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Government Documents, Patents, and Trademarks

Government documents are invaluable for identifying and dating many kinds of collectibles. The staff of our Public Documents & Patents Department at the Main Library has selected a few general-interest titles as a sample of what is available.

Don't forget about the department's patent and trademark collection. Collectibles are sometimes dated by their patent numbers: the Japanese patents for the first Barbie dolls manufactured in 1958 are an example. Come to the department to see the first patent for the Pez dispenser (2,620,061), for the game of Monopoly (453,689), or for the Polaroid land camera (658,740). Coca-Cola collectors can browse the trademarks database to trace the Coca-Cola logo through its eighteen variants since 1892.

Call 513/369-6971 or email the department for more information.

Postage Stamps of the United States
Washington, D.C.: United States Postal Service.
P 4.10: 970
An illustrated description of U.S. stamps from 1847 through 1970.

A Collection of Stamps and Stationery Issued for the 1980 Olympic Games
P 1.2: ST2/11 1980
The 1984 Olympics: Sarajevo and Los Angeles
P 1.2: OL9
Washington D.C.: United States Postal Service.
Background and description of the commemorative stamps issued for these Olympic Games.

1986 Presidential Mint Set
P 1.2: M66
Washington, D.C.: United States Postal Service.
Story of the creation of this mint set, based on the research of the artist.

Medals of the United States Mint
T 28.2 M46/2/972
Washington, D.C.: Department of the Treasury.
Catalog of medals struck by the U.S. Mint from bronze copies of the original national medals, beginning in the 1860s.

United States Army Headgear to 1854
SI 3.3: No. 269
United States Army Headgear 1855-1902
SI 1.28: No. 30
Washington, D.C.: National Museum of History and Technology.
Catalog of U.S. army uniforms in the Smithsonian collections.

U.S. Naval Uniform Regulations
N 1.18/1:
Washington, D.C.: Department of the Navy.
Illustrated handbook of naval uniforms, headgear, and insignia in several volumes from 1886 through 1913.

American Military Insignia 1800-1851
SI 3.3: No. 235
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum.
Photographs and descriptions of insignia worn by the uniformed army.

Thirteen-Star Flags: Keys to Identification
Grace Rogers Cooper
SI 1.28: No. 21
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonion Institution Press, 1973.
Detailed illustration, description and history of early U.S. flags.

Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington
Michael Shapiro
SI 6.2: R 28
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981.
History of the methods and sculptures of Remington, with a checklist of his bronzes.

Quill and Beadwork of the Western Sioux
Carrie A. Lyford
I 20.12/2: In3 No. 1
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Education Division, 1943.
History, design patterns, and methods of Sioux handcrafts.

Boxes and Bowls: Decorated Containers by Nineteenth-Century Haida, Tlingit, Bella Bella and Tsimshian Indian Artists
SI 6.2: B69
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974.
Catalog of a Smithsonian exhibit with description of hallmark features of these boxes and bowls.

Recent Trends in Collecting
SI 6.2: C 67
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.
Exhibit catalog that captures a moment in museum collecting of 20th century painting and sculpture.