2019 Patent Picks – Weird and Wonderful

If ever proof were needed that innovation knows no bounds, look no further than our list of out-of-the-ordinary patents.

This list is the third in a series; our 2018 selection and initial series from 2017 looked at more weird and wonderful patents from the last two centuries.

Improved Rocking-Chair (1869)

If you prefer to stay at home and relax during the holidays, this air-cooled rocking chair is for you. Patented by Charles Singer in 1869, this invention boasts “air-blowing attachments” and an elaborate mechanism preventing “the seat from moving back and forth on the rails, or rocking too far either way”. Lean back and feel the breeze!

Combined Head-covering and Hair-comb (1920)

Why use a comb to style your hair when you can simply use a cap? Alva K. Dawson patented this “combined head-covering and hair-comb” in 1920 – the solution for keeping a perfect hairstyle while “cycling, golfing or motoring”. The flat cap doesn’t just protect the wearer’s head: whenever you remove it, its integrated comb runs through the hair, moving it magically “into proper and neat position”. No more bad hair days in 2020!

Moon Capsule Suit (1964)

If the moon tops your must-see places, this is the perfect garment: a suit featuring a combined solar power source and umbrella, a pressurized protective shell “to facilitate greater safety and comfort”, as well as dust skis for your moonwalks – all adding up to some 90kg (200lbs.). Otto Schueller, who received a patent for this invention in 1964, also included a chair in the capsule so that you can rest or enjoy food and drink from its integrated storage boxes. We are ready for takeoff!

Body Sail (1973)

Swimming or sailing? With this body sail, you can do both: individual floats attached to the head, torso and feet support the body whereas “a propelling means in the form of a sail and mast structure” gently pushes you along the surface of the water. The “need for a recreational device readily adaptable for recreational activities on the water” which “should be initially inexpensive to obtain and manufacture and simple to operate and maintain” seemed to have inspired its inventor Raymond C. Dansereau, who patented the body sail in 1973. Enjoy the water!

Gravity Powered Shoe Air Conditioner (1994)

Hot or cold feet? This gravity-powered shoe air conditioner could be the solution for both: incorporated into a heel of a shoe, the device uses the “gravity pressures upon the shoe which occur naturally during walking” to cool or warm up the shoe. And it does not stop here: Israel Siegel, who patented the device in 1994, added that “varieties of the invention may be used in other temperature changing systems”, such as household air conditioner and refrigeration systems. With this accessory, you’ll be the coolest person around.

Automatic Bed Maker (1999)

Is making your bed every morning one of your long-running New Year’s resolutions? If so, then Tabor Browder and his “Automatic bed maker” have you covered. Designed to “free people up from the time-consuming, daily task of making beds”, the device “extends the bed covers over the pillows”, “automatically tucks in the covers”, is “very accurate in aligning the covers with the bed” and “includes ventilation of the covers for greater comfort”. Where can we get one?!