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The Patents of Frank B. Gilbreth


Amid all of his other accomplishments, Frank Gilbreth found time to invent and update several useful pieces of equipment and construction methods, and file patents on many of them. Between 1892 and 1912, he was granted no fewer than thirteen US patents, some of which were updates to prior filings. (He also held one assigned patent, and in 1916 was granted an additional patent on a method and apparatus for motion study.)

(Nor was he the only one of his family to do so. A design for a spoon was granted to his sister Mary E. Gilbreth in 1891, and his aunt Olivia Gilbreth Flynt was awarded at least a half-dozen patents for various improvements to women’s garments.)

The full list of Frank B. Gilbreths’ known US patents is as follows:

#479,591

  • for the original Gilbreth bricklaying scaffold, which has three levels to keep the work materials at a convenient height for the bricklayer.
  • Applied for 13 Feb 1892
  • Granted 26 Jul 1892
  • Cited in five future patents

#539,259

  • for a waterproof cellar technique, which essentially consists of building a watertight box of concrete, reinforcement and thick water-resisting layers.
  • Applied for 26 Nov 1894
  • Granted 14 May 1895
  • Cited in one future patent

#554,024

  • for an improved version of the Gilbreth scaffolding, with a jacking system for easier raising.
  • Applied 4 Jun 1894
  • Granted 4 Feb 1896
  • Cited in two future patents

#620,028

  • for the Gilbreth gravity mixer, which allows concrete, cement, mortar etc. to be mixed by dumping ingredients into a top hopper.
  • Applied 5 Aug 1898
  • Granted 21 Feb 1899
  • Cited in one future patent

#835,241

  • for a method of concrete window construction.
  • Applied 9 May 1905
  • Granted 6 Nov 1906
  • Cited in one future patent

#838,725

  • by William Larkin Jr, assigned to Frank B. Gilbreth
  • for a governor for fluid pressure engines.
  • Applied 29 Nov 1905
  • Granted 18 Dec 1906
  • Cited in four future patents

#882,520

  • for a means for sinking piles.
  • Applied 25 Sep 1906
  • Granted 17 Mar 1908
  • Cited in three future patents
  • Assigned to the Gilbreth subsidiary Corrugated Concrete Pile Company of American ( CCPCofA )

#885,337

  • for a type of tapered concrete pile.
  • Applied 1 Mar 1906
  • Granted 21 Apr 1908
  • Cited in six future patents.
  • Assigned to CCPCofA

#890,765

  • for apparatus for sinking concrete piles with an enlarged footing (apparently a form of water drill).
  • Applied 5 May 1905
  • Granted 16 Jun 1908
  • Cited in fifteen future patents
  • Assigned to CCPCofA

#911,971

  • for a method and apparatus for sinking concrete piles.
  • Applied 3 Jul 1905
  • Granted 9 Feb 1909
  • Cited by six future patents

#960,305

  • for a method of concrete construction (much like modern reinforced work).
  • Applied 25 Sep 1906
  • Granted 7 Jun 1910
  • Cited in 10 future patents

#1,004,411

  • for an improved sectional gravity concrete mixer with wear control of its pins.
  • Applied 10 Jun 1901
  • Granted 26 Sep 1911
  • Cited by 1 future patent

#1,046,582

  • for a method of building construction (filled hollow castings).
  • Applied 15 Mar 1905
  • Granted 10 Dec 1912
  • Cited in one future patent

#1,047,930

  • for a method of floor construction for buildings.
  • Applied 25 Feb 1903
  • Granted 24 Dec 1912
  • Cited in two future patents

There was only one patent outside of construction methods:

#1,199,980

  • for a method and apparatus for the study and correction of motions (using a motion picture camera).
  • Applied 23 May 1913
  • Granted 3 Oct 1916
  • Cited in 13 future patents

There are references to other patents, mostly in later years, that were not approved or seen through. Chief among these may be a design for a rotary concrete mixer, which after challenges and patent delays was no longer competitive against a new generation of electrically-powered rotary mixers of the type still in use today.

fbgpatents.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/24 05:27 by therblig