Last updated: 7/6/2012
Cazenovia, New York

The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum is the largest privately-owned viewable collection of United States Patent Models in the world. Containing nearly 4,000 patent models and related documents, the collection spans America's Industrial Revolution.

The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum collection is currently located in a custom-designed facility in Cazenovia, New York. Alan Rothschild – an inventor himself—has constructed an impressive facility to display hundreds of the models, along with a workshop/laboratory where the remaining models are stored, studied and cared for. Models are viewable by appointment only.


The patent models journey began shortly after the birth of the United States. The Patent Act of 1790 required that anyone applying to the U.S. Patent Office for a patent, submit a model of the their invention. Over 200,000 models were submitted during the subsequent 90 years, but after two fires and a growing lack of space, the model requirement was abolished in 1880.

Congress permitted the Smithsonian Institution to select some models, but the bulk was sold at auction in 1925. The winning bidder was Sir Henry Wellcome, founder of Wellcome Pharmaceutical Company (now known as Glaxo Smith Kline). After Wellcome's death, the collection was broken up and thousands of models were sold off by a succession of private owners.

Alan Rothschild acquired the remainder of the original collection in the 1990s from aerospace engineer, Cliff Petersen, and established the Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum in 1998. Since then, Mr. Rothschild has added to the Museum with purchases of smaller patent model collections from around the United States, including the purchase of all 82 models in Carolyn Pollan's Patent Model Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
Oakland Park, Florida

We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri