What Was It Used For? 5 Strange Inventions From The Turn-of-the-Century

Can You Guess What These Turn-Of-The-Century Inventions Are For?

Below are five inventions that were filed with the U.S. Patent Office between 1899 – 1904.

As we noted in our other story regarding bra patents, Americans are innovative and resourceful. When opportunity knocks they will be there to answer. All of these people thought their inventions would take off. None of them did.

Originally the patent office required you to build a model of your invention. Eventually they dropped that requirement. When you see the words no model, it means a prototype was not presented. After you discover what the invention is you will understand why some of these never had a model built.

So what are they?

Invention #1 Patented by Frank May 1904

patent by Frank May

#1 patented by Frank May 1904 US793004

Invention #2 patented by Monroe Griffith 1900

patent Monroe Griffith 1900 US666605

#2 patented by Monroe Griffith 1900

Invention #3 patented by Samuel McHatton 1899

patent Samuel McHatton 1899 US628111

#3 patented by Samuel McHatton 1899

Invention #4 patented by Henry Ullrich 1900

Patent Henry Ullrich 1900 US640837

#4 patented by Henry Ullrich 1900

Invention #5 patented by Joseph Karwowski 1903

patent Joseph Karwowski 1903 US748284

#5 patented by Joseph Karwowski 1903

Here are the answers with the patent inventor’s edited description:

This innocuous looking machine was electrified and quite honestly sounds extremely dangerous if used as intended.

patent by Frank May

#1 patent Frank May 1904 US793004

#1 EYE-MASSAGE MACHINE

Be it known that I, Frank Howard May a citizen of the United States, residing at Birmingham, in the county of Jefferson and State of Alabama, have invented a new and useful Improvement in eye massage machines, of which the following a specification.

My invention is in the nature. of an eye massage machine in which mechanical vibrations are imparted to the eye through an electrically-operated vibrator and which is so constructed also as to permit the direct application of either primary or Faradaic currents to the eye.

The device is intended to relieve catarrhal troubles of the eye and eyelid and for muscular and nerve weakness; and it consists in the novel construction and arrangement of the device, as will be hereinafter fully described with reference to the drawings, in which—– Figure l is a face view of the instrument looking in the eye-socket. Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section through the instrument. Fig. 1-5 is an end view of the left-hand end in Figs. l and 2, and Fig. III is a detail showing the detached and separated parts of the eye-socket.

Being buried alive or protection from grave robbers. Two fears never discussed among polite company in the 19th century

patent Monroe Griffith 1900 US666605

#2 patent by Monroe Griffith 1900

#2 APPARATUS FOR SIGNALING FROM GRAVES.

Be it known that I, MONROE E. GRIFFITH, a citizen of the United States,residing at Sioux City, in the county of Woodbury and State of Iowa, have invented new and useful improvements in Apparatus for Signaling from Graves, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to apparatus for signaling from graves, the objects of the same being to provide means for promptly indicating or announcing any disturbance of the grave, vault, or of the body previous to burial, to provide means for automatically sending in a signal to a central office in the event of a slight movement of the extremities oft he body after a seeming cessation of life, and to provide means whereby visual indications will be made of any tampering with the grave, whether in quest of the cadaver or for the purpose of carrying off the body with a View to reward.

A further object of the invention is to provide means whereby a supply of fresh air may be furnished to a re-vivitied person within a grave and means whereby openings in the coffin and the box in which it is inclosed may be automatically covered when the air supply conduit is removed.

No, it’s not a device for a leper or the beginnings of a hockey face mask.

patent Samuel McHatton 1899 US628111

#3 patented by Samuel McHatton 1899

#3 NOSE-SCREEN.

Be it known that L, SAMUEL M. McHatton ,a citizen of the United States, residing at Salem, in the county of Marion, State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Nose Screens and Pressers, of which the following is a specification,reference being had therein to the accompanying drawings.

This invention relates to a nose screen and presser, and has for its object to provide a frame adapted to exert a constant and gentle pressure upon the gristle and bone of the nose, whereby when the membrane of the nostril becomes irritated from cold, catarrh, or particles of foreign matter this enlargement is overcome and the healing facilitated by the gentle pressure and compression upon the opposite sides of the nose.

A further object is to provide a removable screen which can be applied to the lower portion of this frame to exclude cold air, particles of dust, or foreign matter or to contain or carry a medicinal compound adapted to be used in healing the membrane of the nose.

You may wonder what this naked lady is doing. Before there was a Jacuzzi, there was Mr. Ullrich’s invention.

Patent Henry Ullrich 1900 US640837

#4 patent by Henry Ullrich 1900

#4 WATER-MASSAGE APPARATUS

Be it known that I, HENRY ULLRICH, a citizen of the United States, residing at Chicago, in the county of Cook and State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Water-Massage Apparatus, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to improvements in an apparatus to be used for therapeutically treating or administering to the human body or organization or portions thereof a massage treatment, and while it is more especially designed for the use of women in the treatment of diseases peculiar to the female sex, yet it may be employed by men; and it consists in certain peculiarities of the construction, novel arrangement, and operation of the various parts thereof, as will be hereinafter more fully set forth and specifically claimed.

The objects of my invention are, first, to provide an apparatus of the above-described character which shall be simple and inexpensive in construct-ion and strong and durable; second, such an apparatus which shall be so constructed as to afford a continuous flow of air and water through a conduit,the force and pressure of air and water being regulated to the desired degree and its course directed to the proper portion of the body of the patient or person using the apparatus, and, third, to provide an apparatus of the character described which may be operated by the patient or user or by an assistant.

Another object is to afford a means for thermal or other kind of bath which may be taken In order to enable others skilled in the art to which my invention pertains to make and use the same,

We saved for last by far the strangest invention and the creepiest. Mr. Karwowski’s own description of his invention must be read in full to completely appreciate its ingenuity. It would have been interesting if Mr. Karwowski built a model of his invention. Had baseball great Ted Williams known about Karwowski’s early attempts in this field, maybe he would have chosen to be buried (with or without the grave alarm).

patent Joseph Karwowski 1903 US748284

#5 patented by Joseph Karwowski 1903

#5 METHOD OF PRESERVING THE DEAD.

Be it known that I, JOSEPH KARWOWSKI, a subject of the Czar of Russia, residing at Herkimer, in the county of Herkimer and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Methods of Preserving the Dead; and I do declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the figures of reference marked thereon, which form a part of this specification.

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in methods of preserv’ng the dead; and it has for its object the pro.- vision of a means whereby a corpse may be hermetically incased within a block of transparent glass, whereby being efiectually excluded from the air the corpse will be maintained for an indefinite period in a perfect and life-like condition,so that it will be prevented from decay and will at all times present a lifelike appearance.

To this end and to such others as the invention may pertain the same consists in the steps of the process whereby this result is attained,all as more fully hereinafter described, shown in the accompanying drawings, and then specifically defined in the appended claims.

The invention is clearly illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which, with the figures of reference marked thereon, form a part of this specification, and in which- Figure 1 is a front elevation of the corpse as it appears after the first step has been taken in carrying out my process. Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the completed glass block, showing the corpse incased therein; and Fig. 3 is a like view of the transparent block of glass, the same being shown as incasing a human head.

In carrying out my process I first surround the corpse 1 with a thick layer 2 of sodium silicate or water-glass. After the corpse has been thus inclosed within the layer of waterglass it is allowed to remain for a short time within a compartment or chamber having a dry heated temperature, which will serve to evaporate the water from this incasing layer, after which molten glass is applied to the desired thickness. may be molded into a rectangular form 3, as shown in Fig. 2 of the drawings, or, if preferred, cylindrical or other forms may be substituted for the rectangular block which I have illustrated. In Fig. 3 I have shown the head only of the corpse as incased within the transparent block of glass, it being at once evident that the head alone may be preserved in this manner, if preferred.

It will be at once noted that a body preserved in this way may be kept indefinitely, as the body being hermetically’ inclosed within the outer glass covering it will be impossible for air to reach it, and hence it will be effectually preserved from decay. The glass surrounding the corpse being transparent, the body will be at all times visible.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-

1. The process of preserving the dead,which consists in first surrounding the corpse with a coating of sodium silicate or water-glass, and then surrounding the same with an outer coating of molten” glass, substantially as shown and described.

2. The process of preserving the dead,which consists in first providing a corpse with a surrounding coating of sodium silicate, evaporating the water from the coating so applied, and. afterward incasing the same in molten glass, substantially as described and for the purpose specified.

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