The first patent granted in the United States on a Christmas tree holder was, appropriately, on Dec. 24, 1889.
Patent No, 417,815 was given to Henry W. Diek of Baltimore for a cylindrical holder secured in an upright position on the floor by one or more screws. Three equally spaced, horizontally disposed thumb screws near the top of the holder firmly secured the tree in the holder, which was then filled with water.
Diek's was perhaps the first of approximately 1,000 or more patents that have been granted in the United States for inventions relating to Christmas. Tree holders to electric lights and artificial trees as well as all kinds of tree trimmings fill a number of subclasses in many classes of patents in the Patent Office.
One very interesting patent that deserves more than just a mention is one granted a retired Justice Department attorney, James R. Higgins of Alexandria, for his Collapsible Artificial Tree. Patent No, 4,130,678 (9 claims) was granted on Dec. 19, 1978.
This Christmas tree, which is made of gold or tinsel, will be displayed in New York this coming February. It will be in production for sale next Christmas. The tree can be made in any size for indoor or outdoor use. Higgins, who has three children of his own, also has two patents on play pens for children.
The last patent granted for a Christmas tree support device was on March 4, 1980, and was Patent No. 4,190,983 (2 claims). It was to Clifford R. Rostomily of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Patents granted recently to residents of Maryland, Virginia and the District. MARYLAND
Denis DeCraene of Eldridge. In-Cell Manganese Ore Reduction. Patent No, 4,224,119. 10 claims. VIRGINIA
David C. Priest of Richmond. Polyether-Derived Polyurethan Foam Impregnant and Method of Application. Patent No. 4,223,374. 18 claims. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Norman J. Henderson. Apparatus for Removing Warps or Surface Irregularities from Polyvinyl Phonograph Records. Patent No. 4,225,298. 9 claims.
Claim: Defines the invention and sets the bounds of the monopoly asserted by the inventor.
Copies of any of the above patents can be obtained from the Patent & Trade Mark Office for 50 cents each by addressing orders to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Washington, D.C. 20231.