History Television

History Television

March 29, 2007 10:00 ET

Foolish inventions from people with good intentions

The Re-Inventors call out their top 11 wacky inventions that have actually been patented

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2007) - In celebration of April Fool's Day and the launch of their new show - The Re-Inventors - Matt Hunter and Jeremy MacPherson present their list of foolish inventions from serious people with the best of intentions.

"They are definitely quirky and sometimes over-the-top, but we truly believe one idea leads to another, which supports the true spirit of invention," says Matt, a skilled carpenter and backyard inventor.

The Re-Inventors explore some of history's most bizarre inventions and the people who came up with them in a new original series premiering Saturday, April 7 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on History Television.

"I'm not sure you'd see a lot of these ideas on store shelves," adds Jeremy, an amateur historian and cinematic special effects artist, "but we certainly do appreciate originality - good, bad or questionable."

The Re-Inventors Top 11 List of Wacky Inventions:

1. Toilet Snorkel (1982) by William O. Holmes
Breathe fresh air in a room filled with toxic smoke. To use, insert the breathing tube through the water trap of a toilet to expose an open end of fresh air from a vent pipe connected to a sewer line of the toilet.

2. Internal Egg Beater (1981) by Benjamin H. Stansbury, Jr
Beat your egg while still in the shell. The egg is fully impaled on a needle, and as the user holds the shell, the needle rotates to beat the egg within the shell.

3. Helmet Parachute (1920) by Samuel D. Mott
Escape burning buildings by jumping to safety. Built initially for aviators, fabric is rolled or folded into the shape of a turban and incorporated with a strap that unrolls the fabric into an effectively positioned parachute when the strap is released.

4. PC Candy Dispenser (1998) by Anthony Peter Vandenberg
Reward children who have the correct answer. This battery-powered personal computer immediately presents students with a single candy for each problem completed correctly while using educational application software.

5. Survival Suit(case) (1916) by John Edlund
Convert your carry-on luggage into an ocean survival suit. To facilitate escape from a sinking vessel, the device is constructed and folded into the form of a suitcase. The inside of the device has a water-tight air valve. It can be unfolded and placed on the head to enable the wearer to breathe until help arrives.

6. Helmut Gun (1953) by A. B. De Salardi
Take care of the enemy without showing your face. A self-loading pistol is attached to a helmet, and the trigger control is linked from the helmet to the mouth. It is activated when the wearer bites down.

7. Flying Car (1963) by E. Einarsson
Combine the comfort of automotive travel with the convenience of flight in a car outfitted with propellers, wings and wing flaps. The main wings are in front and behind the driver's compartment, which when raised at an angle, serve to support the vehicle in the air.

8. Pillow Crash Helmet (1970) by Samuel Young
Stay protected when the pilot tells you it is going to be a bumpy landing. A pillow body is enclosed in a pillowcase in the form of a pouch surrounded by a zipper. It doubles as a courtesy pillow for the comfort of airline passengers and a crash helmet, which may be put over the head of the passenger when he or she is forewarned of an impending crash landing.

9. Beerbrella (2003) by Mason Schott McMullin, Robert Platt Bell, Mark Andrew See
A small umbrella ("Beerbrella") which can be attached to a beverage container in order to shade the beverage from the direct rays of the sun.

10. Chicken Eye Protector (1903) by Andrew Jackson
Two circular frames are attached to the chicken's head by a U-shaped band or strap. Designed to protect chickens from other fowls that attempt to peck them, it can be easily and quickly applied and removed, and will not interfere with their vision.

11. Doggie Dust Cover (1963) by S. Kesh
A device that assists dog owners in the application and retention of flea-prevention sprays. This invention not only keeps the medication close to the animal's skin; it also protects furniture, clothing and rugs from damage from the anti-flea spray or powder. When attached to a hair dryer, it can also speed the drying of the animal's fur after a bath.

Four patents of the 11 mentioned above have been tested and featured on an upcoming episode of The Re-Inventors, including the Flying Car, Helmut Gun, Survival Suitcase and Helmet Parachute. For more information on The Re-Inventors please visit www.history.ca.

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Debra Douglass
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  • Debra Douglass
    Primary Phone: 416-462-0199 ext. 24
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    E-mail: debra@pilotpmr.com