A Unique History of the Civil War, telling the story of those Confederates who despite the war pursued the American Dream through invention and protected their inventions with patents. In the process, innovative weapons and improvements were developed and these inventors hoped inventive success would benefit both the Confederate cause and their own personal lives.

Few know the Confederate States had a patent office. Many who know of it also know that practically all records perished when Richmond burned near the close of the war. No one has made more than a cursory study of the patent office and virtually no attempt has been made to tell the inventors’ stories, despite the fact that several primary source materials survive.

Confederate Invention sets the stage for the patent office before the war, describes the establishment and workings of the office, and provides detailed information about the inventors and their inventions, all within the context of a war events timeline. Many Confederate inventors were entrepreneurs, educators, and military men who will be recognized by Civil War readers. Among them were many lifelong innovators who obtained United States patents both before and after the war. Confederate Invention explores those inventions as well.

Confederate Invention examines the many theories that have been suggested to explain fewer Southern patents than in the North both before and during the War, arguing that many are not well founded. It proposes new theories for that difference that better fit the patent record.

Confederate Invention is the product of over twelve years of research. It will appeal both to Civil War specialists and casual readers, revealing a wealth of previously unpublished information.

H. Jackson Knight is uniquely suited to write Confederate Invention. He is a registered United States patent agent having in-depth knowledge of patents. Author of the successful book Patent Strategy and contributor to others, he holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, and manages patents and intellectual property for several divisions of the DuPont Company in Richmond, Virginia. Living in the former Confederate Capitol, he enjoys unexcelled access to primary source materials housed in the numerous museums and libraries of a city rich with Civil War history.

resurrects a completely lost chapter of Civil War history

William C. Davis
author of “Look Away! A History of the Confederate States of America”

For more information, visit the LSU Press website.

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“As I continue researching Confederate patents, I'm always interested in new information. If you have firsthand knowledge of a surviving patent, or if you were related to a Confederate inventor, I'm anxious to learn of it and hope you’ll contact me.”   Contact Me >>

H. Jackson Knight