Chicago Antiques Guide

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Search the US Patent Office Database

Posted Wednesday, December 28 by Brian

Jerry wrote in asking about this cool looking chrome and Bakelite piece with an Art Deco or Machine Age feel to it. He got it at an estate sale for $2, but has no idea what it is used for, or if it is worth more than the $2 he paid. It's about 4 inches long.
Suction Nozzle.jpg
First, to answer the immediate question, your piece is a suction nozzle for an Electrolux vacuum cleaner from the 1940's. It probably has minimal value. The next logical question is, "How did you know that?" I didn't. Jerry sent another photo of the bottom that showed four patent numbers. I just went to the US Patent Office website and searched their database.

It isn't the easiest site to navigate, especially for older patents. By older I mean anything before 1976. They only have image files of those patents. You can only search by patent number (which is what I did) or current classification.

Start with the Advance Search Page. In the "Query" box, type "pn/" followed immediately by the patent number. pn/2,235,225 for example. The commas are optional. In the box below "Select Years", use the drop down menu to select "1790 to present [Entire Dtabase]". Then hit search. On the next page it tells you that the full text is not available, but to click on the "Images" link above. It is the bottom link of an upside down pyramid. Finally you have the answer. Once you get there, you can look at all of the sections of the patent, including the Front Page, Drawings, Specifications, and Claims. The navigation is on the left.

Mystery solved.

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