Magazine article Insight on the News

All-American Inventions That Have Failed to See the Light

Magazine article Insight on the News

All-American Inventions That Have Failed to See the Light

Article excerpt

One of this column's Favorite lists in Stephen J. Spigncsi's The U.S.A. Book of Lists, which prides itself on being the ultimate compendium of all things American" and names and describes several "Strange Patented American inventions." If you think things such as Ford cars, hula hoops, Hollywood or the computer software made this country great, think again. These inventions aren't ones you've heard of, nor are you likely ever to make use of them. Here are a tow to consider.

* "A Drinking Vessel With Sound Effects" (U.S. Patent No. 5,536,196). It's a beer mug that makes burping sounds when you take a drink from it.

* "A Device for Making Artificial Egg Yolk in the Shape of a (Floppy) Disk" (U.S. Patent No. 5,547,358). As Spignesi says, "Obviously, someone felt there was a need to be able to do this."

* "Bird Trap and Cat Feeder" (U.S. Patent No. 5,351,436). Yes, it's exactly what it says it is, an outdoor trap designed to capture birds and then feed them to a cat. …

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