In 1897, the pencil sharpener was invented by John Lee Love. He was issued a patent for it on Nov. 23, 1897. That style of pencil sharpener is still in use today in schools and offices around the world, according to About.com Inventors. It was one of several noteworthy inventions of 1897.
Milton O. Reeves received a patent for a muffler in 1897. This allowed the reduction of noise of internal combustion engines.
Ellsworth B.A. Zwoyer received a patent for the charcoal briquette in 1897. The charcoal briquette presented a portable and safe way for people to transport a fuel suitable for cooking and heating.
Professional billiards player William A. Spinks collaborated with chemist William Hoskins to develop cue chalk, and they were granted a patent in 1897. Although not an industrial milestone, cue chalk did change the dynamic of billiards-based games by allowing for less friction and better strokes, accroding to Wikipedia.
The patent for the tapered roller bearing was issued to Henry Timken and Reginald Heinzelman in 1897. This invention is considered one of the most important of the late 19th century. It changed and improved the design of ball bearings, which had remained virtually unchanged for centuries. It allowed greater axial and radial forces to be placed on the bearings. This resulted in carriages that were able to carry larger loads and machinery that was larger and faster.