1. Device for waking persons from sleep Patent no 256265, issued 1882
Sometimes, an alarm clock just isn’t quite enough for rousing heavy sleepers to face the day. So why not hang an array of weights on a frame above the snoozer’s head and, with the help of clockwork machinery, drop them upon their head until they wake? “When they fall it will strike a light blow, sufficient to awaken the sleeper, but not heavy enough to cause pain,” assures the
2. Cat duster
3. Water-filled brassiere Patent no US4734078, issued 1988
Wonder bra meets Waterworld. The American Inventor, James Moreau, explains it best (if it can be explained): “A brassiere which surrounds the breasts with water, so that a buoyant force provides improved and independent support for each breast. A transparent version is suggested for those who wish to make a fashion statement.”
4. Sleeve nose wiper 5. Sound-muffler for covering the mouthPatent no 4834212, issued 1989
It’s the invention that really makes you want to scream – but no one will hear you. Moira and Frank Figone a couple from Belmont, California, created this face-tube device to enable purchasers to “Yell or scream without disturbing others, allowing them to vent built-up anger and frustration.” In this fiendishly basic design, the interior of the flat-bottomed muffler tube is coated with sound-absorbing foam. But here’s the clever bit: a microphone can be included to pick up a some sound and activate a light display or meter, “giving the user immediate visual feedback as to the intensity of sound produced
6. Speaks for its self.
7. Alarm-equipped forkUS patent 5,421,089, issued 1995
Are you a manic masticator or a super fast food shoveller? The cutlery creators Nicole Dubus and Springfield Susan have come up with the just answer for you: a fork with a built in timer and alarm. The timer’s circuitry is connected to the handle of the fork and buzzes or lights up after a preset time, ensuring that eaters leave sufficient space between forkfuls for chewing 32 healthy times before swallowing. A must for business lunches and candlelit dinners.
8. Finger tooth brush 9. The trouser-cushionUK patent application No GB2267208, 1993
British inventor Michael Bayley decided to put an end to standing nightmares by creating portable seat that you wear on a waist-belt. OK, it’s a somewhat convoluted version of having a cushion with a loop that goes through your belt. “The seat cushion is pivotable between a stowed position and a seating position in which it hangs down so that you can sit on it,” says the patent application.
If you liked these you can see the winners of Britain’s Landfill Prize for the most pointless, over complicated and wasteful consumer objects from the past 12 months.