Category:
Inventions

Spanking Toy

Although cats are featured in the drawing, the inventor wants you to know the figures may be generalized to other animals or humans.

The patent is here.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 27, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Inventions, Patents, Toys, Sadism, Cruelty, Punishment, and Torture, 1900s

The Rotor Corres-File

This reminds me of the days when I used to have a filing cabinet. That now marks me as an old-timer.

Richmond Times Dispatch - Mar 15, 1953



Pittsburgh Press - Jul 20, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 25, 2022 - Comments (7)
Category: Inventions, Offices, Business Supplies, Institutional Regulations, 1950s

Portable Oasis

The "portable oasis" of Belgian artist Alain Verschueren consists of a small, plexiglass greenhouse that he wears over his head. He came up with the idea around 2005, but only got attention for it in 2020, due to Covid, when he began wearing it around town instead of a mask.

More info: Alain Verschueren, Reuters





I'll give Verschueren the benefit of the doubt and assume he wasn't aware of Waldemar Anguita's "greenhouse helmet," patented in 1986. The two ideas are basically identical.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 24, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Inventions, Patents

Combined Oscillator, Go-Cart, Sled and Step-Ladder

Sometimes you want to rock, sometimes you want to roll, sometimes you want to slide, and sometimes you want to climb.

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 10, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Children, 1900s

Word-Counter for Typewriters

Any user today of word-processing software knows instantly how many words a document contains. Could similar information be obtained for a typewritten document? Certainly!

The US Patent Office features several documents for similar devices, but I'm not sure they were ever produced. They had the theoretical advantage of also being hooked to various punctuation keys, so that when you hit such a key, the counter would also recognize the end of a word, as well as with the space bar.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 04, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Offices, Business Supplies, Institutional Regulations, 1930s

Bernard Bernard’s Height Increaser For Short People

"The patient lifted himself by the chin which was cradled in a sling attached to ropes looped to an overhead beam."

In 1937, the American Medical Association warned the public that this device, despite being widely advertised, didn't actually work.

The Muncie Star Press - Apr 9, 1937



Update: The inventor of this device was a man named Bernard Bernard who was, himself, only 5 feet 1 inch tall. Details from Hygeia (May 1936):

Another scheme exhibited at the World's Fair was the "Height-Increaser," consisting of a self hanging apparatus with a place for the head and with handles to be gripped with the hands. Fixed to an overhead beam, it was guaranteed to add inches to the growth. The promoter, Bernard Bernard, wrote touching advertisements berating the life of a small man and pointing out that his height-increaser was the road to being a "he-man." He admitted that the apparatus cost him 75 cents, but he sold 3,000 of them for $8.75 each. Bernard, who is only 5 feet, 1 inch tall, explained he had never had the time to increase his own height through his device, although he was then 38 years old.

LA Times - July 31, 1932



LA Times - May 1, 1930

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 02, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Inventions, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1930s

The Ross Unicycle

The birth of the Monowheel? See videos below.

The patent is here.





From SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:








Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 04, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Inventions, Nineteenth Century

German Rocket Car

First attempt: OK. Second attempt: not so much. The way they are covering up the car with a tarp at the end does not bode well for the fate of the driver.

The relevant Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 01, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, Inventions, 1920s, Europe, Cars

Edible Tape

A group of students at Johns Hopkins recently invented edible tape for burritos. They're calling their invention Tastee Tape.



I thought edible tape was a pretty old idea, and some searching quickly pulled up prior examples of it. But despite the idea being around for a while, I've never seen edible tape in a supermarket. So perhaps the Johns Hopkins version of it will be the one to catch on.

San Luis Obispo Tribune - Apr 13, 1991



Honolulu Star Bulletin - Sep 2, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 16, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Inventions

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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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