Patented by an insane person

Many patents might seem like they've been invented by an insane person. But as far as I know U.S. Patent No. 711,566 is the only patent that actually describes the inventor (Clark D. Hazard) as "an insane person".

The invention itself is unremarkable. It's for a "heating furnace". Evidently Mr. Hazard must have been institutionalized, or otherwise incapable of filing for the patent without assistance. So given this, it's impressive he was able to invent the furnace. But his description still stands out as a curiosity of the patent office.

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 25, 2022
     Category: Patents | 1900s

In or about 1972, the papers filed with the state to set up a corporation noted me as: "a person of Cossack descent." Since I was the second generation born in the U.S., I always wondered why. Since the lawyer charged an obscene amount for anything and everything, and we never needed him after that, I didn't get a chance to ask him about it.

I presume that noting the inventor was insane was meant to put people on notice there was a guardianship involved, and they couldn't rely on any agreement he made to license the patent.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/25/22 at 09:46 AM
Phideaux, a wise friend told me, "lawyers like to have a lot of balls in the air." Perhaps he didn't know why, either, but figured he would invent something if it came up. Or maybe he threw this in to bait his client to ask, so he could charge another obscene amount.

At any rate, "Cossack descent" sounds impressive, IMHO.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/26/22 at 04:37 PM
@Virtual -- HA! I don't know if he was subtly drumming up business, but I remember I read every page of that document because, on an earlier matter, he'd called my cousin 'an unmarried woman' (this was years before the movie came out, and she was outraged), and he noted my uncle was 'an army veteran' (his service during WWII consisted of being a clerk at a base library an hour away from home). None of these (including mine) were in any way relevant or necessary in the petitions.

A precis of my life would be amazing, as long as you don't dig too deep. 'Cossack descent' is great, but it gets fuzzy when you try to explain why my ancestor, as a young man in the 1830s, left home and family and settled in another country. He wasn't eloping with a forbidden love (didn't marry until he was in his forties) or chasing a fortune (in his new home, he was never more than a day laborer). There's no record of warrants for his arrest or his excommunication, but considering how closely-knit Cossacks of the time were, there has to be a substantial story behind his abruptly leaving everything behind.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/26/22 at 08:09 PM
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