It was the ahead-of-its-time Whitney Wolverine .22 pistol that first attracted my interest in the firearms designs of Robert L. Hillberg, and his US patent for a four-chamber shotgun with a revolving firing pin, an image from which is shown above, that cemented it. And in the course of researching Hillberg’s portfolio at the patent office, I got a chance to try out Google Spreadsheet’s nifty Visual Timeline Gadget. The one embedded below is derived from a Google Spreadsheet I compiled with twenty lines (one for each of Hillberg’s patents I could find) and six columns:
- “Title” – The proper title of the patent, as published in the patent.
- “Start” – The date upon which the patent application was received.
- “End” – The date upon which the patent was granted.
- “Description” – The US patent number of the patent in question.
- “Image” – URL of an image for each patent, which is supposed to display in a pop-up bubble. I haven’t filled these in yet.
- “URL” – A link to which anyone who clicks on the “Title” in the pop-up bubble will be directed. In this case, the links direct to the appropriate full Google Patent.
These six particular columns are specified by the gadget and cannot be changed. The resulting timeline isn’t quite perfect, as there are some other display parameters I would like to be able to control that don’t seem to be user-editable, yet. But overall I’m quite impressed. Very cool resource.