Haff Game Counter, U.S. Patent Office Model

This small and incomplete model from the U.S. Patent Office well illustrates the technology used to store information about patent models. Attached to the knob by red tape are two labels. The smaller tag records the entry of the model into the office on March 17, 1881. It indicates in pen the name of the inventor, Leroy B. Haff, the type of the invention (a game counter) and the date received. The front of the tag also is marked in pencil “issued.” The back of this tag also has the pen marks S 28482, 23 Div, and 84/1044.
A second tag, attached to the model by the same piece of red tape, is the patent tag. It has what appears to be a form number, as well as space for the patent number (242635), the patentee (here spelled Le Roy B. Haff), the subject of the patent (Game-Counter), and the date patented (June 7, 1881). Glued to the back of the tag is a printed summary of the drawing and claims. This is heavily damaged.
Haff’s invention was a small counter that recorded both points scored in a card game such as whist and the number of games won. Only the upper part of the model has survived.
The inventor, Leroy (or Le Roy) B. Haff of Englewood, N.J., was no doubt the silversmith Leroy B. Haff (1841-1893) who lived in Engelwood and was a partner in the New York firm of silversmiths, Dominick & Haff. He also took out a patent for a corkscrew in 1889.
Le Roy B. Haff, “Game-Counter,” U. S. Patent 242,635, June 7, 1881.
Le Roy B. Haff, “Pocket-Corkscrew,” U S. Patent 356936, February 1, 1887.
U. S. Census, 1880.
“The Death of Leroy B. Haff,” The Jeweler’s Circular and Horological Review, vol. 22, #9, September 27, 1893, p. 13.
Currently not on view
Object Name
game counter
date made
Haff, Le Roy B.
Haff, Le Roy B.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 1.4 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm; 9/16 in x 1 3/16 in x 1 3/16 in
place made
United States: New Jersey, Englewood
place patented
United States: New Jersey, Englewood
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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