Rehm, Robin and Wagner, Christoph (Ed.), Designpatente der Moderne. 1840–1970, Berlin 2019.
No telephone set without Bakelite, no modern seating furniture without bentwood or tubular steel – new materials or technologies often inspired new design, and fundamental to this was their availability through business models and distribution channels that could only be established with patent protection. But the design of the objects was also itself innovation-driving.
This book is devoted to the patent specifications of design, a hitherto little-noticed source on the history of art, design, and science. Whereas initially patents were applied for by engineers and businessmen, from the 1920s on designers and architects intervened with their own patents in the complex relationship between object and technology.
A total of fifty selected patents in the fields of materials and technology, wooden furniture, metal furniture, tubular steel furniture, lighting, household objects, media, games and aesthetic pedagogy, as well as textiles, wall and picture design, from the period 1840 to 1970 open up the complex history of the design patent. The patent specifications are contextualized individually and are printed in their original wording in the appendix.