Coming in December the Palm Pistol. Its a 38 caliber single shot handgun made like a T-shaped screwdriver. The pistol was specially designed for people with poor hand strength from arthritis or disabilities. Or really anyone who finds a conventional gun difficult to fire. The trigger is a simple thumb push with the recoil dissipated into the palm. Great for defense but with only one shot accuracy would seem to be crucial as there may not be time to reload.
March 1965: The Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Co. began testing the "wrist twist" steering wheel at dealerships around the country. With this "no-wheel steering wheel," the driver controlled the car by means of two rotating plastic rings, five-inches in diameter. The rings turned simultaneously and could be turned with one or both hands.
As the video below explains, the benefit of the "wrist twist" was that you could more easily rest your arms on armrests while driving.
I guess the drawback was that you got carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists by constantly having to twist them around.
The toilet sanitary shield for male genitalia is a device that is placed in the toilet to prevent the male genitalia from touching the walls of the toilet while in use. The toilet sanitary shield for male genitalia comprises a shield, a securing device, and a ball and socket joint.
Laurent told the South Florida Business Journal, "It's a home product and it's designed for a specific need, for something that I felt was needed, personally." He also said that he's spent "between $25,000 and $30,000" on developing the product.
His patent included a line drawing (below) which illustrates his device being used. I've put a purple circle over the male dangly bit, in order to avoid any risk of offending that company which pays our web hosting bill (because that company is easily offended). You can see the unaltered patent image at the South Florida Biz Journal link above.
Displayed at a Beauty Shop trade convention in Manhattan's Grand Central Palace, April 1948.
The machine (the MacLevy Leg Massager) was marketed to beauty shop owners. The introduction of home permanent wave kits in the mid-1940s had caused a steep decline in business for beauty shops, so the inventors of machines such as the leg massager were promising the shop owners that they could lure customers back by installing gadgets such as this, which would allow them to offer new services without having to hire trained masseuses.
The leg massager was invented by Monte MacLevy, who filed a patent application for it in July 1939. From the patent:
[It is] the contemplation of my invention to provide mechanical means for massaging a persons legs and thighs in a manner that has heretofore been possible only by a well-executed manual massage. And in this aspect of my invention it is a further objective to effect a simultaneous massage of the calf and thigh so as to produce most efiective results in a minimum of time. It is also within the contemplation of my invention to enable the massaging operation to be effectuated while the legs are relieved of practically all strain, an objective that I attain by providing such supporting means for the subject as to enable him to recline in a position where the legs and thighs are conveniently supported in natural angular relation with respect to each other so that they may be completely relaxed during the massaging operation. And in this aspect of my invention it is a further object to provide mechanical massaging implements simultaneously and operably movable in different directions so as to be engageable with various portions of both legs and thighs.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.