According to a patent called Eye-protector for chickens, it was patented by Andrew Jackson, Jr., a citizen of the United States, residing in Munich, in the county of Jackson, State of Tennessee.

To all whom, it may concern: Be it known that I, ANDREW JACKSON, Jr., a citizen of the United States, residing at Munich, in the county of Jackson, State of Tennessee, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Eye-Protectors for Chickens; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

Tried to search about this town/city but didn't find anything more than this patent.

  • Munich, Tennessee appears to be bit of a mystery and is discussed here: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2011 December 18. May 15, 2021 at 11:01
  • @LarsBosteen: Does anyone know where antique bicycle touring maps of Tennessee from the 1890's can be researched? If the town existed in 1903 it would very likely have been on such a map. Bicycle touring was BIG for several years just prior to automobiles becoming accessible to the middle class. I thought we had a question on that a couple of years ago - but I can't track it down. May 15, 2021 at 11:27
  • I will have to say, the metadata in the application webpage looks at lot like the victim of bad OCR.
    – Spencer
    May 15, 2021 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


The witnesses on the typed version (not the diagram) might give us a clue - one is "W. V. BRINGLE". A Walter V. Bringle was married in Tipton County, Tennessee, in 1896; I can;t find him in the 1900 census but by 1910 he was living in Covington, Tipton County, and practising as a lawyer.

It turns out there was a Munch post office (1880-1907), also in Tipton County (Tennessee Place Names & Post Offices). The USGS have an entry for it which places it somewhere in the vicinity of Gilt Edge, a few miles west of Covington. It is not identifiable on this 1888 map of Tennessee post offices; when postal service was discontinued, it was served by the Brighton post office (SW of Covington)

Tipton County is quite a way from Jackson County, but the similarity of "Munch" to "Munich" is intriguing, as is the presence of a local lawyer with a very distinctive name - exactly the sort of person you might expect to draw up and witness a patent application. (Of course, you might also expect him to get his own county right, so take this with all due caution.)

I can't work out exactly where Munch was, but the postmaster in 1895 had another distinctive name - "Thornton G. Ladd". We can find him in the 1880 and 1900 censuses, living in "civil district 2" of Tipton. Not a large area - there are a bit under 800 people. And in the same civil district in 1900, so presumably in the immediate vicinity of Munch, we find...

Andrew Jackson, b. Jan 1874 - railroad labourer, can read and write, owns own house, married with one small daughter.

By 1897 the postmaster had become John C. Gracey; in the 1900 census he is resident in "civil district 8", which seems to be somewhere in the vicinity of Covington; however, the only Andrew Jackson there (b. May 1832) is illiterate and so seems unlikely to have been the patent author. There are only a couple of Andrew Jacksons in the county, so it might be plausible he is the other one's father, but that's very speculative.

I don't think it's cast-iron evidence, but it does seem to match the details given - "Munich" is an easy slip for "Munch" (and, as Mark notes in comments, it is easy to see how "Munch"/"Munich" could result from confusion about pronouncing Munich/München). While getting the county wrong is a bit strange, it is at least sort of explicable that they could just have written the guy's name down twice.

  • 2
    Given that the German name of the city we call Munich in English is München (pronounced something like "MUNchen" or "MOONchen"), it's very easy to believe that German immigrants might have named the place with the umlaut quickly being dropped and partly anglicized as "Munch" and sometimes fully anglicized as "Munich".
    – Mark Olson
    May 15, 2021 at 21:03
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    @MarkOlson That definitely sounds plausible, I think. Will note. May 15, 2021 at 21:32
  • Where did you see the typed version? Do you mean the description in the linked webpage? As I said in my other comment, I suspect it's bad OCR. However, seeing the original version of the attestation (manuscript or typed) might answer that one way or the other.
    – Spencer
    May 15, 2021 at 23:09
  • 1
    @Spencer look at pdf listed on OPs linked page here.
    – justCal
    May 15, 2021 at 23:40
  • @justCal That certainly throws the OCR theory out the window, but notice that the text is typeset page from a US Government publication. Without the original application, there's no way to tell if there was a transcription error.
    – Spencer
    May 16, 2021 at 12:36

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