Category:
Patents

An orthopedic appliance to produce permanent smiles

Patented by Josephine Rountree in 1926.

I wouldn't call having this thing strapped to your face as "without inconvenience to the user."

My invention relates to orthopedic appliances and has particular reference to an appliance adapted to be worn by the user, after retiring, whereby certain facial muscles will be trained to gradually produce the permanent effect of a smile on the countenance of the person using the appliance. The primary object of the invention is to produce such an effect and to counteract the sagging of the muscles around the corners of the mouth, due in most cases to advancing years.

Another object of the invention is to provide an appliance which will gradually train the muscles at the corners of the mouth into the position assumed by the act of smiling, without inconvenience to the user.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 02, 2023 - Comments (5)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Patents, 1920s

What does this measure?

This is obviously a measuring device of some kind. But what exactly does it measure? The answer is below in extended.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 14, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Instruments and Measuring Devices

The Date Hat

Edward Oliveira of Newport, Rhode Island was granted a patent (#2,749,555) in 1956 for a "date hat". His idea was that, by wearing the hat, a young woman could display whether she was available for a date on a specific day. From the patent:

In high schools, colleges and the like, it is often impossible to carry on very much of a conversation during, or even between classes. Since many dates between boys and girls are most easily made when they are gathered together in school, it is a disadvantage not to be able to tell whether a girl is already dated for a particular day and hour. If a boy knew that one girl is already dated for the particular time he desires, he would quickly be able to attempt to date another girl who was not already dated. However, up to the present time, this has been difficult because, in many instances, there is not sufficient time to talk to every available girl to determine their date status. In order to remedy the above situation, it is one object of the present invention to provide an article of wearing apparel which can be set to indicate to any observer whether a girl has a date for the particular time desired.


I can see a problem with this concept. Would a young woman really want to publicly display that no one had asked her out?

Also, had Oliveira attempted to get dates by systematically asking out every girl in his school? Thus leading to his frustration that there was "not sufficient time to talk to every available girl to determine their date status."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 01, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Headgear, 1950s, Love & Romance

Bumper Bottle Opener

William Cowan didn't invent the bottle opener, but he did invent, and patent, a method for attaching a bottle opener to a car's bumper (Patent No. 2,674,141).

I can see the potential use for camping or tailgate parties. But it still seems odd that this was patentable. After all, could one get a new patent for every different object a bottle opener could potentially be attached to?

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 20, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Patents, 1950s, Cars

Body Exerciser

This looks like an excellent way to wreck your vertebrae.

Full patent here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 12, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Inventions, Patents, 1920s

Device for attracting submarines and the like

Submarines were a new menace during World War I, but Louis Schramm figured he had a way to defeat them. His invention (Patent No. 1,143,233) involved powerful electromagnets that would pull submarines to the sides of a ship where they could be electrified, killing their crew.

Critics pointed out that the magnets would attract anything metallic to the side of the ship, including mines.

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 08, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, War, Patents, 1910s

Wearable Canopy

Stylish rain gear.

More info: Patent No. 1,888,909

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 30, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Patents, 1930s, Weather

The Mole Torpedo

Weapon tunnels through the earth to the enemy. Why is this not in constant use today? Too easy nowadays to sense seismic activity?


Full patent here.




Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 10, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Inventions, Patents, War

Electro-Stimulation Bicycle

Inventors Young Sam Chun and Hyoung Tae Kim of Korea were recently granted Patent No. 11,458,310 for an "electro-stimulation type indoor bicycle." If I'm reading the patent correctly, it gives you an electric shock if you pedal too slow:

the electrical stimulation indoor bike can be characterized in that the control unit controls the electrical stimulation unit so as to generate stronger electrical stimulation than electrical stimulation corresponding to the speed profile, when a rotation speed of the pedal is slower than that of being defined in the speed profile.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 07, 2023 - Comments (5)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Patents

Wailing-Activated Rocking Cradle

Mister Muzzey had a good idea way back in 1962 and was actually ahead of his time--his patent also references a baby monitor to transmit the cries to the parents' room--but I wonder if his device ever went into production? As you can see below, there are modern versions today.





Amazon link.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 03, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies, Domestic, Inventions, Patents, Parents, 1960s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Page 5 of 24 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
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.

Paul Di Filippo
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •