Inventions and Official Secrecy: A History of Secret Patents in the United Kingdom

By T. O'Dell H. | Go to book overview

10
The Last Secret Patent

10.1 Closed until 2007

The public records that give details of inventions belonging to the 1960s are just beginning to be opened at the time of writing. The last secret patent could be one that is described in a file that is closed until 1994 (PRO: ADM1/22169). This is already indexed as being about the patents of C. C. Mitchell, an aeronautical engineer who had a number of secret patents concerning the hardware used in the Second World War for catapulting aircraft from ships (PRO: ADM1/13839). An example of his work is described in the specification of BPN 649180, which was applied for on 11 October 1938, but not published until 17 January 1951. Apart from the long delay in publication, this specification is not particularly interesting.

The records show that there have been hundreds of secret patent cases since the first case we found in 1855. For most of these cases no technical detail survives, only a record of some agreement. For example, there is a copy of an agreement between one Isaac Francis Taylor and the Admiralty, dated 5 November 1915, according to which Taylor was to produce a full description of his invention, which was 'portable and, in any weather, destroys aircraft of any type which come within a clear range of 25,000 feet' (PRO: TS21/67). Once the Admiralty was satisfied, they were to pay Taylor, £500,000, and he undertook to 'obtain and assign to the Government a secret patent for the invention'. The Zeppelin raids on the City of London in September 1915 had caused damage well in excess of £500,000, so Taylor was not setting the stakes too high. Who he was and what hardware he had in mind is not known. It would be possible to cite many such cases from the early nineteenth century up to the present day.

This brings us back to a point that was considered at the end of Chapter 5 and again at the beginning of Chapter 8: the enthusiasm of some men for applying their technical knowledge to war. I make no apology for having frequently referred to an inventor as

-129-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Inventions and Official Secrecy: A History of Secret Patents in the United Kingdom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures viii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgements x
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The First Secret Patent 4
  • 3 - The Secret Patents Act of 1859 19
  • 4 - Towards an Official Secrets Act 35
  • 5 - The Secrets of Two Technical Revolutions 49
  • 6 - Introducing the Examiners 62
  • 7 - Between the Wars 79
  • 2 - The Second World War 95
  • 9 - Making Wartime Procedure Permanent 113
  • 10 - The Last Secret Patent 129
  • List of References 140
  • Index 145
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 149

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.