Category:
Inventions

Glue-On Sweat Diverter

Rosecroft Components recently (Dec 2019) was granted a patent for a glue-on "sweat diverter". From their patent:

When undertaking an activity causing sweating, a person can suffer from the effects of sweat dripping into his eyes. Many devices have been developed to address this problem, such as absorbent sweatbands. Such devices fail to prevent sweat from reaching the eyes once they become saturated, and must be dried or wrung out in order to restore their effectiveness...
Described herein are sweat-diverting devices which may be affixed to a wearer by an adhesive, such as a pressure-sensitive adhesive...
A sweat-diverting device may be reusable, with an adhesive reapplied for each wearing, or may be single use and disposable, with the adhesive integrated with the device during manufacturing.







Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 25, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Inventions, Body Fluids

Wrinkle Mask

Adelaide Smith was granted a patent for this "wrinkle mask" in 1911. It has a certain Bride of Frankenstein look to it.



The object of my invention is to provide a comparatively simple and practical wrinkle mask constructed of suitable pliable material preferably of rubber, which is adapted to envelop or cover the face or portion thereof to be treated and further for providing suitable means forming a part of the same for embracing the hair or head portion of the user, whereby the wrinkles or other deformities of the face may be easily and readily removed as will appear...

My invention dispenses with the usual work in massaging, employed for removing the wrinkles or blemishes from the face, and can be used at any time more particularly, however, at nights while the patient is sleeping.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Inventions, 1910s

Carl Bohland’s Auto Wash Bowl

Carl Bohland patented the auto wash bowl in 1921. His idea was that cars would drive into a large, concrete bowl filled with water. After a couple of times around the bowl, the cars would be clean. Or, at least, cleaner.





Bohland managed to open a few auto wash bowls. The problem, however, was that his technique only really cleaned the underside of the cars. This was useful back in the days when many roads were still unpaved and their undersides constantly got filthy. But as road conditions improved, the auto wash bowl became less useful. By the 1930s, the last one had closed.

More info: vintag.es

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 11, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, 1920s, Cars

The 1932 Helicron

Propellor-driven car.

Read about it here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 05, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s, Cars

Disease detection toilet using dog

Patent #10,455,817 was granted in Oct 2019 for "animal olfactory detection of disease as control for health metrics collected by medical toilet."

In plainer language, it's a toilet that has a small door built into the side of it (the "scent dispenser"), allowing a dog to smell your poop (or other bodily fluids) in order to detect the presence of disease. From the patent:

The user deposits bodily waste into the toilet through actions which include urinating or defecting into the toilet, vomiting into the toilet, coughing up sputum into the toilet, and depositing mucus into the toilet...
An animal may be trained to sniff the scent dispenser in response to a command or signal. The user may give the animal the command or signal when the user desires the animal to assess the presence of disease in the user.


Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 04, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions, Dogs

Health Jolting Chair

Oliver Halsted was granted a patent for an "exercising machine" in 1844. It was later marketed as the Health Jolting Chair. AKA the "wake-up chair." By pulling the levers on the side, it would bounce up and down. It was said to be a panacea for "dyspepsia, liver complaint, low spirits, general debility, constipation, 'so-called malaria,' jaundice, melancholia, and anemia."

Image source: Natl Lib of Medicine

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Health, Inventions, Nineteenth Century

Subjective Color

July 25, 1967: During its broadcast of the TV series Combat!, ABC aired a commercial for a soft-drink called Squirt. The commercial appeared in color. What made this unusual is that it appeared in color even on black-and-white TV sets.



The commercial used a technology developed by the Color-Tel Corp., and patented by James Butterfield, that used pulses of light to trick the brain into thinking that it was seeing color. Butterfield described this as "subjective color".

The company had informed the media before the broadcast, but most people didn't know it was going to happen, and so they thought they were going nuts when they suddenly saw flashes of color on their black-and-white sets.

Detroit Free Press - Sep 14, 1967



The technology had some limitations. It could only be used for still images. Also, the colors were muted and flickered a lot. But the really big problem was that the technology emerged just as color TVs were becoming popular. So it was a clever gimmick that no longer had much practical purpose.

More info: Chronicles from the Analog Age Blog

Also worth noting: the idea of being able to see color images on a black-and-white set was the premise of a famous April Fool's Day hoax that occurred in 1962 in Sweden.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 20, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Television, 1960s

Aroma Discs

Donald Spector received a patent for these in 1985. They looked like small music discs. But instead of producing sound, they released an aromatic vapor when put in the 'player'.



I don't see what advantage an aroma disc would have over an incense candle (except, perhaps, for the lack of an open flame). Which, I assume, is why these are no longer around and incense candles are all over the place.

But Spector was successful enough to have his product featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, 1980s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Steam-Powered Motorcycle

What happens in a crash that splits the boiler open?



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 31, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Inventions, 1930s, Motorcycles

The Human Performance Enhancing Robot of Dr. NakaMats

AKA Cerebrex. Invented by Dr. Yoshiro NaKaMats. It was essentially a lounger chair that was supposed to improve brain function in only 30 minutes. Details from the Arizona Republic (Sep 12, 1986):

NaKaMats unveiled the chair this summer [1986] and plans to mass-produce and lease the recliners for about 14,900 yen, or $93 a month.
Meanwhile, customers can use it only in his sun-flooded "oyasumidokoro," or sleeping place, a nearly empty room a few floors below his laboratory, where white-coated assistants bustle around prototypes of industrial robots in various stages of development.
The inventor explains how the chair works, sort of.
"It activates your alpha brain waves by emitting ultra-high frequency electronic pulses, which in turn increase the flow of blood to the head, through the chair's pillow and foot rest," he said.

York Dispatch - July 2, 1986



You can check out a (non-embeddable) video about Cerebrex on Vimeo.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 21, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, 1980s, Brain

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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