Category:
Inventions

An apparatus for holding eyelids open

Alexander Barash of Illinois was recently granted a patent for an "apparatus for opening and holding eyelids open" (Patent No. 10842477).

The apparatus includes a supporting platform having a Y-type shape and including an upper beam configured for extending between a nose bridge and a forehead of the patient and for positioning on the forehead, a left leg and a right leg coupled to the upper beam, and configured for straddling a nose bridge of the patient and for positioning on patient's left and right cheeks, and a cross-arm mounted on the upper beam of the supporting platform. The apparatus also includes an opening assembly mounted on the cross-arm and configured for pulling an upper eyelid up for exposing an eye and retaining the eye of the patient in the open position.



I guess that A Clockwork Orange didn't count as prior art.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 12, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Eyes and Vision

The Vibro-Helmontholator

A fancy name for a worm catcher.

The Elizabethton Star - Jan 12, 1938



San Francisco Examiner - Dec 16, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 10, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Odd Names, 1930s

Mystery Gadget 90

What's this device do?



The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 10, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Technology, 1910s

Static



A quirky, out-of-place worker (Keith Gordon) at a crucifix factory invents a device he claims can show pictures of Heaven. Discouraged and confused by the inability of those around him to see anything but a screenful of static, he charismatically hijacks a bus of friendly elderly people in order to get media attention for his invention.


The director's page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 05, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Eccentrics, Crackpots, Inventions, Television, 1980s

Comforting Hand Pillow

Madeline Robertson was recently granted a patent for a pillow with a foam hand sewn onto it. She explains that the hand (or 'tactile object,' as she refers to it) "provides tactile sensory feedback to the user designed to comfort the user."

It reminds me of that robotic hand for people who have no one to hold their hand on walks we recently posted about.

Patent No. 10806281: Substrate having a therapeutic tactile object attached

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 30, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Sleep and Dreams

The Language of Deseret

I was unaware that Brigham Young created a new alphabet for his followers. "However, the alphabet failed to gain wide acceptance and was not actively promoted after 1869."

Here is a page at the official Mormon site that tells of it.



Here is an encyclopedia entry with the full alphabet.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 29, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Eccentrics, Inventions, Languages, Religion, Nineteenth Century

The feather paintings of Ida Jarvis

Ida Helen Jarvis came up with the idea of making pictures out of feathers. She would travel around the world, visiting zoos and aviaries to add to her feather collection. Then she would arrange the feathers to form pictures of landscapes, gluing or stitching the feathers onto a cardboard mat.

She was so taken with this idea that she decided to patent it (Patent No. 1,395,575, 1921). Included in her patent was the idea of using down to represent foam in a stream of water.

Her feather paintings must have been quite colorful. But unfortunately the only image of one I can find is the black-and-white drawing included with her patent.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 22, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Inventions, 1920s

Beauty Pillow

Patent No. 2,533,526 was granted to Yvonne Bersia Snyder of Forest Hills, NY for a "Beauty Pillow":

This invention relates to an article to be worn to prevent wrinkles and damaging of the skin tissues such as on the face. More particularly it deals with a pad or pillow which may be adjustably held against the side of the head to keep the skin from wrinkong or folding when the face is resting against a support, such as a pillow.
During sleep the tissues of the face are usually crushed or folded in the same position for hours at a time. For example, the flesh of the cheeks or face when flattened against the pillow during the sleeping hours pushes the skin forwards and settles in the hollows of the eyes where it produces wrinkles.
It is an object of this invention to prevent wrinkles or damaging of the skin tissues during rest.

Looks like it could also double as headgear for full-contact sports.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 15, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Inventions, Sleep and Dreams, 1950s

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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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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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.

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