Tag Archives: patents

June 4, 1850

On June 4, 1850, self-deodorizing fertilizer was patented in England. So it no longer smelled like poo. It smelled like fancy poo. Americans and Australians immediately rejected the idea of fancy smelling poo. It was just too… Continue reading

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May 5, 1809

On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies of Connecticut was the first American woman to be issued a patent. It was for the technique she came up with for weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats. Johann Fischart Rumpelstiltskin … Continue reading

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March 20, 1885

On March 20, 1885, Jan Matzeliger of Lynn, Massachusetts patented the shoe lacing machine. He’d previously patented a machine that manufactured shoes, putting thousands of gnomes out of business. When Quamorra Leathertack of the International Brotherhood of Gnomist Machinists and … Continue reading

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December 12, 1955

On December 12, 1955, British engineer Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft. It is not true that he named the first hovercraft “A Légpárnásom Tele Van Angolnákkal”.

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September 7, 1915

On September 7, 1915, toymaker Johnny Gruelle patented the Raggedy Ann doll. When he was asked why he created such a soft and friendly doll, he said it was because the china-head dolls were just creepy and prone to becoming … Continue reading

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August 21, 1841

On August 21, 1841, the first US patent for a venetian blind was issued to John Hampson of New Orleans, Louisiana, thereby making it much easier to spy on the antics of your neighbors from the comfort of your own … Continue reading

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August 13, 1889

On August 13, 1889, William Gray of Connecticut was issued a patent for a coin-operated telephone. For teenagers today, a payphone was a telephone in a public place where you could put coins in it to call your mom or … Continue reading

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August 11, 1874

On August 11, 1874, Harry S. Parmelee received a patent for the sprinkler head and started Americans on the path to getting showers instead of baths. Twenty-five years later, Dr. Harvey Kellogg denounced the detachable shower-head and pronounced that it … Continue reading

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June 16, 1980

On June 16, 1980, the US Supreme Court ruled that new forms of life created in labs could be patented. The specific case brought before the US Supreme Court involved a genetically-engineered bacterium that was capable of breaking down crude … Continue reading

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April 8, 1766

On April 8, 1766, the first fire escape was supposedly patented. There is a rudimentary drawing that showed a wicker basket attached to a rope and pulley system that would allow people to lower themselves to the ground from a … Continue reading

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