Patent and Trademark Office Unveils a New Museum Exhibit

Tall, Taller, Tallest: The Inventions That Built Skyscrapers
Press Release

Brigid Quinn
Kim Byars

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) unveiled a new exhibit at its museum in Arlington, Virginia. The exhibit, entitled , showcases some of the many innovations of the 19th and 20th centuries that have made today's tallest buildings possible. A model of Elisha Otis' safety elevator that he demonstrated at the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York City in 1854 and a scale model of the World Trade Center are among the items on display.

Icon of 20th century American architecture and symbol of corporate power, the skyscraper's origin is firmly rooted in the 19th century industrial revolution. As businesses and cities expanded and populations increased, space became precious and suddenly the only way to go was up. Inventions and innovations have made tall buildings practical and ever taller. steel and iron manufacturing, elevators, fire safety, artificial lighting, concrete, and more. Visitors to the museum will learn about today's tall, taller, and tallest buildings and about the inventors that helped build them. The exhibit will run through summer 2000.

The PTO Museum is located at 2121 Crystal Drive, Suite 0100, in Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

Museum hours are: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. except federal holidays.

The PTO is the Commerce Department's user fee-funded bureau that administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks; advises the secretary of commerce, the president of the United States, and the administration on patent, trademark and copyright protection; and advises the secretary of commerce, the president of the United States, and the administration on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property. Nearly 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year PTO issued 155,000 patents and registered 106,279 trademarks.