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Really Stupid Inventions

An exhibitor demonstrates his invention at the World Science Festival in New York City last June (Getty Images)

The U-S Patent Office grants nearly half a million patents every year. Many of these products and ideas make our lives easier and better. Some never make a dime. Some are just plain stupid.

For example in 1953 – a submachine gun with a curved barrel was given a patent. Why they curved barrel? For shooting around corners. I guess that’s perfect if you shoot first then look at what you’re shooting at later.

How about Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard who in 1963 invented a machine to determine if tomatoes experience pain. He called it an electrometer and he says he was able to determine that tomatoes scream when they’re sliced.

This is really dumb one – baby cages – a 1937 invention. These cages attached to the outside window of high rise apartment buildings. The idea was to allow the baby to get some fresh air and a bird’s eye view of the street below.

The ultimate in stupid inventions – the rainy day cigarette holder. It had a little umbrella that covered the lighted cigarette.

Goodyear introduced illuminated car tires in 1961. They were made of synthetic rubber and brightly lit by small light bulbs inside the rim.

What would we do without a yodel meter. It measures the pitch and intensity of yodelers.


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