Patents ~ Nutty or Novel? (Feb, 1929)

Patents ~ Nutty or Novel?

BELIEVE it or not, the United States Government has issued letters patent on the extraordinary devices pictured on this page. The average owner of a patent is lucky if he breaks even on expenses. Out of some two million patents granted in this country, the number which never make a cent for their inventors reaches staggering proportions.

CANNON PLOW FOR EMBATTLED FARMERS MURDEROUS mercenaries from the enemy’s troops who sneak up on an unsuspecting farmer are likely to receive a rude slap in the face when the agriculturist nonchalantly applies a match to the fuse of his plow cannon, invented by a cornfield Cincinnatus.

AUTO BATTLESHIP WRECKS WIRE FENCES SUPPOSE you are tearing along a dark road some night and run into a rope barrier stretched across the highway by some hijacker—what are you going to do about it? Well, if you have foresightedly equipped your car with the wire-cutting bumper shown in the picture at the right, you will have no trouble whatever. Wandering through barbed wire fences and meandering through tennis nets are the best things this machine does.

PRYING INTO THE PRIVATE LIFE OF AN OYSTER A HA! Here’s another of the perennially blossoming contraptions designed to invade the tightly sealed shell of reticent oysters! One of the difficulties oyster dredgers have in marketing their product is to quickly prepare the oyster, separating the mussel from the shell. It’s easy once the bivalve is open, but try to open that shell! This combined Caesarian battering ram, ice hatchet, piston rod and Walchaert valve gear is designed to be leaned on by a 180-lb. oysterman who is guaranteed speedy access to the inner life of the oyster.

  1. Rick Auricchio says: August 24, 20092:08 pm

    It seems like the plow horse would be the first casualty of that cannon.

  2. Hip2b2 says: August 25, 200911:50 am

    Rather than beating swords into plowshares, the “Cannon Plow” would beat plowshares into cannon.

    Now you soldiers out there stand still while I aim this thing; willya?

  3. Firebrand38 says: August 25, 200912:15 pm

    Too bad Billy Mays isn’t still around….”It’s a cannon! It’s a plowshare! It’s a plow cannon!”

    Yeah, that does sound more like Vince from Shamwow.

  4. Jari says: August 25, 20091:15 pm

    Just add a pointy hood ornament to that car, and it’s ready for Death Race 1929.

  5. Firebrand38 says: August 25, 20092:56 pm

    Hip2b2: Actually that’s the other quote that everyone overlooks…

    Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

  6. Randy says: August 25, 20093:52 pm

    Most low-flying helicopters (police and military) have wirecutters fitted:

    And in WWII the Germans experimented with attachments to their bombers to cut barrage-balloon cables:

    The cannon/plow was patented during the Civil War:

    “But fire now, because the troops can’t wait all day!”

  7. Firebrand38 says: August 25, 20098:58 pm

    Randy: You are the HEAT! I just needed to know what they called it to find the patent…

    You’d think the author of the article would have cited the patents documents.

    Oh and from the patent description:
    “It’s utility as an implement of the twofold capacity described is unquestionable, especially when used in border locality’s, subject to savage feuds and guerrilla warfare. As a means of defense in repelling surprises and skirmishing attacks on those engaged in a peaceful avocation it is unrivaled, as it can be immediately brought into action by disengaging the team, and in times of danger may be used in the field, ready charged with its, deadly missiles of ball or grape.”

    So yeah, you are supposed to cut the team loose and the bad guys don’t have to stand still when you are firing grape shot at them.

    If you remember your history this was shortly after Bloody Kansas (1854-1868) so they must have seen a need for this.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.