Profile America -- Tuesday, June 18th. 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 in June a year later, he was granted a patent -- surely one of the youngest Americans ever to hold a patent. In 2010, nearly a quarter-million patents were granted -- just under 17,000 of them to individuals. Most are awarded to domestic and foreign corporations. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 778