On March 14, 1794, Yankee-born Georgia inventor Eli Whitney received the 72nd patent ever granted by the United States for his game-changing cotton gin. It’s a strange thing, the cotton gin – as much as it did good being the catalyst that helped industrialize the South, it did bad by contributing to the growth of slavery, and, ultimately, the start of the Civil War. Never mind the fact that its story is also an excellent case study of patent licensing & infringement proceedings in a fledgling patent system.
On June 14, 1834, Maine inventor Leonard Norcross patents what is widely accepted as the first practical, sealed dive suit. It featured weighted feet and a hard, water-tight helmet. Exhaust air was pushed out the top of the helmet, which finally allowed divers a full range of motion underwater.