An orthopedic appliance to produce permanent smiles

Patented by Josephine Rountree in 1926.

I wouldn't call having this thing strapped to your face as "without inconvenience to the user."

My invention relates to orthopedic appliances and has particular reference to an appliance adapted to be worn by the user, after retiring, whereby certain facial muscles will be trained to gradually produce the permanent effect of a smile on the countenance of the person using the appliance. The primary object of the invention is to produce such an effect and to counteract the sagging of the muscles around the corners of the mouth, due in most cases to advancing years.

Another object of the invention is to provide an appliance which will gradually train the muscles at the corners of the mouth into the position assumed by the act of smiling, without inconvenience to the user.

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 02, 2023
     Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Patents | 1920s

I'm pretty sure I saw those in the window display at Beatwell's House of Pain and Rope Emporium.

I suspect they'd have an effect opposite of what's intended. Any time a muscle is supported, it becomes weak. The muscles below would strengthen from constantly fighting against being stretched. Without the appliance in place, the upper muscles would sag, and the lower muscles would contract, giving you an enhanced frown.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/02/23 at 10:07 AM
My first thought was the smile of that Gotham City vilan "The Joker"
Posted by Teri on 07/02/23 at 11:48 PM
Phideaux, so that means you could wear a similar device that pulls on the corners of the mouth to create an artificial frown, and in a couple of months, the smile muscles would strengthen enough to give you a resting smiley face?
Posted by Yudith on 07/03/23 at 11:51 AM
Yudith . . . Sorry, no. The zygomaticus majors come to the mouth at an angle, so there's no good way to stretch them that doesn't involve stitches. Try putting your fingertips into the corners of your mouth and moving them to force a smile, then a frown. You'll feel the muscles at the lower corners stretch in a smile, but the uppers aren't really affected by a frown.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/03/23 at 05:48 PM
I don't want a permanent smile! There are some people who just deserve to be scowled at where-ever they appear.
Posted by Richard Bos on 07/08/23 at 09:37 AM
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