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During the1850s the British patent system was subject to major reforms.As part of the reforms, English patents granted between 1617 and 30 September 1852 were identified from the Rolls, sorted into chronological order and then numbered in a single continuous sequence.You can also obtain classification numbers at "Tools to Help in Searching by Patent Classification" at step 3.You now have a list of patents of a particular class for the range of years you have specified, and they will be in chronological order based on the date of the Tuesday of the week in which the patent was granted.

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The transcribed text of each patent and any drawings was then printed and published as a numbered pamphlet.

Finding a British patent There are two basic steps to finding a patent: look up an index to find the patent number and year, then ask a librarian to request the patent using the number and year. See the Digitised versions box on this page for the links to the digitised indexes.

There are three types of index: name (of patentee); subject and chronological. If it is from 1893 onwards, go to the Online resources box on this page. If you cannot find the patent online, you can search an index. For patents from 1617 to 1892: Use the indexes to find the patent number and year. Step 2: Once you have the patent number and year, ask a librarian to request the patent from the offsite store for you.

If you only have a pre-1976 patent date, you also may be able to find the patent if you can hit upon the correct class for the item (see "Tools to Help..." above) and track the patent down, hit and miss.

You cannot "Advanced Search" by date or inventor's name, etc.

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