Historical Patents – 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.

Cork Swimming Suit (1882)

Paschal Plant patented the “Cork Swimming Suit” in 1882. The garment’s fit was supposed to allow “perfectly free motions of the body and limbs” and was designed to be made out of strong string and small pieces of cork. The buoyancy of the cork would allow the user to float on water and look fashionable at the same time. Where can we get one?!

One-Wheeled Vehicle (1885)

John Otto Lose patented the “One Wheeled Vehicle” in 1885, a type of unicycle that the rider sits inside of, whilst the wheel turns around him or her. Important detail: the highly functional umbrella ensures the passenger (and his pipe) remains dry at all times.

Saluting Device (1896)

In 1896, James C. Boyle patented the “Saluting Device”, an invention to help users practice good etiquette. The little device inside the hat would automatically lift and rotate the hat when the user wished to greet, or salute, someone. Buzz cut presumably optional.

Rocking Bath Tub (1900)

Otto A. Hensel patented the “Rocking or Oscillating Bath Tub” in 1900. The innovation was designed to splash water against the bather. Who needs a water park when you can have this!?

Chicken Eye Protectors (1903)

No more fowl play! Andrew Jackson Jr. patented the “Eye-protector for Chickens” in 1903. The invention was supposed to protect the eyes of chickens from other chickens “that might attempt to peck them”. To this day you can buy slightly upgraded “Chicken eye glasses”.

Double Bicycle (1905)

For those days when you feel like gravity is just such a bore, Karl Lange patented a “Double Bicycle for Looping the Loop” in 1905. If you approach the loop cycling upside-down, you can complete the upside-down part right way up, instantly becoming the envy of all your friends.