Category:
Inventions

Smalt

It was intended to be a hi-tech salt shaker that could play music, had mood lights, and could sync with Amazon’s Alexa, while also dispensing salt in measured amounts. Plus it would track your salt intake. Its creators were looking for $25,000 in crowdfunding to start production, but only raised $9426.

More info: indiegogo



Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 16, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, Technology

Compliment Mirror

A new, weird invention from Japan. A mirror that compliments you. More info from JapanTrends.com:

The mirror, apparently only available as a prototype right now, has a sexy male voice that will compliment and chat with the woman looking into the mirror. Incorporating a monitor display, camera, and speaker, the device can scan and read the emotions of the user from her face, changing the way it interacts accordingly.

This reminds me of the Digital Wife I posted about recently. Seems like another device aimed at the large number of Japanese people who seem to live alone.

The company website



Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 12, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Love & Romance

Invention Merit Badge

The Invention Merit Badge has the distinction of being the least-earned boy scout merit badge ever. Only 10 people ever earned it. The primary reason for this being that it required a scout to "invent and patent some useful article," which was a pretty high bar to set. After only three years the scout organization decided it was too much of a challenge and discontinued the badge. So it was only offered from 1911 to 1914. It was eventually replaced in 2010 by an Inventing badge which didn't have the patent requirement.

Enthusiasts of scout history have tried to figure out who the 10 winners of the badge were and what they invented, but so far it seems that only one of the patents has been identified. It was a "uniform coat with a removable false sleeve on which Scouts could sew merit badges and rank badges," patented by Graeme Thomas Smallwood of Washington, D.C.

More info: Scouting Magazine, "History of the Invention Merit Badge" [pdf]



Graeme Smallwood

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 05, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inventions, 1910s

Whisper Seat

Patent awarded to Paul Bungo of Ambridge, Pennsylvania - July 20, 1971:

A principal object of the present invention is to provide a whisper seat for a toilet and which prevents sounds, made within a toilet bowl during a bowel movement, from being heard by other persons.
Another object is to provide a whisper seat which accordingly will eliminate the embarrassment to an occupant of a bath room that persons outside thereof have heard him during a bowel movement.

I can't imagine that this invention actually worked, because how would it stop the sound from coming out from between your legs?

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 02, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Flatulence, 1970s

The Rolligon





Wikipedia entry.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 14, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Motor Vehicles, 1950s

Toe Holder for Sunbathers

Invented by Russell Greathouse of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Patented on Jan 23, 1973.

This invention relates to a toe holder or similar device for holding one’s feet together when sunbathing or the like, and it includes the process of applying the toe holder.

When a sunbather lies on his back his feet are not normally held perpendicular to the ground, but swing outward. As a result, the inner surfaces of the legs are subjected more intensely to the sun’s rays than the outer surfaces. By the use of a toe holder or similar device which holds the big toes adjacent one another a relatively uniform burning effect is obtainable.

The toe holder shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 includes two rings 5 and 6 joined by the web 7. There is a small hole 8 through the web. This hole is not necessary but provides means for decorating the toe holder, and in the drawing the stem 10 of a flower (natural or artificial) is held in the opening 8.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 12, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, 1970s

The Advertising Chair



When the chair rocked, visible adverts scrolled in the arms of the chair. So much for our age having a monopoly on intrusive ads.



Complete patent here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 12, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Technology, Advertising, Interior Decorating, 1900s

Inductive Nasal Device

Norman Lake's cure for the common cold. Otherwise known as the "IND".

the temperature in the nose normally is around 91 degrees, making it an ideal breeding ground for the rhinoviruses, he said. Lake contends that this is where his idea has merit. By clamping the nose for up to an hour, the temperature inside rises to around 98 degrees and the cold never gets a chance to take root.

More info: Chicago Tribune - Nov 20, 1985

Chambersburg Public Opinion - Apr 23, 1982



Arizona Republic - May 8, 1982

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 10, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Inventions, 1980s

Method of Preserving the Dead

Patented Dec 29, 1903 by Joseph Karwowski:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in methods of preserving the dead; and it has for its object the provision of a means whereby a corpse may be hermetically incased within a block of transparent glass, whereby being effectually excluded from the air the corpse will be maintained for an indefinite period in a perfect and life-like condition, so that it will be prevented from decay and will at all times present a lifelike appearance...

In carrying out my process I first surround the corpse 1 with a thick layer 2 of sodium silicate or water-glass. After the corpse has been thus inclosed within the layer of waterglass it is allowed to remain for a short time within a compartment or chamber having a dry heated temperature, which will serve to evaporate the water from this incasing layer, after which molten glass is applied to the desired thickness. This outer lay of glass may be molded into a rectangular form 3, as shown in Fig. 2 of the drawings, or, if preferred, cylindrical or other forms may be substituted for the rectangular block which I have illustrated. In Fig. 3 I have shown the head only of the corpse as incased within the transparent block of glass, it being at once evident that the head alone may be preserved in this manner, if preferred.

It will be at once noted that a body preserved in this way may be kept indefinitely, as the body being hermetically inclosed within the outer glass covering it will be impossible for air to reach it, and hence it will be effectually preserved from decay. The glass surrounding the corpse being transparent, the body will be at all times visible.


Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 07, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Inventions, 1900s

Non-melting popsicle

Recently announced by the U.K. design firm Bompas & Parr, who say that it took them a year to develop and that it was "designed with global warming in mind," so that lollipops popsicles won't melt, even as temperatures rise. Or, at least, the popsicles will only melt very slowly.

The technology is based on pykrete, which is a frozen mixture of sawdust and water that resists melting. Pykrete was invented during WWII, and for a while the British Royal Navy was considering building a supersized aircraft carrier out of the stuff.

The non-melting popsicle uses edible fruit fibers instead of sawdust to achieve the same non-melting effect. A company rep said, "The texture of the ice lolly is not far off a regular lolly, though a tad chewy."

More info: fast company



Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 24, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Candy, Inventions

Page 1 of 28 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›



Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner




weird universe thumbnail
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 books such as Elephants on Acid.

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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •