I think Wile E. Coyote was the kind of person who created many of the patents I find to write about in my “what were they thinking” series. You know what I mean – those absurdly complicated gadgets designed to perform a very simple task that are almost certainly going to fail, and in some amusing way. The same is true when a super hero is about to meet his or her maker. The bad guy, such as the Joker would find the most complicated way to kill Batman, giving him plenty of opportunity to get out of the predicament or to be saved – just in the nick of time. Today, I bring you one of those contraptions.
This is from a patent that issued in 1965 (3,168,983) and relates to a birthday cake candle extinguisher. Now most of us would just blow them out, but have you ever thought of the anguish that children face at such a task. In the words of the patent:
The device is a useful and amusing party table decoration. It serves the useful function of extinguishing candles mechanically. This device fulfills a long felt-need at birthday parties for small children who may have insufficiently forceful breath to extinguish candles on a cake.
But that is not all, there are several advantages including:
The device avoids the fire hazard commonly encountered when small children approach too close to lighted candles in an attempt to blow them out.
But how do you ensure that a can of butane was not put in instead of compressed air? And what about those candles that don’t blow out?
Another advantage is cited:
The device also avoids the unsanitary condition encountered when children inexpertly blow on candles and inadvertently expectorate upon the cake carrying the candles.
Let’s just say - gross. Thanks for the imagery.
Claim 1 of this patent is further obfuscated by the patent lawyers into an almost unintelligible bunch of babble.
A candle extinguisher of the kind described comprising an elongated hollow bulbous body having a disc shaped base for support on a horizontal supporting surface, the opposite end of the body being curved and having facial features simulating the face of a human being including a slot simulating a mouth, a can of compressed air inside the body, said can having a discharge opening, a removable strip normally closing said opening, said strip having a free end with a hole therein, and an elongated slidable rod inside the body with one end interlocked with the hole in said strip, the other end of the rod extending outwardly of the can and adapted to be pushed inwardly for stripping the closure strip off of the can to expose the opening whereby air escapes from the can out through the mouth of the body.
But, I am quite disappointed that it doesn’t also come with a rotating table on which the cake is placed and to ensure that the can of compressed air is being discharged for a complete 360 degree revolution of said roundtable.
What other improvements would you like to see that would make this invention even more like something that the Acme Corporation would want to stock?
Brian Bailey – keeping you entertained
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