Mark Twain, a writer and inventor!

«That reminds me to remark, in passing, that the very first official thing I did, in my administration—and it was on the very first day of it, too—was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn’t travel any way but sideways or backways».

“A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court”, Mark Twain. 

If you happened to read “A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain, you might have wondered why the writer considered the protection of the rights of inventors to be paramount. The answer becomes crystal clear if you study the biography of Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens: he was fond of inventing useful things for everyday life and patented his inventions.

In particular, Mark Twain invented adjustable straps for vests, pantaloons and shirts (patented in 1871), a self-pasting scrapbook (1873), and a history trivia game ‘Mark Twain's Fact and Date’ (1885).

The scrapbook was Mark Twain’s most successful invention – it made him $50,000 (see the description of the invention here). He also financed other people’s not very successful inventions, which is why he was forced to declare bankruptcy. 

By the way, Mark Twain was friends with Nikola Tesla and often visited his laboratory, and at the end of his life Thomas Edison visited Mark Twain at his home.