Inventors and Patents From the City of Des Moines

Did you know that Des Moines was home to a number of inventors? The Iowa capital has a rich history of innovation, and you can read about Des Moines’ most famous inventors in this book. Des Moines was also the home to many other Iowan inventors, including Johnston, who invented the first furnace. Others from the Des Moines area include Mann and David Hargar, who created a roofing composition.


The early history of invention in Iowa is dotted with inventions ranging from agricultural implements to daily life necessities. Many of these inventions are examples of trial and error and spontaneous innovation. However, some individuals may not have applied for patents for their creations. Inventors from Des Moines contributed to this history through their patents. These individuals come from a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

John Godden, who was a territorial inventor from Van Buren County, invented the flax and hemp breaking and cleaning machine. His invention added a second frame of slats to the device, which made it easier to clean flax and hemp. He also lived in the region for a few years and was granted the exclusive right to build a dam across the Des Moines River.

Inventors from Iowa were not shy about taking advantage of the monopoly laws. One invention came from Iowa: the Gallup Poll. The Gallup Poll was invented by a man from Des Moines and is named after him. Another invention from Iowa was the home gym. Its inventor, Anthony Kakakis, tested it in his home. He later patented it.

Besides Jacob, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, other notable names from the city of Des-Moines include David L. Johnson, and Michael E. Erwin. These three men are among the most well-known and prolific inventors in Iowa. Their inventions were made possible by the monetary and intellectual capital of the region. The city of Des Moines is also home to Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

The City of Des Moines has produced a number of patents. One of the most popular inventions from Des Moines, a welding guide, is a case in point. The invention was first developed in Des Moines and has been patented in many countries. While patents are required for inventions, they are not a guarantee for success, said Dennis Crouch, co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship in Des Moines.

Inventors in Des Moines

One of the earliest inventions in Iowa was the auger mining process, patented by J. Hobart in 1846. The number of inventions was relatively low until the Civil War ended. However, by 1865, there were 104 inventions patented in Iowa. The year 1867 was a high point for inventions in Iowa, with 247 patents issued. This was followed by 201 patents in 1868. In total, Iowans received 2,325 patents during this thirty-year period.

Inventors from Iowa include John Godden, who lived in the city of Pittsburgh, Van Buren County. His flax and hemp breaking and cleaning machine had a second slat frame to make the process easier. The Godden family lived in the city for about a year before he was granted exclusive rights to build a dam across the Des Moines River. It is important to note that many inventions that were developed in Iowa are credited to local inventors.

The inventors of the inventions in Des Moines have contributed to a wide range of industries. Many are related to trade, business, or manufacturing. Some inventions were spontaneous, others were the result of trial and error. Some were simply inspired by a need for a new machine or process. Others may have been motivated by profit rather than a desire to create a new product.

A number of Iowans have become famous because of their inventions. In the past, there have been hundreds of successful inventions by local residents. The City of Des Moines has produced many successful inventions and is proud of them. Some of these inventors are still living in the city and are living elsewhere. They are: Barfels, Aaron L. of Des Moines, Iowa; and Jacobs, Randall A. of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Inventors in Iowa

A long list of inventors from Des Moines can be traced back to George Gallup, who first patented the Gallup Poll. The poll was named after the inventor, who came to Iowa State University. Other notable inventions from Iowa include the first automatic ice-cream maker and the “frank-o-matic” machine that cut bread without breaking or smashing it. A tradition of ingenuity runs deep in Iowa, which is home to some of the world’s most innovative mechanisms. In the world of weight-gaining, Iowans have a head start.

Several patents in Des Moines, Iowa, are the products of innovation and creative thinking. In March of this year, the longest gap between the filing of a patent application and the grant of a patent came from the city. A patent is required to protect an invention, but it does not guarantee success. According to Dennis Crouch, co-director of the Des Moines-based Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship, about 50 percent of patents are not successful.

Inventors and patents from Des MOines, Iowa include Milan Sonka, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Iowa. Sonka is the third member of the University of Iowa’s electrical and computer engineering faculty to be named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. His work has resulted in the development of several breakthroughs in the fields of biomedical imaging and artificial intelligence.

In addition to inventions aimed at improving school desks, a school furniture company in Des Moines patented artificial slate surfaces in 1868. This was the first step towards a country school desk. Rankin and Roberts’ company went on to develop this new type of desk. They eventually partnered with the Osborne & Mammon Company and filed for patents for their invention.

Other inventions of Des Moines, Iowans include the musical staff, which was patented by Otis Boykin in 1865. The device had a regulator for regulating the amount of ink. It also featured a movable belt for the use of musical instruments, such as the piano. The music staff also enabled a pianist to change the pitch of the piano, which improved the instrument’s ability to play well.

Inventors in California

Inventors from Des Moines have had a long and varied history. Some were farmers, while others were businessmen. Some patented their own inventions, and some sold their rights for a large sum. Otis Boykin, for example, created the first electrical device used in guided missiles. He also created a number of other electronic devices, including an improved electrical resistor that is used in many different electronics. In addition, he patented several other inventions, including a burglar-proof cash register and a chemical air filter.

The State Library of Iowa maintains an extensive and free online patent database. This database includes information on inventors from the state from 1843 to the present. Searchable by name, title of invention, and place of residence, the database is a valuable resource for anyone searching for information about Iowan inventors. The State Library of Iowa is located in Davenport, and the Davenport Public Library has recently become the only electronic Patent Depository Library in Iowa.

An invention can be anything. The first vending machine was invented by an Egyptian named Hero of Alexandria, and it dispensed holy water. While that wasn’t actually an invention in Des Moines, it did come from the city. Similarly, F.A. Wittern invented a vending machine that gave back change, and his company operated in Clive. The inventor of the Yoga Flexer was married to a former Division I athlete and worked out daily at the gym.

The National Academy of Inventors has also recently recognized several UI faculty as fellows. This is the third faculty member from Des Moines to be named a Fellow of the NAI. He has been recognized for his research and has patented numerous innovations. The NAI’s website has a complete list of NAI Fellows. While it’s a lengthy process, obtaining a patent will provide you with exclusive rights to your invention for up to 20 years.