Today in 1866, US Patent 57381 A was issued, an invention of Norman C. Roberts and Ezra V. Badger, for their “Improvement in Hop-Vine Supports.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
[We] have invented a new and Improved Mode of Constructing Hop-Rods, to be used in the culture of hops, which we call Portable Sectional Hop-Rods and we do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the said invention, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the letters of reference marked thereon, in which- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a hop-yard with the upper section or rods placed horizontal. Fig. 2 is a view of the same with the upper section or rods placed on an angle.
The nature of our invention consists in setting one rod in each hill of hops, and of having other rods or sections suitably connected and supported either horizontally or at any desired angle, by which we are enabled to save a great amount of expense in the raising of hops.