Patentee or inventor searches only return results from 1920 to date on the uspto's search screen. Do this without the double quotes: "your_inventor_here.IN." ex: Edison.IN. Even in the uspto's OCR database the earliest Edison patent returned is from June 1920. The same search below will find 160 patents from 1876 to 1919. If you know a patent number enter it here and then press the PN button.
On this site you can do a case insensitive search of references to pre 1920 patents.
It currently contains 357,078 unique patents (referenced by patents 1976 through 2019-12-31) which is about 27% of the utility patents issued before 1920. See
this page on where this data came from, including a Creative Commons Attribution acknowledgement.