What makes this a special document is that it falls during the time of the Franco-Prussian War. The war began on 19 July 1870 and ended on 10 May 1871. While not as short as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, it was every bit as decisive, since the French Army was no match for the German Army. [This did not relate to the French soldiers’ efforts on the front lines, but instead to those of the French government and Army. French soldiers were poorly trained and poorly equipped. Also, the French general staff and its generals in the field had no real concept of modern tactics. Thus, French soldiers were poorly led and equipped to face an army which was the world’s best at the time. This patent promotes a Hauptmann to major in the Engineer (Ingenieur) Corps. Our man’s last name is Richter. The document was signed by Prussia’s König Wilhelm I. Wilhelm I became Kaiser on 18 January 1871 in an elaborate coronation at Versailles. Interestingly, this patent was signed by Wilhelm on 22 December 1870 at his Versailles’ Headquarters. Versailles played a continuing role in Franco-German history during the 20th Century’s first half. It was where the German surrender took place during November 1918 in a railway car. In 1940 Adolf Hitler sat in the same railway car to accept the French surrender. The document measures 14 1/8″ x 8 3/4″ when folded, and 14 1/8″ x 17 1/4″ when unfolded.