Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent of the Week

We are in the heart of fall, pumpkins, cooler weather, and changing leaves, these are just a few of the things reminiscent of the season. While the leaves changing colors is beautiful it is also the prelude of what is to come; falling leaves. Some will say it is best to keep the leaves on the ground as they put nutrients back in the soil; others will spend day and night trying to keep the grass as green as possible for as long as possible. For those individuals the rake is their best friend.

One of the first rakes to be issued a patent was invented by Edmund Brown in 1874 (U.S. Patent No. 148,660). His rake was comprised of a bamboo handle and metal teeth. Brown noted other rakes were continually “clogged by the refuse matter which they collect,” this lead to the user removing the debris from the rake by hand. Brown’s rake changed that and is described as an “automatically clearing attachment for iron-tooth door-yard rakes, which shall remove all matter that may be collected between the teeth by simply raising the rake from the ground.”


One of the more popular rakes invented by C.J. Rocquin, still seen in stores today, was granted a patent in 1929 (U.S. Patent No. 1,706,547). This invention “relates to a rake which can be manufactured with a minimum number of parts and quickly and readily assembled and wherein one or more times may be easily replaced if they become broken.” Rocquin is no stranger to patents, he was granted five patents for different kind of rakes among other items.

Harold O. Eads was granted a patent in 1973 for one of the more popular plastic rakes used today (U.S. Patent No. 3,724,188). Eads worked for the Ames company, one of the biggest rake manufacturers around. “An object of the present invention is to provide a rake which has all of the advantages of both steel tine rakes and bamboo rakes, without the disadvantages thereof.” Eads was also granted a design patent for the rake head in 1974 (U.S. Patent No. Des. 233,305).

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm, based in Omaha, NE, serving all of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. If you have any intellectual property questions or need assistance with any patenttrademark, or copyright matters and would like to speak to one of our patent attorneys please contact us.