Washington, D.C. June 16, 1868. Folio, 10" x 15-1/4." Caption title, as issued, with lithograph engraving [by the National Bank Note Company] of Lady Liberty with furled flag and iconic eagle, surrounded by agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial scenes. Binder holes along inner and top margins. Remnant of purple patent ribbon, green seal of the Patent Office. Old folds, blank final leaf darkened with some tears. Full-page illustration of Kirk's "Improvement in Distillation of Petroleum." Except as noted, Very Good.
Kirk's 1868 Patent was issued a decade after the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania. Born in Scotland, Arthur Kirk, Jr. [1824-1904] immigrated to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1844 and worked as a grocer. Although not his town of residence, he had many pursuits based in Pittsburgh and was one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. Kirk became involved in the oil industry, and by 1865 was one of the Directors of the National Storing and Refining Company of Pittsburgh. In 1867, he established himself successfully as an explosives manufacturer with his son, David, doing business as Arthur Kirk & Son. He settled in Sharpsburg in the 1870s, and was instrumental in modernizing the town with electricity, sewage systems, and street paving. He was also an inventor; he applied for and received other patents as well as this one, denominated Patent 78,878, which is printed in II Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1868, page 138 [Washington: 1870]. [Obituary of Arthur Kirk, Jr., The Pittsburgh Press, September 27, 1904, Page 4; "The National Refining and Storing Company," The Pittsburgh Gazette, May 6, 1865, Page 4.; U.S. Federal Censuses.]. Item #37528