28 June 1846

Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone.

Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax 6 November 1814 – 7 February 1894 was a Belgian inventor and musician who invented the saxophone in the early 1840s patented in 28 June 1846. He played the flute and clarinet. He also invented the saxotromba, saxhorn and saxtuba.

Antoine-Joseph Sax was born on 6 November 1814, in Dinant, in what is now Belgium, to Charles-Joseph Sax and his wife. While his given name was Antoine-Joseph, he was referred to as Adolphe from childhood. His father and mother were instrument designers themselves, who made several changes to the design of the French horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15. He subsequently studied performance on those two instruments as well as voice at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

10 September 1846

10 September 1846 – Elias Howe gets a patent for the sewing machine.

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While working as a journeyman machinist, Elias Howe Jr. wrestled for years to find a way to mechanize sewing. With the family pinched by poverty, his wife sewed for others by hand at home. Watching her sew, Howe visualized ways to mechanize the process. In 1845, he built his first sewing machine and soon constructed an improved model, which he carried to the Patent Office in Washington to apply for a patent. He received the fifth United States patent for a sewing machine in 1846.

Howe’s patent claims were upheld in court to allow his claim to control the combination of the eye-pointed needle with a shuttle to form a lockstitch. Howe met with limited success in marketing his sewing machine. Subsequent inventors patented their versions of sewing machines, some of which infringed on Howe’s patent. He quickly realized his fortune depended on defending his patent and collecting royalty fees from sewing machine manufacturers. These royalty licenses granted companies the right to use the Howe patent on their machines.

In 1856, after years of lawsuits over patent rights, Elias Howe and three companies, Wheeler & Wilson, Grover and Baker, and I. M. Singer, formed the first patent pool in American industry. The organization was called the Sewing Machine Combination and/or the Sewing Machine Trust. This freed the companies from expensive and time-consuming litigation and enabled them to concentrate on manufacturing and marketing their machines.

28 June 1846

Adolphe Sax get a patent for the saxophone.

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Emerging from his Paris workshop, musician-inventor Adolphe Sax files 14 patents for an instrument destined to revolutionize American music nearly a century later. His new invention: the saxophone.Initially crafted from wood, Sax’s instruments flared at the tip to form a music-amplifying bell. Designed in seven sizes from sopranino to contrabass, the saxophone combined the easy fingering of large woodwinds with the single-reed mouthpiece of a clarinet.

Although the saxophone quickly became popular with French army bands, the Belgian-born Sax spent decades in court trying to fend off knockoffs and made only meager profits before his patents expired in 1866. Myriad modifications followed, improving ease of play.U.S. production began in 1888 when Charles Gerard Conn of Elkhart, Indiana, started manufacturing the instruments for military bands. By the early 1900s, the saxophone had become a comedy fixture on the vaudeville circuit, where musicians used the instrument to mimic chicken sounds.

Produced eventually in baritone, tenor, alto and soprano models, the saxophone became a creative tool of the first magnitude only in the early 1920s, when New Orleans clarinet player Sidney Bechet grew weary of being drowned out by his bandmate’s much-louder cornet. When the jazz musician switched to soprano saxophone and began projecting a stronger “voice” within the ensemble, other players took note.