At times, when I look through some of the crazy patents that have been filed through the years, I really do find myself saying: what were they thinking? In many cases, I try to get inside the head of the person to try and see it from their perspective. Sometimes that can be even funnier. Some of them have multiple elements, part of which appear sound and useful but then adds an element of total ridicule. Today I bring you one of those.
It has to do with a law enforcement officer obtaining a confession from a suspect. Now this was patented back in 1927 and certain aspects of it are now common place, such as recording everything using sound and pictures. So far so good. Let me provide part of the description before I get onto the interesting part:
My apparatus for obtaining confessions of guilt from criminals undergoing examination comprises a novel combination of well known elements, arranged in such manner and combination as to produce, when operated, a state of mind calculated to cause him, if guilty, to make confession thereof, the apparatus further operating to record photographically his every expression and emotion while at the same time simultaneously recording his examiner's questions and the replies.
As we see, this invention clearly only works on men and only ”if guilty”. Now what is that state of mind that brings about the confession? Why being interviewed by a skeleton of course!
Now here is an interesting part which may have led to a disco sound to light system:
The eye sockets 21 are provided with bulbs 22 adapted to impress different light intensities upon the margins 22 and 23 of the film 24, the central section 25 of the film being arranged to receive the pictures, the variations in the light intensities of the bulbs 22 being governed by means of the micro phones 26 and selenium cells (not shown), which are included in the light circuit and tend to cause the fluctuations of the current to vary the intensity of the light for sound recording purposes, the density of the light impression upon the film varying with the intensity of the light thus transmitted.
OK, so a skeleton with spooky eyes. I can see how that would make any guilt man confess! But that is not all:
To add to the mystification, the bulbs 22 forming the eyes of the skeleton, will be caused to “blink” upon the subject's replying to questions while under examination, this blinking resulting from the variations in the sound waves as governed by the microphones controlling the electric circuits.
The light bulbs 22 are of either the usual evacuated order, or gas filled, but differ in that one half of the bulb is of blue color, while the other half is of red, to meet the double requirements of the emitted light, the blue being used as better adapted for the recordation of the sound waves, and the red for the purpose of imparting to the eyes of the skeleton an unnatural ghastly glow.
OK - I confess. I did it!Brian Bailey
– keeping you entertained
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