That flash light is a great idea if you want to blind your companions. As to the square thread spools… Why don’t they do that? It makes sense. Then again so do square cans and people refuse to buy food in them.


TURNTABLE built into garage floor so that the motorist never has to back car into street E. Thompson, Warwickshire, England.

SWIVEL STEP that swings under sink when not in use. enables Junior to wash himself with ease. Arthur Routh. New Haven. Conn.

SQUARE END thread spools that won’t roll off machine and irk Mom when she does her sewing. Larry Pinnick, Indianapolis. Ind.

TWO LIGHT ENDS on flashlight to allow person behind bearer to see trail at night Ted Galarneau, Upsala, Ontario. Canada.

POT LID knobs located on side instead of center of lids to reduce chances of steam scalding. B. Bellando. Glasgow. Scotland.

Is there a gadget you think should be Invented? If so, lend Its description to Inventions Wanted Editor, MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED. 67 West 44 St., N.Y. 36, N.Y. Each one printed will be awarded $5.

  1. Charlene says: June 7, 201211:52 am

    As a sewer, I disagree. It’s true that square ends would eliminate the problem of the spool rolling off the table, but a square end would get in the way of proper feeding when the spool is in use in the sewing machine. The spool holder on most sewing machines isn’t like that drawing: in most modern machines, the spool is held horizontally. The thread slides off the spool and past the rounded end, and is fed into the machine. A square spool would catch at the thread constantly, causing uneven tension and huge loops on the bobbin side of the item being sewn. It would also mean that you’d need a larger thread compartment, since those corners would take up more space.

    Of course, spools have changed a lot since that piece ran: spool ends are often no wider than the thread, and some brands don’t even have ends. That might have been common even back then: illustrators aren’t always up-to-date with traditionally female hobbies. I’m reminded of that keyboard ad from the 70s that had an elephant knitting upside down – with crochet hooks.

  2. Toronto says: June 7, 20121:21 pm

    Charlene: I’d forgotten about the ‘off the end’ designs – my old Singer has vertical spool holders. But even with the newer designs, you could still have one end square, couldn’t you?

    (I can remember when spools were indented to hold lots of thread. These days you seem to get two layers.)

    Charlie: You don’t see a lot of square cans these days because of SPAM filters.

  3. Charlene says: June 8, 201211:08 am

    Toronto: in my sewing machine at least, there really isn’t room for the corners. Also, it would get in the way when filling the bobbin, since the thread goes the opposite way. I guess you could turn the spool around, but it seems a bother. I’m also thinking that round-edged spools are easier to fill and cheaper to produce.

  4. Charlene says: June 8, 201211:09 am

    By the way, I really did think about this, because it’s a great idea. I just don’t think it would work for machine sewing. Hand sewing, on the other hand…for hand-quilting thread, perhaps?

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