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Patently Precocious

June 4, 2014

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Profile America — Wednesday, June 4th. Most little boys at the age of 6 are content to play with toy trucks without thinking about how they could be improved. This was not the case for Robert Patch. He designed a truck that could be assembled and disassembled easily by a youngster — and changed into different types of truck each time, such as a dump truck or a closed van. Patch submitted his application and drawings in 1962, and on this date in 1963, he was granted a patent. In 2010, nearly a quarter-million patents were granted — just under 17,000 of them to individuals. Toys, games and hobby goods are a small ticket but big total part of the economy, as nearly 135,000 retail outlets sell them to the tune of about $928 billion per year. Profile America is in its 17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources:
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl_robert_patch.htm
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_44SLLS1&prodType=table NAICS 20460
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 778


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: May 16, 2014