to be abandoned. Drawings from many of these abandoned applications can be found among the Patent Application Drawings.
There are four other casebooks (E-2534, E-4398, E-4399, and E-4400) that, for the most part, merely duplicate the information in these three. Another related item, record book E-2535, contains a listing of patent cases #156 - #633, along with the dates of application, filing, fee payment, patent assignment (usually to the Edison Electric Light Co.), and, wherever appropriate, the issue date and Patent Office number. This book and the set of duplicate casebooks have not been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.