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Artist's rendition of John Smith's 1890 COFFEE POT

"Coffee Pot." Patent no. 34325, filed by John Smith, 1890


This section highlights a sample group of Canadian inventors from the years 1869 to 1894. These inventors have had particularly strong impacts on the world in many ways; their patents illustrate their contributions.

Basic information regarding these inventors' backgrounds is provided as well as a sample list of the inventions they patented in Canada.

There is some controversy behind a few of the inventors presented, which is rooted in the question of citizenship. Different countries, including Canada, claim certain inventors as their own. Elijah J. McCoy, for example, who was born in Canada, but lived most of his life in the United States, is considered a Canadian citizen.

Although there are over 40,000 Canadian patents from this time period, biographical information exists for only a handful of Canadian inventors. This speaks to the fact that a good idea does not necessarily make the inventor famous; rather, the patented invention gets most of the attention.

To explore more Canadian patents, please visit the Patents Database.