One look at the requirements, and you’ll see why Invention was the least-earned merit badge in the history of the BSA.
To earn it, Scouts had to “invent and patent some useful article” and “show a working drawing or model of the same.”
Obtaining a patent is a time-consuming, costly endeavor. That explains why just 10 Scouts earned the Invention merit badge in its mere three years of existence. The badge debuted in 1911 and was discontinued on Oct. 1, 1914.
Fortunately for Scouts who are passionate about creating new things, the BSA released the Inventing merit badge in 2010. In this new version, which features a slightly different name, no patent is required.