The Husband Detector
Dr. Gordon Volkenant seems like he was quite the character. In 1947, he invented a gadget he called the "husband detector." It was basically a motion detector, designed to help wives catch their husbands who were trying to sneak unheard into the house after a late night at the bar. When it sensed someone coming through the door, it set off a loud siren. link: Pittsburgh Press
Volkenant promptly became the first husband to be caught by his own device, when it rang the alarm as he tried to sneak into his house at 3 a.m. link: Washington Reporter
And based on the look of him, I'm guessing he wasn't just at the bar until 3 a.m. Here he is in 1948 demonstrating another of his gadgets, which he called an "electronic humidistat." He claimed it could detect hosiery defects in nylon stockings when he waved it up and down a woman's leg. It looks a lot like a regular lightbulb to me. I'm sure he found it necessary to test on many women.
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
The only "detector" I know of that is 100% accurate is the one that tells when a politician is lying. Their lips are moving.
Posted by Todd on 04/25/12 at 10:03 AM
If cell phones had been around back then this guy would have had is nailed to the wall of the ladies powder room.
Posted by Expat47 in Prague, CZ on 04/25/12 at 10:07 AM
I'm reminded of a late '60's commercial for Union 76 gasoline, I think, where a guy is caught coming home late because his car engine is "knocking" or pre-detonating because of low octane gasoline.
"I could hear you coming home, Harry! Ping, ping, ping all the way down the block!"
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 04/25/12 at 10:51 AM
I remember as a teenager pushing my car down the street before sneaking away or turning off the engine and lights and "gliding" back into the driveway late at night.
Posted by BrokeDad on 04/25/12 at 04:50 PM
Our lovely old house has the stereotypical squeaky stairs; great for catching teenagers coming home later than instructed to.
Posted by ScoutC on 04/25/12 at 07:32 PM
That sounds like you BD!
My hubby is very well behaved, no need for this device.
Posted by patty in Ohio, USA on 04/25/12 at 10:43 PM
I could see this being handy in certain households.
Note that there is no mention of an alarm on the back door as she wouldn't want THAT alarm giving hubby a clue as to why she's so keen on knowing when he comes home unexpectedly!
Posted by Captain DaFt on 04/26/12 at 08:20 PM
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