Patent of the Day: Artist’s Easel and Attachable Rest

Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent Of The Day.

On this day in 1889, John Alexander Johnson was granted U.S. Patent No. 396,658 for a ARTIST’S EASEL AND ATTACHABLE REST.

This invention is an improvement in artists’ easels; and it relates particularly to a rest for pictures or models which are to be copied or reproduced by means of the eye and hand. The rest proper is formed of several strips or bars of wood or other material so placed and secured together as to form square or angular spaces when said rest is spread for use. At the center of gravity of the rest (which may be one of the points of intersection of the bars)  a pivot arm, which is secured to a second arm by a loop clamped by a thumb-nut. The second arm is provided with holes corresponding in size with the holes ordinarily found in the uprights of an easel, and is clamped or held to one of these uprights by means of a bolt which passes through the perforated arm and either one of the holes of the said up right. The loop employed to splice the two arms to unite the easel and the rest is in the nature of an eyebolt, serving as a swivel-connection, so that the said rest may have a motion about the axis of the shank of said eyebolt. A device somewhat similar to the bolt connecting the two arms is used to secure the holder to the outer of said arms, so that the said rest may be rotated about its axis and clamped to any desired position. By means of the several motions of which the rest is capable it may be raised or lowered or drawn near to the artist as a whole or any part of said rest, or the picture fixed thereto may be drawn near to the hand or the eye of the artist at his will.

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