Snow Bird from the house on the Michael Korns, Sr. farm.

1802 snow bird from house on Michael Korns, Sr. farm

This photograph shows what is known in Somerset County PA as a "Snow Bird". Snow birds are used to retain ice and snow on a roof so that they don't slide off and cause bodily harm. During a recent trip to Germany, I found that devices having similar function are called "Snow Fangs" there. This snow bird fell from the roof of the house on the Michael Korns, Sr. home, and belongs to a descendant. It was made in Pennsylvania and bears an 1802 patent date that is wrapped around the central hole of the cast iron section. I attempted to obtain a copy of the patent from the U.S. patent office, but found that most of the patents from 1802 were destroyed by fire, and only 2 apparently survive. The patent office did publish a list of early patents (the list apparently survived the fire), and curiously, I couldn't find this particular patent among the patents that issued during 1801-1803.

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