Category:
Inventions

Diapers with pistol holsters

Patented by Harriet Y. Clough of Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1958.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies, Guns, Inventions

The Beautiful Beauty Mask

Patented in 1954 by Ann S.V. Mann of Petersburg, Virginia.

It functioned like any other beauty mask. Its primary difference, claimed Mann, was that her mask had the outer appearance of a "strikingly beautiful woman":

An object of my invention is to provide a facial mask that is self-conforming to feminine faces in a manner to exploit their beauty and, through exterior surface ornamentation and adornment, to enhance that beauty and maintain it unimpaired over the entire time the mask is worn; so that a woman wearing the mask during her hours of sleep can rest serene in the assurance given by her mirror that, far from appearing grotesque, she is in reality a thing of beauty and that, actually, she sleeps in beauty...

The exterior surface of the plastic film body 5 is painted or otherwise decorated to create eyebrows, lashes, nose and mouth lines, etc., so designed as to give the facial appearance of a strikingly beautiful woman. This artistic treatment is an important feature of the invention. Beauty is accentuated in every way possible in all phases of the invention.

Due to the uncanny valley effect, she may actually have ended up creating something that looked more grotesque than a regular mask.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 19, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Inventions, 1950s

Harmless Hunter

In 2012, the brothers Randy and Michael Gregg tried to raise money to produce their 'harmless hunter' or 'kill shot' gun. Though it wasn't actually a gun. It was a camera shaped like a gun. From their Kickstarter page:

This can be used year round when game is out of season to satisfy the lust for hunting while getting you ready for the harvest season.  The cross hairs will show on the photo where the shot would have been, the background will show if the shot was safe or unsafe.  It will help teach gun safety by operating like a lethal hunting rifle, except, it takes pictures and fires no projectiles...  Ethical shot placement and the sport of hunting are taught all in one!  You will be able to post "KillShots" on a website that will come with the rifle. 


They never succeeded in raising enough money. Apparently the idea appealed neither to hunters nor to wildlife photographers.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 17, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Guns, Inventions, Photography and Photographers

Cow burgers and hot dogs

In 1950, Rodney Graves of Arizona patented cow-shaped burger patties. However, he missed an opportunity by not also patenting a cow-shaped bun.



Edward Kiwala of Chicago didn't make a similar mistake when, in 1969, he patented a dog-shaped hot dog (or, at least, a hot dog with four legs like a dog). He also patented the accompanying bun.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 11, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Inventions

Immersion in sprinkles

Just a few days ago, on Dec 24, 2019, Maryellis Bunn of New York, NY received patent no. 10,513,862 B2 for a “system, method, and apparatus for simulating immersion in a confection.” The specific confection she had in mind was candy sprinkles. Although the patent extends to include Hershey’s kisses and popcorn.

In other words, what she’s patented is the idea of a pool full of fake sprinkles, which people can immerse themselves in.





This makes more sense once you find out that Bunn is the founder of the Museum of Ice Cream, and apparently one of the activities you can do, if you visit her museum (in either New York or San Francisco), is swim in a pool of fake sprinkles. See the video below.

Bunn's Museum of Ice Cream business is reportedly worth around $200 million, and she only started it in 2016. So, while some are mocking her sprinkle-immersion patent as frivolous, she's laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 08, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Inventions, Candy

The Man Can

Its formal name was the “man-carried auto-navigation device,” but it went by the nickname “Man Can.” The Martin-Marietta Corporation received patent no. 3,355,942 for it in 1967.

It was a device designed to help soldiers avoid getting lost. The patent offered this description:

a lightweight, completely mechanical, low energy device by which small units of men may locate themselves accurately with respect to some reference point when operating in the jungle, darkness or bad weather without dependence upon visual landmarks.



It combined a compass and a pedometer. A GI would record his initial location on a map, and then the device would track his footsteps and the directions in which he turned. When he was done walking, the device would tell him his new coordinates.

A key feature of the device was that it didn't use any battery power. So the GIs would never need to worry about it running out of juice. It operated via a bellows located in the heel of the GI's shoe.

I can't find any follow-up reports about how well this gadget worked. Apparently not well enough to warrant its adoption by the army. But it was an interesting concept.

Allentown Morning Call - Dec 11, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 05, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Geography and Maps, Inventions, Military, Technology, 1960s

The Taste Organ

Decatur Herald - Sep 14, 1926



An experimental model of the 'Taste Organ,' which was developed by a French scientist. To enjoy the taste 'harmonies' the 'listener' holds a small tube in his mouth so that the various concentrated liquids can be injected either singly or in the correct combination.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 02, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, Inventions, 1920s

Shaving with X-rays

It wasn't long after the discovery of x-rays, that people realized they could be used to remove body hair. In 1899, the American X-Ray Journal noted the "epilating properties of the X-Rays," and suggested that hair removal might be a profitable side-business for x-ray technicians.

However, as far as I can tell, it wasn't until 1945 that anyone got around to patenting the idea of x-ray hair removal. The patent was granted to Violet Arnold of Detroit. Columnist Frederick Othman wrote about it in a Dec 1945 column:

Her boyfriend was the inspiration, with his whiskery chin. Now he has no whiskers, thanks to U.S. Patent Number 2,389,403, the X-ray razor...
Miss Arnold's shave consists of two X-ray treatments of five to ten minutes each with the rays going through an aluminum plate before they hit the whiskers. That makes 'em curl up. Then she attacks the wilted whiskers nine more times in five weeks with rays going through aluminum and a bottle of water, too.

Amarillo Globe Times - Dec 3, 1945



The X-ray razor never caught on, probably because of the risk of serious, disfiguring burns. However, the idea lingered on in popular culture for a few years and was featured in several ad campaigns.

Crowley Post-Signal - Dec 12, 1952



Washington Court House Record-Herals - Jan 6, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 29, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Technology, 1940s

Novelty Watches


Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 28, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, Inventions, 1950s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
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.

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.

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