Burp Gas Filterer

The Burp Gas Filtering Device: Patent No. 7070638, issued July 4, 2006. It serves two functions in one. You can deodorize your burp, and if your dinner companion needs a pen to sign the check, you'll have one to offer.

Burp or eructation odors have been a source of annoyance or concern in polite society for hundreds of years. Far too often, the foods that we love most cause us to belch. To the person who is belching, the odor may be a trifling annoyance, especially if the burp was the result of an enjoyable meal. However, for persons in the close vicinity of the burp, the burp is simply an unpleasant odor of someone else's partially digested food. Many people wish to eliminate the burp odor so as to avoid offending others...
The burp filtering device has the body of a writing pen, with an intake port at the upper end of the body, a plurality of exhaust ports adjacent the writing tip and a filter disposed within the body. The filter may be made of activated charcoal or other media for filtering and adsorbing or absorbing eructation odors. In use, the user holds the upper end of the pny body to his lips, releases the suppressed burp and the filtered, deodorized gas is exhausted through the ports at the writing tip...
Still another object of the invention is to provide a device for eliminating burp odors that also serves as a writing instrument.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 09, 2009 - Comments (12)
Category: Hygiene, Inventions

The Horse Life Preserver

Patent No. 1265580, issued May 1918:

Be it known that I, Michael Zofchak, a citizen of the United States, residing at Pittsburg, in the county of Allegheny and State of Pennsylvania, have invented new and useful Improvements in Animal Life-Preservers, of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to life preservers, and more especially it is intended for quick application to a draft horse, pack mule, or other animal which is carrying war supplies and which may possibly be a cavalry horse, so that when a stream or river is reached the animal can swim across with his load and possibly with his driver and the necessity for building a bridge is avoided.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 04, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Animals, Inventions

Happy Cheese Parings Day

Let's take a moment to remember Thor Bjørklund, the Norwegian inventor of the cheese slicer. From Wikipedia:

He was annoyed that he could not get slices as thin as he wanted when he sliced cheese with a knife. Therefore in Lillehammer he began to experiment with a plane in the hope that he could create something similar for use in the kitchen. He succeeded.

And on this day, in 1925, he received a patent for the cheese slicer. According to, "27 February ever since has been celebrated as osteskorperdagen, 'cheese-parings day', the biggest holiday in the Norwegian calendar, when everyone gorges themselves on thin slices of cheese in the cold, icy streets."

Sounds to me like a good way to spend the day.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 27, 2009 - Comments (10)
Category: Food, Holidays, Inventions

Machine to Cure Headaches

Image from Text from the Salt Lake Tribune, Dec 10, 1939:

A Machine to Cure Headaches
Sufferers from chronic headaches may be interested in the contrivance pictured herewith. The inventor calls it a mechanical chiropractor and he says that through its use it is possible to find relief from headaches, poor circulation and indigestion.
The machine is somewhat complicated but it is said to put a patient through a course of exercises as vigorous as those employed by a skilled chiropractor. It is said to also correct curvature of the spine, weakness and many other ailments in the treatment of which the average chiropractor specializes.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 23, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Inventions, Medicine

Albert Bacon Pratt’s Helmet Gun

In 1916 Albert Bacon Pratt of Lyndon, Vermont was issued patent No. 1183492 for a "gun adapted to be mounted on and fired from the head of the marksman." The wearer fired the gun by blowing into a tube. Most of Pratt's patent application is fairly dry and technical, but here he offers his thoughts on some of the advantages of his invention:

The weapon described has many advantages. The gun is automatically aimed unconsciously and incidentally to the turning of the head of the marksman in the direction of the target. In self-protection, one immediately, instinctively turns the head in the direction of attack to see the enemy, or, in hunting, toward any sound made by nearby game. Thus the gun is automatically directed toward the mark in the course of the first instinctive movement. With the gun thus aimed, the only further operation necessary to fire the same is to blow through the tube and thereby expand the bulb and operate the trigger. This is accomplished entirely from the head of the marksman, leaving his hands and feet free further to defend himself or for other purposes as desired. Under some circumstances the gun can be fired not only without the use of the hands and feet, but also without the use of the eyes of the marksman. For example, in hunting at night if an animal made a sound in underbrush, the head of the marksman would be instinctively turned in the direction of the sound and then the gun would be fired, without the use of the eyes of the marksman.

Pratt then points out that his invention is useful not only in combat, but also in the kitchen:

The crown section of the helmet when detached from the base of the helmet may be inverted and used as a cooking utensil, the elongated hood projecting therefrom for protecting the barrel of the gun serving as the handle therefor.

Pratt claimed he had solved the problem of recoil:

The "blow-back" causes the breech-bolt to retreat and automatically cock the hammer, but the strong spring back of the breech-bolt forces the same so quickly forward again following the recoil, that the two movements naturalize one another so promptly that no discomfort to the wearer results from the recoil.

But I suspect he didn't have all the bugs ironed out, which must be why such a useful invention never caught on.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 20, 2009 - Comments (16)
Category: Inventions, Weapons

Cell Mate

Remember that picture of a "hands-free cell phone" that circulated around for years?

I couldn't help but think of it when I saw the "Cell-Mate" hands-free device being sold by Laser Products Industries. Seriously, why not just use a rubber band? It would be a lot cheaper.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 10, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions

Book Holder Bracelet

I can see the utility of a book holder. Often use them myself. But a book holder on your wrist? Maybe if you wanted to read while driving...

From Popular Science, Apr 1930:

Handy Bracelet Serves As Magazine Holder
What might be a convenience to readers is a unique wrist attachment recently designed for holding magazines and small periodicals open before the eye at arm's length. This novel book holder is a bracelet fitting snugly about the forepart of the wrist, to which is fixed a small bracket firmly supporting the periodical just as the "lyre" of a cornet supports sheet music.
The device is adjustable to any wrist and may be obtained in sterling silver or nickel, silver, or gold plated.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 09, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions

Human Body Flinger

This invention promised to stop people from getting run over by trucks by violently flinging them out of the way. I don't know why it never caught on. From Popular Science, Feb 1931:

Front Roller on Truck Prevents Accidents
Designed to prevent pedestrians from being run over, a British motor truck has a large roller before its front wheels, which rotates in the opposite direction to the wheels. If a person is knocked down the tires cannot touch him, since the roller's reverse rotation throws him away from the vehicle. It thus has time to stop before doing him serious injury.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 06, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions

Lamp Cord Lighter

File this under Useless Inventions. From Popular Science, Feb 1929:

Novel Lamp Cord Holds Cigarette Lighter
An electric lamp cord suspending a heating element from which the smoker can light his cigar or cigarette is the latest novelty for the living room. The lighter comes in a variety of colors to match the twisted silk-covered wire cord and so has the appearance of a tassel at the end of the cord. Pressing a button turns on the electric current for the heating element. Another switch, located higher on the cord, governs the lighting of the lamp. The device is installed by simply unscrewing the electric light bulb, screwing in a special socket, and replacing the bulb.

Actually, I don't think it would be that hard to make something like this. I'm pretty sure you can buy all the parts off-the-shelf (heating element, cord, etc.). Maybe I'll go into business selling these on eBay.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 18, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions

The Balloon Chair

I'd like to use this the next time I travel by airplane. From Popular Science, Sep 1937:

There are more details about it in the Oct 1937 issue of Popular Science.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 13, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Travel

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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 books such as Elephants on Acid.

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