The Recording Rosary

Damon Doherty invented the "Recording Rosary" so that people could pray the Rosary while driving. As a traveling jewelry salesman he found that "Rosary beads sometimes became tangled in the gear shift as he prayed his way from city to city." So he invented a solution (Design Patent 167,827).

I'm not Catholic, and know very little about praying the Rosary, but I've got a few questions about his invention.

First, is it considered okay to multitask while praying the Rosary? So it's okay to pray the Rosary while driving a car?

Second, the second article below notes that his Recording Rosary was "an actual Rosary of legitimate material." What are the 'legitimate' materials that Rosary beads can be made out of?

Boston Globe - Feb 22, 1953

Omaha Our Sunday Visitor - Mar 15, 1953

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 14, 2024
     Category: Religion | Patents | 1950s | Cars

Caveat: I was raised Catholic but haven't been in a church or spoken to a priest since 1975. I know I was taught how to pray the Rosary, but I never got all the way through it on my own. Also, despite my many and varied interests, I've never delved into Catholic rites, rituals or history. Therefore, all I can relate are my impressions and beliefs concerning this issue.

I'm rather surprised the clergy approved this. The whole point to the repetition of prayers is to reach a meditative state, freeing your mind to contemplate the mysteries. It is, in practical terms, a form of self-hypnosis for those seeking calm and a separation from worldly things. That's all well and good, but do you want to be driving seventy mph while in a trance? More importantly, in a situation where all that separates you from a gory death is a white line and a tacit agreement not to play bumper cars, do you want other drivers lost in deep contemplation?

As for 'legitimate' materials, all I can say is they've been made of everything from knotted string to black diamonds. I know the Catholic Church considers some materials profane, but I don't have to slightest idea of what those materials might be or how/where you'd find an accurate list.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/14/24 at 05:01 PM
@Phideaux: I dare say the clergy did *not* approve of this. I dare say neither did the highway authority, and that with rather higher fines. (After all, what can the clergy do - proscribe you another rosary?) But none of that matters to the Patent Office. They don't even care if your invention works - all they care about is that it's an invention, and that it's yours.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/20/24 at 08:37 AM
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