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Canadian Patents, 1869-1919

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Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in partnership with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has scanned from microfilm Canadian patents from the years 1869 to 1919.

Canada depends on technological progress to strengthen itself economically and industrially. Patents give inventors temporary monopolies, which provide incentive for innovation and risk-taking. Patent documents, which are always made publicly available, also aid in modernization by promoting the exchange of cutting-edge ideas and information.

The history of patents in Canada is a story of ingenuity in response to the necessities of everyday life. It is a story of the innovative dreamers who pushed the borders of science and technology. This database presents a historical view of how patents have kept the creative wheels spinning.

The Database

This research tool provides access to 190,000 references to Canadian Patents, from the years 1869 to 1919, held at Library and Archives Canada.

Please keep in mind that only patents issued to Canadian citizens and residents are available in this collection. Canadian patents issued to non-Canadians and non-residents are not included.

The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.

The microfilming of these patents occurred during the 1970s and 1980s. Researchers may notice some interesting preservation inconsistencies captured while scanning these films, such as the appearance of hands or fingers along with the patents.

Given that some of the original documents are very difficult to read, some information in the database may be incorrect and/or incomplete.

The Search Screen

The search screen allows you to search by patent number, name of patent holder, patent title, patent filing year, city, and province and state.


  • Default operator "AND" is used between fields.
  • Only patents issued to Canadian citizens and residents are available in this collection (Canadian patents issued to non-Canadians and non-residents are not included).
  • Keyword searching on the title of the patent must be done carefully. Patent titles do not always precisely indicate the nature of the invention. For example, a mouse trap may be listed under the title "animal trap," "vermin trap," or just "trap."

Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only.

When you have entered your search terms, click on "Submit". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.

The Search Results Screens

Your search results will be posted as a summary list. The results list contains the following fields:

  • Patent number
  • Name of patent holder (surname, and given name or initial)
  • Patent title
  • Patent filing year
  • City
  • Province or State

Click on the link of interest to you to access the complete patent.