June 11, 1962
Five-year-old Robert Patch made both transportation history and playtime history when he submitted a patent application for a toy truck he had designed. The toy, as outlined in the drawings that accompanied his application, could easily be taken apart and put back together by just about any kid. In addition, it was possible to separate the toy into a chassis, driver’s cab, truck body, wheels, and four axles in such a way that it could be formed to resemble different types of vehicles — a closed van body, for example, or a dump truck.
“At the time I had to sign the patent application, I couldn’t write my name,” recalled Patch in a 2013 interview. “So I signed it with an X.”
Nearly a year after submitting his application, Patch (six years old by this time) received U.S. Patent 3,091,888 for his invention. His idea has since become the template for a large number of toy trucks that have been manufactured and sold.
For more information on Robert Patch and his toy truck, please check out https://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2013/06/04/32087/50-years-later-robert-patch-remembers-being-younge/ and the 4 June 2017 Bronx Chronicle article “A Precocious Patent Holder” at http://thebronxchronicle.com/2017/06/04/a-precocious-patent-holder/.