Category:
Inventions

Cucumber Sandwich Patent

Artist Alex Stenzel not only invented a cucumber sandwich, but in 2006 he managed to obtain a patent for it. It's a design patent, but a patent nonetheless.

His idea was to hollow out a cucumber and stuff it with ingredients. He then used one end of the cucumber to plug up the other stuffed side. He called this a 'gorilla sandwich'.



The site dailytitan.com offers some details about how Stenzel came up with his idea:

artist and philosopher, Alex Stenzel, 44, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., has developed a new kind of breadless sandwich that has taken the raw food community by storm. Stenzel's invention, known as the 'Gorilla Sandwich,' substitutes traditional sliced bread for a hollowed-out cucumber filled with kale, olives, mustard greens, walnuts and avocado - among other healthy ingredients.

The name 'Gorilla Sandwich,' according to Stenzel, was chosen after researching gorillas and discovering their diet consists of many greens that are high in protein.

"I'm very much into health," Stenzel said. "I've always been playing around with different types of herbs and different kinds of vegetables."

Stenzel, who is originally from an industrial area in Germany, came across this idea when confronted with a choice: eat his salad at home or store it inside a hollowed-out cucumber to make it portable enough to take to the beach with him. For Stenzel, who is a surfing enthusiast, the answer was obvious, and he was soon off to the beach to 'kiss the waves,' as he calls it, with his new edible invention. Stenzel also has had a world ranking for three different sports: tennis, mountain biking and the Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii in 1986.

"To reach the highest performance level possible, I experimented with different healthy diets," he said.

Stenzel has posted a series of videos on YouTube that provide complete instructions on how you can make your own gorilla sandwich.





Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 25, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, Vegetables, Inventions

Light-up Traffic Glove





Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 25, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, 1930s, Cars

Automatic Tarot Machine

Invented in the late 1970s by Vincent Siano and his cousin Nicholas Piazza. They named it the Tarottells Machine. However, it doesn't seem to have ever made it onto store shelves. So, for now, tarot readers remain unthreatened by the automation that has swept other industries.

Nicholas Piazza with the Tarottells Machine



Some details about the Tarottells Machine from an AP News story by Kay Bartlett (June 11, 1978 in the Allentown Morning Call):

Siano and Piazza have high hopes for their Tarottells Machine, an invention that so excites Vinnie, the spokesman, that he likes to take off his jacket and stand as he describes it.

Siano, an artist at Grumman Aircraft and a textbook illustrator, rises to lyrical heights demonstrating his machine: "This is the first time in the history of the world — the first Tarot machine. Automation has come to Tarot..."

The machine, with cursor and compass, has a custom carrying case. The game is made of black plastic and bright orange Tarot cards and measures some 27 inches square.

You get the cards' message by pressing a lever to cut the cards three times to the left — mandatory procedure in Tarot. Then they spin around until another lever activates a silver pointer that singles out the card.

"We have also incorporated astrology to get the best possible reading," says Siano, whipping out a tray of beautifully drawn figures of the Zodiac. "And we have also adopted ESP into this machine.

"You'll get a better answer from this than any Ouija Board. What we need is a dynamic corporation that has the guts to turn this thing out."

Siano says a big toy manufacturer had the machine in its vaults for six weeks, but the man who thought it a good idea was fired and the machine was returned.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 23, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Predictions, Technology, 1970s

The collar saw of Carl Kusch

Carl Kusch of Germany invented a way that a person would never be without a saw when they needed one, because the saw could be worn around their neck at all times. From his 1909 patent:

This invention relates to a saw which can be worn on the dress or on the person and is also provided with a frame adapted to serve as a guard.
The invention consists in a flexible saw frame convertible at any time by suitable means into a rigid frame and which is so constructed that the saw blade can be put into the frame in the known manner, when the saw is used as a tool, or be fixed to the flat side of the frame when the frame is used as a guard. In the latter case the frame of the saw protects the dress or the body from contact with the saw blade.



Kusch evidently had high hopes for his invention, because he obtained patents for it in the United States, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Although in his patent he never explained who he thought was going to buy the thing. The military, I'm guessing, because it seems designed to be part of a German soldier's uniform. Although as far as I know, no army ever outfitted its soldiers with this thing.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 22, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Fashion, Inventions, Military, 1900s

The Corpus Clock, aka Chronophage

The first video is pretty, the second, explanatory.

Wikipedia page here.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 19, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Art, Buildings and Other Structures, Culture and Civilization, Inventions, Time-travel, Fictional Monsters

The use of blood to make concrete



In 1980, Charles Laleman of France received a US patent (No. 4,203,674) for a technique for making concrete by mixing together cement with blood. His patent described a variety of different recipes one could use to create this blood concrete. For instance:

EXAMPLE 1
A light colloidal concrete is prepared by using:
a commercially available cement (cement CPA 400), a silico-calcareous sand graded no higher than 0.8 mm (the cement/sand mass ratio being equal to 1), whole blood powder of animal origin, a colloid, and mixing water in variable proportions.
The various constituents are mixed by means of a mixer working between 100 and 600 r.p.m.



The advantage of using blood, Laleman argued, was that the oxygen in it produced a lighter concrete.

Curiously, Laleman acknowledged that the idea of using blood to make concrete wasn't in any way new. He cited a variety of earlier patents, such as US patent 1,020,325 from 1912 which described mixing blood into concrete. And, in fact, the technique of using blood to make concrete was even practiced by the ancient Romans.

What made Laleman's technique unique (and therefore patentable) was apparently that he used it specifically to lighten the concrete, rather than to color it or to make it more porous. That seems like a rather fine distinction to me, but it was enough to earn him a patent.

Laleman's list of earlier patents includes another oddity. He refers to US Patent No. 3,536,507 (from 1970) which describes making concrete by combining cement with "an admixture which is derived from the fermentation liquor resulting from the aerobic fermentation of liquid carbohydrates, e.g., molasses from beet or cane sugar, corn, wheat or wood pulp." That sounds like a fancy way of saying they were mixing cement with beer.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 15, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Engineering and Construction, Inventions, 1980s, Blood

Radioactive Vending Machine Tokens

Sometimes vendors would like to sell relatively high-value items in vending machines. That is, merchandise worth more than a candy bar. Nowadays that's not a problem because there's technology that can scan paper currency or read credit cards, making larger transactions possible.

But back in the 1960s, vending machines relied on coins for payment, so selling high-value merchandise wasn't practical. Especially since the machines could only measure weight, shape, and size to determine if the coins were real — and these characteristics are easy to fake with low-value blanks.

The British printing company Thomas de la Rue devised a solution: radioactive vending machine tokens.

Its researchers realized it would be possible to create tokens made out of layers of radioactive materials such as uranium and carbon14. These tokens would emit unique radioactive signatures that could be measured by Geiger counters inside a vending machine. Such tokens wouldn't be easy to forge. The company patented this idea in 1967.

I'm not aware that any vending machines accepting radioactive tokens were ever put into to use.

I imagine they would have suffered from the same problem that plagued other efforts to put radiation to practical, everyday use — such as the radioactive golf balls we posted about a few months ago (the radiation made it possible to find the balls if lost). The radiation from one token (or golf ball) wasn't a health hazard, but if a bunch of them were stored together, then the radiation did become a problem.



Nashua Telegraph - Jan 11, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 08, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

Canned Sunshine

Edward W. Boersteler, of Watertown, MA, was the inventor of the ‘Curay Light Applicator,’ aka ‘Canned Sunshine.’ Back in the 1920s and 30s, he marketed it as a cure for the common cold. It emitted ultraviolet light, which people were supposed to shine down their throats, killing the germs.

In the selection of text below (taken from an article in the Chilicothe Constitution Tribune - Oct 16, 1925), I didn't correct any of the misspellings. In particular, I wasn't sure whether the phrase "ultra violent light" was a mistake, or intentional.

“Previous cure has ben hampered by the inability to get directly at the germs in these darkened passages, but in the new invention the curative rays are played directly onto the germs, being transmitted through a smal rod of the marvelous substance known as fused quartz.

“Fused quartz transmits ultra violent or invisible light without loss, whereas ordinary window glass shuts out ultra violent light which is the curative agent in sunshine.

“In the Curay Light aplicator,” Boerrsteler continued, “we have produced a source of radient energy closely approximating concentrated sunlight in the upper altitude, with an equivalent ultra violent content. Though it is a potent germ killer, it is harmless to the cels of the body.

image source: Harvard University Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments



Chilicothe Constitution Tribune - Oct 16, 1925

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 03, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Inventions, 1920s

Monkey jockeys race greyhounds

In the early 1930s, a new feature was introduced at some greyhound races: monkey jockeys. Apparently the crowds loved the idea. The problem was, the monkeys had trouble staying on the backs of the greyhounds. Animal trainer Rennie Renfro came up with a solution — a special harness that would tie the monkey onto the back of the dog. Renfro patented his invention in 1933.

It probably made him some money, because I can find descriptions of races with monkey jockeys for decades afterwards.





Rennie Renfro (left) and his wife
St. Louis Post Dispatch - July 2, 1933



image source: Greyhound Articles Online

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 01, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Sports, 1930s

House Music



Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 27, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Inventions, Music

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