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Discussion in 'Message Board Help & Notices' started by Dick C, Feb 7, 2019.
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The link to DATABASE in post 2 leads nowhere
That patent database was a facility I built on the server in my basement many years ago. I lost the server in a series of power issues and it has not been brought back up. I will get it restored eventually since a lot of NAWCC members put quite a bit of work into it back in the 1970's but it has not gotten the priority because Google Patents is very good and provides the same access to the USPTO database.
The NAWCC data was nice because of the tight focus on horology, but the hand creation resulted in blind spots also.
I don't particularly share Tom's admiration for Google Patents, though I have used it, sometimes successfully. I have also used the patent database at pocketwatchdatabase.com. Although it was set up primarily for researching watch patents, it is possible to search and find patents dealing with clocks and other aspects of horology. The search function has its drawbacks, but, again, I have used it successfully and find it better than Google Patents.
Nonetheless, the NAWCC patent database was, IMO, far superior to either, and that it is still unavailable is a detriment to serious horological research. The NAWCC be should be at the forefront of providing access to horological patents.
I did not intend to endorse Google Patents with the phrase "good enough" which was intended to explain why the NAWCC Patent Database is lower on my personal priority list than some other activities where there are no good alternative sources.
Anyone who has the ability to reproduce the facility from the MS Access Database and the MS Front Page screens is welcome to the project. The NAWCC does not currently staff positions to do such work.
That comes across, perhaps unintentionally on your part, as implying that nobody at NAWCC HQ is interested in the patent database. Which raises the question, what scholarly pursuits are they interested in? Pretty web pages?
I have been unsuccessful in using the Google patents function and I have also attempted to use the patent searches at www.uspto.gov.
At one time I was able to use the .gov site to search patents almost back to the beginning of time; however, for some reason I can't seem to go back further than 1921.
I am either losing it or something has changed?
Steven, I did not say no one was interested. I believe it is not in anyone's job description to do independent research and development of any kind. Content is created by our members in our current organizational format. Staff functions in roles to support those members efforts to share their research.
When the patent database was first created, it was a set of index files rather like Excel files with key strings and patent number references. I was asked by the archivist if I could make it into an online tool.
The Bulletin search has a similar history. It was created by members as a way to think about articles and find the volume and page number references. I converted that to an application that could retrieve the articles when they were found.
To the best of my knowledge, the NAWCC has never funded staff to do that kind of work.
The staff might be very interested and eager to do such things, but they have regular work assignments and reviews on how well they meet those assignments. We could also have more volunteers who interested and capable of doing the work. I do not think the NAWCC could currently pay any of them their current hourly rate for doing such work.
There is a technique that can be seen in the NAWCC-Info called query by forms where one develops a blank form that captures what interested users might know about data and returns data selections as tables of results or individual instance of the same basic form as the query form with all the fields filled in. I would recommend we develop that type of application for any of these data retrieval problems that interest us.