From Patent Innovation to Invention (FREE)

by  Springfield Armory National Historic Site

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In this activity students will be examining
the design process and patents. Thomas Blanchard had 22 patents one of which is
the Blanchard Lathe which revolutionized the process of making gun stocks.
Prior to the development of the lathe, gunstocks were carved by hand which
could take between 2-3 workdays. The Blanchard Lathe reduced the time down to 8
minutes, which gave them a rough cut which needed to be smoothed down and the
lock, barrel, trigger area cut out. But even with these still needing to be
carved out the time to make a gunstock was drastically reduced. 

Students will examine various patents and work to identify their purpose. Students will then be tasked with designing their own patent and putting it to the test by designing a bridge!

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About This Program


By Request: $0.00



1 Hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Homeschool/Family

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Industrial Technology, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Programs are offered Wednesday through Friday 9am to 3pm Eastern Standard Time.

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For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We request at least 48 hour notice if you are unable to commit to the set date and time for your program..

About This Provider

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Springfield, Massachusetts
United States

Springfield Armory was established as the Nation’s First Federal Arsenal. The Armory was a leader in the development of interchangeability, technological innovations of firearms, mechanization and specialization in precision manufacturing, and the production of small arms. Springfield Armory had numerous cultural, geographic and economic impacts on the City of Springfield and surrounding communities. 

In 1968 Springfield Armory closed and reopened in 1978 to the public as Springfield Armory National Historic Site which works to preserve and interpret the story of the nations first federal armory and its lasting impact on the United States. 

Scott Gausen

Program Details


1. Complete pre program activity with students regarding invention.
2. Invite Park Ranger into classroom and have a quick discussion on Springfield Armory.
3. Ranger will go through the Patent Exploration with the students.
4. Students will have the opportunity to design their bridge patent.
5. Optional: students can build and test their bridge.


1. Explain and identify what a patent is and why they are important.
2. Design and develop their own patent, and then create their patented bridge.

Standards Alignment

State Standards

Massachusetts Standards

High School (9-12) United States History,
Topic 3: Economic growth in the North, South, and West
-2: Analyze the effects of industrial growth throughout antebellum America, and in New England, the
growth of the textile and machinery industries and maritime commerce.

Topic 5: Rebuilding the United States: industry and immigration
-1: Explain the various causes of the Industrial Revolution (e.g., the economic impetus provided
by the Civil War; important technological and scientific advances, such as the expansion of
the railroad system; the role of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and inventors such as
Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller,
and Cornelius Vanderbilt).