COUNTY MUSEUM APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR
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(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - October 27, 2020) The first U.S. patent issued to a woman in Wyoming was held by a Rock Springs resident.
According to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River, on December 25, 1900, Myrtle M. Wallin was granted Patent #664597 for a device she called a “Work Holder,” for which she’d made application on June 1 of that year.
An excerpt from her application reads as follows:
“Be it known that I, MYRTLE M. WALLIN, a citizen of the United States, residing at Rock Springs, in the county of Sweetwater and State of Wyoming, have invented new and useful Improvements in Work-Holders, of which the following is a specification.
“My invention relates to workholding devices for seamstresses, the object being to provide a simple and inexpensive device adapted to fit upon the knee of the user to clamp and hold the work, especially while basting, hemming, or gathering.”
Little is known about Wallin, though it is believed she was born in Missouri, probably in 1875, and lived on D Street in Rock Springs with her husband, Gustaf Wallin, a carpenter born in Sweden.
Other Wyoming patent firsts include the first one issued to a Wyoming Territory resident, granted to George Choate of Albany County on April 12, 1870, for an improved shovel handle, and the first patent granted a Wyomingite after statehood in 1890, issued to James N. Farlow of Lander on November 11, 1890, for a “improved friction wrench.”
(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - August 15, 2020)
The Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River is celebrating the 100th anniversary of national women’s suffrage with two special traveling exhibits.
“Votes for Women - A Portrait of Persistence,” is the creation of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. It is the story of the long struggle that led to ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, which guaranteed women the right to vote nationwide. Also featured will be the "19th Amendment" traveling exhibit produced by the National Archives.
While the 19th Amendment guaranteed women's suffrage nationally, Wyoming was the first American territory or state to grant women voting rights a half-century earlier, in 1869.
The exhibits will be available for public viewing beginning Tuesday, August 18.