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

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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:
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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

Franz Reichelt

On February 4, 1912 Franz Reichelt fell to his death from the Eiffel Tower. From Wikipedia:

Reichelt, known as the flying tailor, designed an overcoat to fly or float its wearer gently to the ground like the modern parachute. To demonstrate his invention he made a jump of 60 meters from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower, at that time the tallest man-made structure in the world. The parachute failed and Reichelt fell to his death. The jump was recorded by the cameras of the gathered press.

Now check out the video:

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 08, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Inventions

ACM Wallet

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Yes, for only $60.00 you can replace the rubber band that's currently wrapped around your driver's license and credit cards with an ACM Wallet, much too bulky to fit into any pocket or purse, but perfect for a Sherpa's knapsack. Imagine the awed look when you whip this out at a restaurant or store.

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I imagine the reaction you'd get would look something like this:

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 31, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Products, Inventions, Chindogu, Money

Hoberman Arch

Six years have passed since the whole world saw the wonderfully weird portal created by Chuck Hoberman, but it's never too soon to admire it again.

Wouldn't you want a small version of this in your home?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 30, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Inventions, Sports, Technology, Television

Animated Hitch Critters

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Why do I believe Sarah Palin has one of these butt-impaled animatronic deers on her truck hitch?

They also come in Bass, Dog, Duck, and Motorcycle-Riding Pig.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 09, 2008 - Comments (11)
Category: Animals, Business, Products, Cryptozoology, Inventions, Chindogu, Statues, Monuments and Memorials, Foreign Customs, Trucks

$500 Toilet Seat

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Goodness! I thought $500 toilet seats were only available to the Armed Forces! But you can have one too, if you visit this site.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 03, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Business, Products, Hygiene, Body Fluids, Excrement, Inventions, Foreign Customs

Airbag for People

A Japanese company has invented an airbag for people that deploys in the case of an accidental fall. It explains that it is designed particularly for elderly people with epilepsy, but of course it would also be very useful for drunks and klutzes.

I imagine it could also be used for recreational purposes -- like the game of trust. Do you dare to fall backwards and trust that the airbag will deploy?

The BBC has video of the people's airbag in action.

Update: Oops, hadn't noticed that Chuck had already posted this in his "more things to worry about." We need an airbag to protect against accidental double-posting!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (17)
Category: Inventions

Smelly Washer

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Americans hate stinky things, and seek relief from bad odors in the most unlikely products. I've brought Poo-Pourri to your attention, and Alex has reminded us of Odo-Ro-No. And now we have Smelly Washer, which, according to this article, is selling like beer at Oktoberfest.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 23, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Products, Domestic, Hygiene, Inventions, Money

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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 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.

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