The Inventions of Walter Thiele

German inventor Walter Thiele made his fortune from the "laughsack," which he invented in 1968. It was a small bag that made a laughing sound when you squeezed it. He sold around 120 million of them. But he came up with many other inventions — Wikipedia says around 1600 of them. These include:

  • a yodeling hat
  • bad weather glasses with windshield wipers
  • Berlin air in cans
  • inflatable pretzel
  • bicycle with a steering wheel
  • fireproof attache case
  • A birth-control clock with red and green lights to indicate when a woman can conceive. (green lights were "safe days")
  • a wet diaper alarm
  • a "Love Sack" that played tape-recorded sounds of "love groans" when squeezed.
  • a plastic parrot that could say 17 pre-recorded phrases

But what has me curious is that in 1996, at the age of 75, he took out ads in German newspapers seeking someone who would be willing to marry his wife (and inherit his fortune) after he died. His wife, Renate, was 28. So he figured he would die before her, and they should search for a replacement together.

As far as I can tell, he's still alive. At least, I can't find any death notice for him. The German wikipedia doesn't have a date of death for him. He must be around 96 now, and Renate will be approaching 50. Does he still have a marital replacement lined up?

The laughsack

Walter Thiele (right) with his birth-control clock

Detroit Free Press - Jan 11, 1996

     Posted By: Alex - Mon May 01, 2017

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