Skip to content
Subscriber Only

How the Patent Office Helped to End Slavery

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- It is easy to look to early America as a moment of unshackled innovation. Yet in this respect the pre-Civil War period was especially problematic.

Then, intellectual property and human property were dual and dueling pillars of capitalist development, and for a vast swath of the population, invention was stifled under the crushing weight of slavery.