Category:
Patents

Combined coat hanger and musical instrument

I wonder if Louis Jacobs thought he was going to strike it rich when he came up with his idea for a "combined hanger and musical instrument." From his 1918 patent:

Be it known that I, Louis Jacobs, a citizen of the United States, residing at San Francisco, in the county of San Francisco and State of California, have invented new and useful Improvements in Combined Hangers and Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

The object of the present invention is to provide a device for hanging shoes and other articles, and which can also be used as a musical instrument.




But how did it work as a musical instrument? Again from his patent:

The device may also be used in the following manner as a musical instrument: Thin pieces of paper are placed on opposite sides of the wire screen frame, and the frame, after the paper has been thus placed, is brought up to the mouth and the performer sings, speaks, or hums through the paper. The sound of the voice is first split up through the fine pores in the paper, striking the front side of the wire screen and causing vibrations therein, then passing through the holes to the rear side of the wire screen, again causing vibrations therein, so that the sound of the voice is magnified. Any tone, or tune, or the sound of any instrument or the phonograph can be imitated thereby. The effect of these vibrations on the nerves is soothing and quieting. It is also useful in talking to deaf persons, as the sound can be heard by them much better than the ordinary voice.

I can just imagine Jacobs talking to deaf people through his musical coat hanger.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 17, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Patents, 1910s

Dead Bird Decoy Holder

When a wooden or plastic decoy just won't do!

Full patent here.




Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 12, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Animals, Hunting, Trapping and Other Wilderness Activities, Imitations, Forgeries, Rip-offs and Faux, Patents, 1910s

Face mask with simulated nose hairs

Uday Singh of Bloomfield, NJ was recently granted Patent No. 11413194 for a face mask with simulated nose hairs.

The idea is that having openings protected by "filter material" (aka fake nose hairs) will solve the problem of mask fogging.

Singh refers to his invention as "an aesthetically pleasing covering for protecting otherwise exposed nasal and/or other facial surfaces." Based on the picture below, 'aesthetically pleasing' isn't the first term that comes to mind.



via Jeff Steck

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 06, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Costumes and Masks, Patents

Instant Facelift Device

In 1971, Leah Heale of San Jose, CA was granted Patent No 3,575,165 for this rather uncomfortable looking "facelift device." From the patent:

A facelift device adapted to be worn on the head in a manner that it may be covered by a wig, the facelift device including an anchor portion adapted to be engaged by the ends of a multiplicity of tension members, the other ends of which are selectively secured to the wearer's skin closely adjacent the hairline and in a position to tension the skin to eliminate lines and wrinkles therefrom.



A discussion of it New Scientist magazine (Aug 15, 1974):

Since opportunity has not yet been afforded for scientific examination of a wrinkled lady wearing this face-lifting top-knot, judgement of its efficacy can only be theoretical. But there does seem the psychological danger that its wearers would suffer under the delusion that they were being continually assailed by scalp-hunting Sioux Indians.

And according to researchers in the General Motors laboratories examining the reactions of the human body in accident situations, some expertise may be vital in judging the degree of tension applied to the temple-grippers. The GM people reported that the scalp, notably tough and elastic, can stand forces up to 610 lb per square inch before tissue damage sets in. Facial covering is less resistant and that over the cheekbones shows wear and tear at a load of 208 lb. So tensing the scalp-hackles to anything much over a third of their overhead capacity might well result in the beauty-seeker finding herself instead with her nose coming away at the seams and her ears getting a divorce from her cranium.

And even if all tensilities were precisely adjusted, one cannot banish the feeling that the taut-faced beauty, though smoother-cheeked than any baby's bottom, would have her brows so steeply arched and her eyes so shockingly widened that she would spend her day bearing a look of permanent surprise and with the mien of one who is being externally goosed.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 01, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Patents, 1970s, Skin and Skin Conditions

Moving Advertisements for Devices and Vehicles

Are you tired of screens at the gas pumps that flash ads? Or perhaps screens on buses and taxis that display same? You can perhaps blame Elias Atherton Lyon, who patented such a notion in 1910.









Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 30, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, Advertising, 1910s

The Fuse Ball

In 1926, Philip S. Kane of Pennsylvania received a patent for his "fuse ball" (Patent No. 1,583,721). It was a golf ball with a fuse. Before teeing off, you'd light the fuse, which would then start emitting smoke. That way, you could find the ball wherever you hit it, even if it landed in tall grass.

According to various media reports, while testing his ball Kane accidentally set a wheat field on fire, but I haven't seen any proof to back up that story.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 15, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Sports, Golf, Patents, 1920s

Breast Douche

When a simple washcloth just won't do.

Full patent is here.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 11, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Body, Hygiene, Patents, 1910s

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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.

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