Category:
Patents

Multi-dimensional rotating chess

Recently patented by Craig Wallace Coulter. Patent No. 11,896,913.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 15, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Games, Patents

Trick Chair

Bang! And down goes the victim!

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 09, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Patents, 1900s, Pranks

Ornamental Ash Tray

The entire patent, figure and text, is given below. How I wish the inventor had gone on at length about his design.





Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 05, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Obscenity, Patents, Smoking and Tobacco, 1940s

Defecation relief unit for aeroplane personnel

How do fighter pilots poop while in the air? I think the answer is that they try very hard not to, because if they have to go, they're going in their flight suit. Back in the 1950s Constantin Paul Lent, et al., tried to come up with an alternative. From their patent (No. 2,749,558):

This device relates to feces and urine elimination cabinets and more particularly to defecation relief devices used by aircraft pilots and other key flying personnel. More particularly it relates to feces and urine elimination cabinets which may find utilization in single pilot driven aircraft.

Comparatively speaking it is an easy matter to provide adequate latrines for the men in the forces on land and sea. When the time comes to eliminate, one just walks to the nearest comfort station. But in the Air Force the problem of elimination can not be always solved that easily especially by aviation pilots...

The applicants are cognizant that there are relief tubes provided on most all jet planes for urinating, but no single seat aircraft is equipped with a safe and sure means for defecation. When the pilot of the jet, due to accident or enemy action needs to eliminate, the problem of defecation becomes acute. The pilot must wait until he lands his craft; and quite often he must remain aloft for a considerable length of time before he has a chance to visit a comfort station on the ground. In many cases due to the physiological and psychological effects produced on the pilot by enemy action, he is forced to eliminate even before he has a chance to land his plane.


Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 24, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Flight, Patents, Excrement, Air Travel and Airlines, 1950s

Smoking Facts

Seemed odd to me that the ad would not only mention that they've got "a patent on flavor," but also give the patent number (3828800). So I had to look it up. Turned out to be a fairly boring patent for "an improved cigarette filter material... formed from the porous, granular salt of a weakly basic anion exchange resin."

Sports Illustrated - Nov 14, 1977



Coos Bay World - Nov 4, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 13, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising, Patents, Smoking and Tobacco, 1970s, Billboards

Electricura Shoes

John Wilson Gibbs claimed that his patented "electric shoe" would cure rheumatism.

Kansas City Star - July 23, 1907



How the shoes generated electricity is explained in his 1903 patent (No. 740,548). They contained zinc and copper nails. The two metals, when combined with sweaty feet, would form a galvanic cell, producing a mild electric current.

This invention relates to an electric shoe; and its object is to provide, in connection with the sole of a shoe or other article of footwear, a means permanently attached thereto, such that an electric current will be generated under the influence of the foot of the wearer. . .

The sole of the shoe is shown at A, and in the upper surface thereof there are driven or otherwise inset a series of nails or studs B, with each of which there is associated a similar nail or stud C. The studs of the series B are preferably of zinc and those of the series C preferably of copper, thereby providing pairs of elements of dissimilar metals or opposite in sign such that when contacted with by the foot of the wearer from the influence of the warmth or moisture of the person or for other reasons an electric current will be generated, passing from one element to the other through the body of the wearer. The medical and therapeutic effects of such a current are well known, and I claim herein only the specific construction of the means for obtaining such a current.

What he doesn't mention is that the metals would quickly corrode, at which point the electricity would stop. Not that such a tiny amount of electricity would have had any therapeutic effect anyway.

Of course, this was back in the era when adding the word "electric" to any product was a sure way to give it more consumer appeal. A long time ago I had a brief article published in Smithsonian magazine in which I gave some examples of this phenomenon.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 11, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Shoes, 1900s

Humanoid Hugging Assembly

Walton Richardson of Murfreesboro, Tennessee was recently granted a patent (No. 11865695) for a "humanoid hugging assembly."

The headless, animatronic torso says phrases such as, "I know you need a hug," "Come get a hug," and "You are special." When someone approaches it spreads its arms invitingly, and then it hugs them.



Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 09, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Patents

Special Driver Gloves for Signalling

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 02, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Signage, 1920s, Cars

The Sony SmartWig

Sony was granted a patent for its "SmartWig" in 2016, but, to date, it doesn't seem to have brought the device to market.

The idea was that a person could pair their smartphone with the wig and then receive "tactile feedback" (such as a vibration) when they received a text or email.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The SmartWig had many more potential uses, such as the following:

During a presentation the user may, for example, move forward or backward through presentation slides by simply pushing the sideburns, i.e. by pushing the one or more buttons. Thus, the user can control the presentation slides simply by natural behavior like touching side burns. Additionally, the wearable computing device may comprise a laser pointer that is arranged in or on the wig. The laser pointer may, for example, be arranged on a forehead part of the wig, so that the user may point out relevant information on the projected slide in the above-explained presentation mode.

I imagine it would be a lot more difficult to aim a laser pointer with your head rather than your hand. Not to mention it would look bizarre.



#40 represents the possible location of a laser pointer

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 24, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Patents, Hair and Hairstyling

Harold Tifft’s Portable Nuclear Bomb Shield

Harold Tifft claimed that his portable shield would "protect the wearer against heat, atomic radiation, atomic fall-out and flying debris in the event of nuclear warfare." When not in use it fit inside a carrying case, but when needed it could be rapidly assembled into a full-body shield. From his patent:

The compactness of the shield (due to the telescoping of the various sections) permits the owner thereof to easily carry it with him from place to place. Also, due to its compactness, it can be easily and unobtrusively stored in either the office or the home. When an alarm is sounded by civil defense authorities, civilians who have the described shield close at hand would be able to fit themselves with the shield in a very short period of time. A civilian thus outfitted could then place himself against the floor, the ground, or a vertical surface and wait until the explosion has occurred or the danger passed. The fact that each lower section telescopes with the section next above it enables the wearer to raise as many sections as may be necessary to permit walking or running in the event that the wearer is suddenly forced to abandon his position in favor of a safer one.

In his patent he never mentioned how much the thing weighed. Carrying the thing around constantly would surely have been a challenge.







Cincinnati Post - Jan 26, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 19, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

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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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