A Precocious Patent Holder

Robert W. Patch's design for his toy truck.

Robert W. Patch’s design for his toy truck.

Sunday, June 4 — Most little boys at the age of 5 are content to play with toy trucks without thinking about how they could be improved. This was not the case for Robert Patch. He designed a truck that could be assembled and disassembled easily — and changed into different types of vehicle each time, such as a dump truck or a closed van. Patch submitted his application and drawings in 1962, and on this date in 1963, at age 6, he was granted a patent.

Robert W. Patch's design for his toy truck.

Robert W. Patch’s design for his toy truck.

In 2015, nearly 326,000 patents were granted out of almost 630,000 applications. Across the country, some 560 establishments manufacture dolls, games and toys, some of which employ Robert Patch’s transformative features.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey here.

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