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Jones, Thomas P.

Born: 1774-XX-XX England, United Kingdom

Died: 1848-03-11 District of Columbia

Thomas P. Jones was an English editor, lecturer, professor, and federal government official. Born in Herefordshire, England, Jones trained as a physician. He immigrated to the United States prior to 1796, settling in Philadelphia. He soon thereafter moved to New Bern, North Carolina. He developed a course of scientific and technical lectures which he delivered in Albany, New York and Philadelphia. From 1814 to 1817, he was professor of natural philosophy and history at the College of William and Mary. Returning to Philadelphia in 1818, he resumed work on his technical lectures. He subsequently left Philadelphia to operate a school in North Carolina. In 1825, he returned to Philadelphia to become the professor of mechanics and natural philosophy at the Franklin Institute and the editor of the Franklin Journal. In 1828, he became superintendent of the U.S. Patent Office, a position he held until 1829. After leaving the Patent Office, he became professor of chemistry and dean of the medical faculty at Columbian College (George Washington University). Upon the passage of the Patent Act of 1836, Jones returned to the Patent Office as one of the first patent examiners under the new law. In 1846, he was a patent agent in Washington, DC, with an office on the north side of F Street between Sixth and Seventh streets west. He remained editor of the Journal of the Franklin Institute until his death.

Gaither & Addison, comps., The Washington Directory, and National Register, for 1846 (Washington, DC: John T. Towers, 1846), 52; The Daily Union (Washington, DC), 13 March 1848, 3:5; "Thomas P. Jones," United States Patent and Trademark Office,, accessed 16 October 2019; Kenneth W. Dobyns, The Patent Office Pony: A History of the Early Patent Office (Fredericksburg, VA: Sergeant Kirkland's Museum and History Society, 1994), 80-83.