ONE THOUSAND WAYS TO MAKE FORTUNE – CHAPTER XV.
FORTUNE IN PATENT RIGHTS.
Nearly 100 Patents Issued Every Day–The Easiest Way to Get Rich–Crystallize Your Idea Into a Coin–Six Billion Dollars of Capital Based on Patents–Great Returns for American Genius–What a Patent is Worth–A Million Dollar Patent Discovered by Accident– Prosperityin a Needle’s Eye–The Man who Invented the “Donkey,” and What He Made by It–What “Pigs in Clover” Netted the Lucky Inventor–How to Get a Patent–What to Invent for Profit.
Probably no enterprise has yielded so great profits with so little capital as the work of the inventor. The small outlay, resulting in mammoth fortunes, has often consisted in little more than the set of stools and the cost of the patent. Of course, there must be brains and hard thinking. The sale of articles protected by patent rights is a stimulus to invent them, and has been the source of fortunes for more people in the United States than in any other country in the world. The United States Patent Office issues every year about 25,000 patents, and the number is constantly increasing. Nor are the patentees in all, or even in a majority of cases, men of genius, or persons who have been learned in the occupations in which they have achieved distinction. The greater part of them have been issued to persons in humble walks of life, who made their lucky discovery either by accident or by close application of thought.
In every department of human industry there are possibilities of improvement. He who can find a cheaper, quicker, or better, way of doing anything will get rich. Cyrus H. McCormick thought out a better way of cutting grain than with the old scythe. The result was the McCormick harvester, known all over the world. His patents made him a millionaire. Charles Goodyear accidentally mixed a bit of rubber and sulphur on a red hot stove. The result set him to thinking. He discovered the process of vulcanization, which is the basis of the great rubber industry throughout the world. His patents made him enormously rich. Elias Howe wondered if there could not be some better way of sewing than by the bone and muscle of weary woman’s hand. He tried and tried in vain. At last he had a dream in which he saw a needle with the eye at the point instead of at the head. He awoke exclaiming, “I have it!” The result was the sewing machine. Mr. Howe received every year more than $100,000 royalties on his patent needle. Eli Whitney, watching some slaves cleaning cotton, set to work to find a better way. He invented the cotton-gin by which one machine performs the labor of five thousand persons. This invention reaped for him untold treasure.
These were men of genius, but there are inventions which, being simple, lie apparently within the reach of all men. Mr. Parker, whose invention of the tobacco box fastening, is nothing but a “bulge and a dent,” and which it would seem any child might have thought out, made an immense fortune. Another inventor obtained a patent for a washing machine, and sold it in about fifteen months for $50,000. A man obtained a patent for a windmill, took a model through the Western States, and in eight months returned with $40,000 in cash. Probably the simplest device of all which has afforded amusement for millions is the game of the “Donkey Party,” which is nothing more than the picture of a tailless donkey placed upon the wall. The game costs less than one cent, but millions are annually sold. A copyright costing $5 insured this windfall to the inventor. The “Parlor Target and Dot” patent brought $35,000. The chief examiner of the Patent Office says: “A patent, if it is worth anything, when properly managed, is worth and can easily be sold for from $10,000 to $50,000.”
According to an estimate by the Commissioner of Patents seven-eighths of the manufacturing capital of the United States, or upwards of $600,000,000 is based upon patents, either directly or indirectly. A very large proportion of all patents prove remunerative; this is the reason so many are applied for, and so many millions of capital invested in their workings. There is scarcely an article for amusement, convenience, or necessity, in use to-day that has not at some time or other been the subject of a patent either in whole or in part. The sale of every such article yields the inventor a profit. If we purchase a box of matches a portion of the price goes to the inventor; if we buy a bicycle the chances are that we pay royalty to a dozen or more inventors at once.
There are gold mines in every walk in life. There are fortunes hid in the smallest and meanest of things. So far from the field being exhausted, more inventions are now being patented than ever before. The world is inexhaustibly full of nuggets for him who can find them. Every sphere of enterprise is like the children’s play of “hide the thimble.” Friend, shall you be the first to spy the golden rim? The cost of a patent in the United States is about $60. This includes the government fee, and that of a patent attorney. The way to get a patent is first to think it out; then make the design and take it to a lawyer who makes a business of procuring patents. The government does not now request a model, but it requires a drawing and a specification, and these must be prepared by some competent attorney, in the legal form prescribed. The following are a few suggestions in the various departments of toil where inventions are needed, or where the pry of the brain will disclose the flashing ore.
Section 1. Fortune in Bicycles._
372. A NON-PUNCTURABLE BICYCLE TIREAny improvement in the universal wheel means a prosperityto the inventor. The Dunlap tire sold for $15,000,000.
373. A BICYCLE-HOLDER ATTACHMENTOne that will make it stand upright when not in use. There is prosperityhere.
374. THE BICYCLE UMBRELLA-HOLDERIt should not be difficult to fit to the wheel a small attachment for holding an umbrella. The device should be made so as to allow the umbrella to turn at an angle. Most bicyclists would want this invention.
375. A BICYCLE CYCLOMETER CLOCKA small clock or a watch to be fixed to the front part of the bicycle with cyclometer attachment, so as to give the time of day, the number of miles traversed, and the rate of speed.
376. THE DOUBLE-POWER BICYCLEOne in which the hand or the foot may be used in propelling, to be employed alternately, the one as a rest for the other, or jointly, as when pedaling against the wind or uphill.
377. THE FOLDING WHEELOne that can be carried lightly on the shoulder and packed in small space for storage or shipment.
378. A BICYCLE SUPPORTA contrivance for holding the wheel in place when the rider stops but does not wish to dismount. A large sale guaranteed.
379. THE CUSHION SADDLEThe chafing, painful experience of many bicycle riders would be obviated if some one would invent a saddle top as durable as leather, and yet affording a much softer seat.
380. A BICYCLE GUARDOne which will enable a lady with a long dress to ride without fear of her skirts being entangled in the wheel. Almost every lady in the land would ride a wheel if this difficulty could be obviated.
381. A COMBINATION BICYCLE LOCKOne million bicyclists want a cheap lock which can be operated without a key and fastened to any object.
382. A BICYCLE TRUNKOne made of light material and adapted to carrying on the rear of a wheel.
383. THE UNICYCLEThe wheel of the future will doubtless be single. The man who is the first to invent a practical unicycle will reap a gigantic fortune.
384. A BICYCLE COVEROne which will protect the frame and handle bars when the rider is overtaken by rain, and one which can be packed into a very small compass.
385. A PACKAGE HOLDEROne adapted to be kept on the bicycle frame. As all bicycle makes are nearly uniform in size, this invention should be an easy one.
386. HANDLE-BAR CYCLOMETERLet the indicator or dial face be fixed to the handle-bar instead of the wheel. Every bicyclist would want it.
387. THE ALL-SELLING WHEELA pneumatic bicycle tire with a non-puncturable coating would easily bring a million, and might even rival the popularity of a Dunlap.
388. TOE-AND-HEEL CLIPAn appliance to the bicycle pedal which would hold the heel as well as the toe, and which would not increase the difficulty of mounting, would have immense sales.
389. THE EXTENSION BICYCLEA wheel which may be made as convenience requires into a tandem or single wheel by addition or removal of parts would be in great demand.
390. A BICYCLE SHOEA sole adapted to be attached to an ordinary shoe, and with means for retaining a hold on the pedals.
391. THE STIRRUP PEDALA pedal which is shaped like a stirrup, holding the foot and doing away with toe-clips.
392. THE HOME BICYCLEThe use of the bicycle in certain hours every day has become indispensable to the health of thousands, but there are many rainy and inclement days as well as weeks and months in the winter when it cannot be used. Invent a home bicycle by means of which one can have all the exercise of the ordinary wheel in all kinds of weather.
Section 2. Fortune in Building Contrivances._
393. THE ORNAMENTAL FLOOROrnamental floors, for ballrooms, summer hotels, and all rooms where carpets are not indispensable.
394. THE SECURE WINDOW BLINDThe present appliances for holding back the window blind permit it to shake to and fro, giving unpleasant noises in the night. There is needed a device that will hold it securely in place.
395. THE SELF-LOCKING WINDOWDoors are made self-locking; why not windows? Who will invent a means by which the shutting of a window at the same time locks it?
396. THE ADJUSTABLE BLINDA mechanism by which a blind or shutter can be worked from within. A toothed wheel with crank inside the window, and a connection by an iron rod with the shutter whereby the blind or shutter can be held wide open, can be closed, or held in any position whatever, by simply turning a crank.
397. THE DOLLAR DOOR CLOSERThe automatic door closer made the inventor rich, but it is expensive; we want a door closer that can be fastened to every door and sold as low as $1.
398. SECTIONAL WINDOWA window built in horizontal sections of two or more with a spring or casing to hold it up–much cheaper than weights.
399. ADJUSTABLE STORM DOORDevise a simple door which can be readily brought into place in time of storm, and which will be unnoticed or not seem unsuitable when not needed.
400. A HINGE LOCKA hinge which operates as a lock, when the door is closed, and can only be opened by a key. Operated the same as a spring lock, but with less mechanism.
401. THE DOUBLE WINDOWHere is a plan for window ventilation. It is the idea of a French physician, but he has not patented it. Have a double window with openings at the bottom of one, and at the top of the opposite one through which the air comes in freely without any one feeling it. The plan is said to possess simplicity, efficiency, and cheapness. Let the American carpenter take notice and profit thereby.
402. HOT-BLAST FURNACEA small hot-blast furnace for drying walls. Builders who have to wait days for walls to dry call for such a machine.
403. THE WEIGHTLESS WINDOW SASHWhen the window can be opened the desired width and kept there without the aid of a rope that finally breaks and involves trouble and expense, a great want will be supplied.
404. A FLOOR COVERCarpets are expensive; matting is not elegant. Discover something in place of both, cheap and ornamental, and you will reap one of the richest financial harvests of the century.
405. SASH BALANCEA system by which the force which holds the lower sash up may exactly balance the force which holds the upper sash down, both sashes being opened at the same width, and thus insuring both the outflow of impure air and the inflow of fresh.
406. PAINTING MACHINESWhy may not painting as well as so many other modern arts be done by machinery? Something on the order of the garden-hose and spraying nozzle could do the work of the painter more rapidly, cheaply, and with less risk of life and limb. Inventors, give us a painting machine.
407. THE PNEUMATIC WATER TANKInstead of the unsightly water tank on the top of isolated buildings or country dwellings, with its liability of leakage and destruction of property, why not have a water tank in the cellar operated by means of compressed air? By being placed in the cellar or underground, there would be the additional advantage of having the water drawn cool and fresh. In winter also, it would be much better protected from freezing than when placed on top of a building. Some one will find fortune in a pneumatic water tank.
408. THE WOOD-PULP FLOORFloors have been accused of great sins. If the timber is not thoroughly seasoned they warp; if the boards are not properly laid they creak; and the cracks are all at times filled with injurious dust and dangerous germs. Why not invent a wood-pulp floor which shall have no warps, and no cracks, and no creaks? Dry the pulp to powder to facilitate transportation, mix with a small amount of cement, to increase the resistance of the floor, and then after making it a gelatinous mass pass it between rollers. When dry, paint it to imitate oak or other wood. Besides avoiding all the inconveniences and annoyances of the ordinary floor, it will be soft to the foot, and though somewhat more expensive than the entire boards, it will yet be the floor of the future in all comfortable homes.
Section 3. Fortune in the Kitchen._
409. THE CHEAP WASHERFor all the many washing machines, most of our women in middle-class and lowly life are still bending painfully over the old tubs. What is needed is a cheap washer that everyone will buy.
410. A MEAT CHOPPEROne which has a large number of small blades dividing the meat ten or twenty times with one stroke, where now the large blades divide it only one-fourth or fifth that number of times. The scroll bread-knife netted a princely revenue to its fortunate inventor.
411. AUTOMATIC STOVE-DAMPEROne to take the place of the heedless servant, and close when the state of the fire warrants it. Thousands of dollars’ worth of coal could annually be saved to housekeepers by this device.
412. POTATO EXTRACTORApply the principle of the glass lemon-squeezer to the raw potato and you have not only a new invention but also a new preparation of the common vegetable. The potato in the form of the raw pulp can be cooked in various ways, and will have a decidedly new and agreeable flavor. As a salad or a dressing it would be invaluable.
413. KNIFE SHARPENEROne for the kitchen use, that could be sold for twenty-five cents; almost every housekeeper would want one.
414. COLD HANDLEA separate handle which could be instantly applied to utensils on the stove and remove them without burning the hands waits to enrich the inventor. The cold-handled smoothing-iron brought much fortune to its inventor.
415. THE ELECTRIC STOVECooking by electricity will be the domestic feature of the next century. There is a rich field here awaiting some inventive brain.
416. FRUIT-JAR HOLDERA device for holding fruit jars during the preserving process so that the can will neither burn the hand nor spill the fruit.
417. CAN OPENERAll the women are crying for an effective can opener. Those on the market are not satisfactory. They must be made to sell very cheap. A gold mine in a can opener.
418. ODORLESS COOKING VESSELSAn attachment whereby the odors of cooking will be carried into the chimney instead of out into the room.
419. COAL-FILLED FLAT-IRONConstruct a hollow flat-iron so that it can be filled with live coals, and thus keep in proper heat much longer than those now in use.
420. AUTOMATIC SOAPERA washboard so arranged that the soft soap is fed to the clothes by the simple act of rubbing.
421. DISH-WASHING MACHINEA dish-washing machine which can be sold for $5. There are plenty of machines on the market, but they are too expensive for use, except in hotels or in rich households. A cheap machine could be sold in every house.
422. A STOVE ALARMProper cooking requires the heat of the stove to be kept equable. Invent a contrivance by which when the heat exceeds a certain degree an alarm will be sounded.
423. THE ELASTIC CLOTHES LINESave washerwomen and housekeepers the nuisance of tying and untying of hard knots by inventing the elastic clothes line.
424. COMBINATION LINE AND PINIf the old-fashioned line is to be used, why not invent a cheap clasp which remains permanently on the line, and is capable of being moved in either direction. Clothes pins are lost, broken, or not at hand when required.
425. A FRUIT PRESSA cheap press which will be as much a part of every furnished kitchen as a range. Every housewife needs one for the extracting of juices.
426. THE CAN-SLIDEThe opening of hermetically sealed cans is one of the difficulties of life. All can openers so far invented are more or less ineffective. A vast prosperityawaits a man who will invent a can-slide which will effectually keep the food air-tight, and which at the same time may be easily opened.
Section 4. Fortune in the Parlor._
427. THE CHAIR FANA slight vertical motion of the foot is much less tiresome than a lateral motion of the hand. An ingenious man could attach a fan to a chair so as to cool the face by the action of the foot.
428. ROCKING-CHAIR FANA fan to be attached to the top of a rocking-chair and operated by the motion of a rocker.
429. CHRISTMAS-TREE HOLDERA device for holding the tree upright in any spot without further support. Would sell once a year by the million if made for twenty-five cents.
430. PICTURE-FRAME FASTENERA device such that every one can frame his own picture, the parts of the frame being attached without hammer or nails.
431. ADJUSTABLE HEAD RESTOne that can be attached to any chair and adjusted to any position.
432. IMITATION COAL FIREThe asbestos back-log was quite a hit. Now let some one invent a fire where gas may be used in the same manner, but the representation be that of red, live coals.
433. MUSIC TURNERA piece of music has only a few leaves. It is easy to arrange a series of markers between each leaf with a handle for turning. It may be an ornament as well as a convenience.
434. ROLL-FRONT FIRE-SCREENIt is to be constructed on the principle of the roll-top desk, with the difference that it rolls sidewise from one side or from both sides of the fireplace.
435. REMOVABLE ROCKERSA chair with rockers easily adjustable, so that it may be a rocker or an ordinary chair as desired.
Section 5. Fortune in the Bedroom._
436. A NOISELESS CLOCKMany nervous people are annoyed by the ticking of clocks. Who can invent one which will perform this work silently?
437. A NARCOTIC PILLOWWill not some one give us a pillow composed of the dried flowers or leaves of soporific plants? The nervous, overworked persons who could thus get a night’s sound sleep would bestow upon the lucky inventor the money which he now expends in drugs.
438. THE ELECTRIC FIRE IGNITERIn almost every household some one on a winter’s morning shivers over a cold stove and suffers much till a fire is well started, but if the fuel were laid over night and the stove equipped with an electric wire running to the bedroom, one could press a button with the satisfaction of soon entering a warm kitchen. Such a device would pay the inventor well.
439. BEDCLOTHES FASTENERA clamp or clasp which shall fix the cover to the board so that children shall not kick or pull the clothes off in their sleep.
440. THE EASY-WORKING BUREAUWho will contrive some device by which a bureau drawer will open readily and evenly at both ends? The present working of these drawers is a vexation of the soul.
441. THE EXTENSIBLE BEDSTEADA bedstead that can be extended to accommodate two or three persons, or when room is wanted contracted to the use of one person.
442. MOVABLE PARTITION AND FOLDING BEDSome one should invent a partition that will form a part of the wall of a room, and which will inclose a bed when the latter is not in use. In the economy of space which forms so important an element in the construction of city houses, it is strange no builder has not yet thought of this.
443. AN ATTACHABLE CRIBA combined bed and crib so arranged that when the crib is not in use it may be folded in or under the larger bed of an adult.
444. PULSE INDICATORHardly one in a hundred can take the beats of his own pulse. The first thing the doctor does is to feel your pulse. Invent an instrument so delicate that its clasp on the wrist will accurately tell the pulse.
445. DRESS-SUIT HANGERThe device for a dress coat should be extended to other parts of a gentleman’s wear. Give us a dress-suit hanger which will cause the suit to appear when not in use very much as it does when on the body of a man.
446. THE ANTI-SNORERIt should not be difficult to invent a simple mouth or nose attachment to prevent the intolerable nuisance of snoring.
447. THE VENTILATED MATTRESSHousekeepers take pains to air their beds, but the mattress remains for years a mass of unventilated feathers or hair, and a fruitful soil for the deposit of disease germs. A kind of honeycombed mattress might be constructed, through the holes of which the air could circulate freely. It might be possible on this plan to have the spring and mattress in one piece.
Section 6. Fortune in the Cellar._
448. A FURNACE FEEDEREvery householder would buy an automatic feeder for the furnace, thus saving the arduous labor of shoveling coal. There should be a bonanza in the right invention.
449. ICE MACHINEThe study of the large ice machines now in use, with a view to produce one on a scale so small and cheap as to be introduced into every household has boundless possibilities of treasure for a fertile-brained inventor.
450. STOVE ASH-SIFTERThe waste of coal in unsifted ashes is enormous, but the process of sifting is disagreeable. What is needed is an attachment beneath the grate by means of which the ashes will be thrown into one pan and the unconsumed coals into another. An immensely paying invention.
451. JOINTED COAL CHUTEMuch time could be saved in unloading coal if some one would give us a coal chute jointed so as to be swung at an angle, thus avoiding delay where the driveway is too narrow to permit the straight chute to be inserted properly.
452. COMBINED PAN, CAN, SIFTER AND ROLLERA useful article would be the pan beneath the grate of the furnace, which could be used also as a can containing a sifter and provided with rollers so that it could be easily transferred to the street.
453. ASH BARRELMuch annoyance is caused, especially on windy days, by the blowing of ashes from the carts of the ash gatherers. This might be avoided by the construction of a patent ash barrel which could be transferred to the cart and exchanged for an empty one, on the same principle as oil cans are exchanged by the venders.
Section 7. Fortune in the Library and Schoolroom._
454. A PAPER BINDEROne that will bind newspapers and other periodicals, and which can be sold for twenty-five cents. Those on the market are too expensive.
455. THE CORRESPONDENT’S DESKA desk with compartments specially arranged for correspondents would save much time and annoyance on the part of letter-writers. Paper, pen, ink, envelope, postage stamp, answered letters, letters requiring immediate reply, and letters which require time for consideration, would then be relegated to the most fitting place, and be available when wanted.
456. BOOK DUSTERThere is needed some simple attachment to a bookcase whereby the dust which has gathered on the books may be quickly removed when one wishes a volume without soiling of the hands.
457. THE PORTABLE LIBRARYA useful device would be a combined box and bookcase, so that in packing for removal the books need not be disturbed, the doors of the bookcase serving as a lid for the box.
458. POCKET LUNCH BASKETA lunch basket which can be folded and put in the pocket when empty. Ten million school children want this article.
459. THE MULTIPLE-LEAVED BLACKBOARDA blackboard attached to the wall and opening outwardly with several leaves so that it can be used by a number of pupils at once, and when not in use can be folded back so as to occupy a small space.
Section 8. Fortune in Meals._
460. BUTTER AND CHEESE CUTTERA device which cuts butter and cheese into small square blocks. It should be shaped like a caramel-mold with sharp edges, cutting ten or twelve blocks with a single insertion.
461. PAPER TABLE CLOTHThe constantly increasing use of paper for new articles is a feature of the times. We have paper napkins, but why could not a paper be manufactured of a little better quality so as to serve for a tablecloth?
462. SCROLL-EDGE MEAT KNIFEThe scroll-edge bread knife is being manufactured as fast as possible, the factories running night and day. Construct a meat knife on the same principle, with difference only sufficient to secure a patent, and prosperityis yours.
463. CARVING-KNIFE HOLDERA small wooden or wire frame with depressions for knife and fork when not in use would conduce to cleanliness and save much vexation on the part of those who carve.
464. LAMP COOKERA wire frame with hooks on the bottom for clasping a lamp-chimney could be placed on the top of a lamp, and would make an excellent patent cooker for light dishes. Think of the convenience of cooking your supper on your lamp chimney!
465. WINE TABLETSHere is an idea for the trade. We have lemonade tablets; why not those of wine? The grapes should be pressed in the ordinary way, and then by means of a knife transferred to an apparatus where they can be evaporated in a vacuum, the vapor to be drawn off by a pump and condensed. As soon as the mass has the consistency of a syrup it is to be mixed with the pulp. Thus a sort of marmalade is produced, containing eighty per cent. of grape sugar. Makers of the lemonade tablets have done well, but the inventor of the wine tablets would have an immensely larger market.
466. EXTENSION TABLEDifficulty is experienced with the present extension table. The boards are not at hand when wanted, and frequently will not go into place readily. A table is needed in which the boards fold underneath, and can be readily brought into place by the turning of a crank.
Section 9. Fortune in the Business Office._
467. THE KEYBOARD LOCKA combination lock on the principle of the cash register. Instead of carrying certain combinations of numbers in your brain, you simply remember a definite order of keys, and push them in turn as you would in playing a light air on the piano. This patent would be a great improvement on the present system, and contains barrels of fortune.
468. AUTOMATIC SAFE OPENERRun by clockwork, and set so as to open automatically at a certain hour of the day, and impossible to open at any other time.
469. PAPER BINDER AND BILL HOLDERA flat stick, concave at each end, so as to hold a large number of elastic bands. Slip a band over each bill, and you may have a hundred or more papers preserved in compact form.
470. BOOK LOCKA pocket contrivance which can be attached to the edges of a book. Notebooks, diaries, and private correspondence, could then be guarded during the momentary absence of the writer. A great sale predicted.
471. THE PERPETUAL CALENDARA calendar which will show on what day or month any event fell or will fall for all time.
472. THE LIGHTNING ADDERIt is possible by a system of keys to invent a machine which will set down almost as quick as lightning the sum of any column of figures, thus dispensing with much of the service of a bookkeeper.
473. COPYHOLDERTypewritists want a copyholder capable of being adjusted to any size of manuscript and which can be sold as low as twenty-five cents.
474. ENVELOPE MOISTENER AND SEALERConstruct a narrow brass or iron plate, one-fourth of an inch wide and shaped like the flap of an envelope. A shallow vessel of water is placed underneath, into which by the manipulation of a screw, the plate is occasionally dipped. Above the plate is fixed a second plate which acts as a sealer, and which operates with a screw-head.
475. MULTIPLE LOCKA device for locking with one movement all the drawers in a desk or bureau.
476. OFFICE DOOR INDICATOROne to be operated instantly and easily, showing that the occupant is out, and with a dial face to indicate when he expects to return.
477. AUTOMATIC TICKET SELLERIt is entirely feasible to have an automatic ticket seller which will both date and deliver tickets. A machine of this kind has been fixed in the Hammerton Station at North London, and is said to work satisfactorily. But there is room for improvement on the part of brainy inventors.
478. PERFORATED STAMPThe chief of the London Stamp office said the government was losing $500,000 a year through the dishonest practice of removing stamps from official papers and using them again; and he offered a large sum or a life office at $4,000 a year to any one who would invent a stamp which could not be counterfeited.
Section 10. Fortune in the Packing Room._
479. NONREFILLABLE BOTTLESuch a bottle is an absolute necessity to beer and liquor manufacturers, sauce and patent medicine makers, yet no one has yet supplied the demand. Here is a chance, and there are millions in it.
480. THE COLLAPSIBLE BOXA box that cannot be refilled for fraudulent purposes. Must be so built that it cannot be opened without destroying it. It would be purchased by every maker of confections.
481. BOTTLE STOPPERThere are mines of treasure in a cheap substitute for cork. An inventor will some day gain prosperityby the inventing of a paper stopper.
482. COMBINATION CORK AND CORKSCREWA bottle stopper which can be removed by simply turning it around like the top of a wooden money-barrel made for children. Must be made to sell cheap.
483. THE COLLAPSIBLE BARRELA barrel arranged in a series of parts each one above smaller than the one below, and so contrived that when not filled the parts sink into each other like the pieces of a field glass. A barrel of such convenience for reshipping would be bought by the hundred thousand, and would be full of gold for its inventor.
484. SELF-STANDING BAGA device whereby bags will stand alone with wide-open top while being filled, thus dispensing with the services of an extra man. All shipping merchants would pay largely for such a bag.
485. BARREL FILLER AND FUNNEL CUT-OFFBarrel filling by the ordinary funnel is slow. Provide four openings at the bottom instead of one. A small rubber hose will connect the opening of each barrel, and a cut-off or a string attachment at the end of each hose cuts off the flow when the barrel is full, and permits the contents of the hose to be carried back to the barrel and thence into one of the unfilled barrels, thus avoiding waste.
486. FOLDING CRATEThe transportation of fruit and other produce would be greatly facilitated and cheapened if some one would invent a folding crate. An empty crate occupies as much room as a full one.
487. PAPER BARRELWho will invent a paper barrel which will be as serviceable as the present wooden one, and have the advantage of being light? It would have a universal sale.
Section 11. Fortune in Articles of Trade._
488. THE TRADESMAN’S SIGNALAn automatic device for letting the grocer, butcher, baker, etc., know when he is wanted, saving time both to the household and trade. Sure to sell.
489. BARREL GAUGEA dial with hands to be attached to a barrel or keg to indicate the amount of its contents.
490. ELASTIC CHIMNEYAn elastic glass chimney which will expand with the heat and not break would sell by the million.
491. AIR MOISTENERA apparatus for moistening the air in the room. It should avoid the objectionable feature of all present devices which sprinkle minute drops of water to the damage of goods. All large manufacturers and proprietors of large stores, where many workmen and clerks are employed will pay handsomely for such a machine.
492. AUTOMATIC LUBRICATOREvery wheel, axle, pulley and joint, in labor’s great beehive needs oil. A vast amount of valuable time is consumed in the work. Invent an oil-can which will work automatically, and you can name your own price.
493. SHORT-TIME NEGATIVEA process by which the negative of a photographic camera may be developed almost instantly instead of consuming the time now required. An immediate prosperityis assured to the discoverer of this art.
494. DRYING APPARATUSAn invention by which dry air could be produced in abundance so as to dry clothes or be employed in the preservation of fruits would make its deviser independently rich.
495. ROTABLE HOTEL REGISTERA revolving frame for a hotel office, so that the register is alike accessible to the clerks within and the guests without.
496. GLASS DOMEThe inventor of the little glass bell for hanging over gas jets made a fortune, but as the gas fixture is commonly attached to a movable bracket it does not always occupy the same place. A glass dome which shall be a part of the gas fixture would be a great improvement and bring much fortune to the inventor.
497. ROUND CUTTING SCISSORSA scissors or shears that will cut round as well as straight. It would be bought by every one who uses a needle.
498. CASKET CLAMPThree thousand people die every day in this country. Undertakers want a clamp which will keep the casket from moving in the hearse either laterally or longitudinally.
499. SELF-WINDING CLOCKAn arrangement such that when the weight of the clock touches a certain point it will set in operation a mechanism which will wind. The prize for perpetual motion has never yet been awarded. Possibly the solution is in the self-winding clock.
500. DOSE STOPPERA thimble-like contrivance which shall act both as a bottle-stopper and a cup to contain the exact dose.
501. FAUCET MEASUREA device for measuring the quantity of liquid that passes through the faucet. Invaluable for store-keepers.
502. AUTOMATIC FEEDERA feeding rack so constructed that the hay or grain will be fed automatically with a cut-off when the proper amount has been given.
503. COUPON CASH BOOKAt present persons who pay cash are charged the same as those who trade on credit, a practice which is manifestly wrong. A cash-book should be made so that those who pay immediately for goods should receive a rebate. Every merchant would purchase a quantity of these books, since the great bane of merchandise is bad debts.
504. GAS DETECTIVEA device to be placed on a gas fixture to ascertain instantly whether it leaks. Often there is an odor of gas when it is difficult to tell whence it proceeds.
505. PAPER TOWELSPaper towels having the quality of cloth, yet designed only for a single use, will doubtless be a feature of the near future. They will “make” their first maker.
506. WATER FILTERA cheap device for use in every household, one which could be attached to the water faucet, and which would insure pure water. It would sell enormously.
507. PNEUMATIC FREIGHT TUBEIf small packages for store and post office use can be sent by tubes, why may not the principle of compressed air be extended so that grain and fruit may be transported thereby, thus saving the great expense of handling and of car freightage? Some day the greater part of our freight will be carried by this means, and he who is first in the field will coin a mint of clean dollars.
508. STORM WARNINGApply the principle of the barometer to a large glass globe, placed on the top of a public building, by means of which the contained liquid shall be colored red on the approach of a storm; or construct an instrument which will give forth a sound when bad weather is to be feared. Such an invention would be wanted everywhere.
509. HEAT GOVERNORIf a regulator could be placed upon heat pipes so as to keep the heat at a desired temperature, the inventor would reap untold millions. Florists, poultry raisers, and in fact every housekeeper needs this device.
510. AUTOMATIC OIL FEEDERAn invention which will feed oil to a lamp at a uniform rate, and which is provided with a cut-off whereby the supply can be stopped when the light is extinguished.
511. PAINT BRUSH FEEDERA brush with a reservoir of paint so that when the painter finds the uplifted brush growing dry he has but to reverse it in order to have it replenished.
512. INSIDE FAUCETThe outside faucet is awkward and interferes with cartage. One which could be worked on the inside by a button on the outside is demanded. Improvements in faucets have made two or three inventors rich, but the right one is yet to come.
513. HOUSE PATTERNSThousands of people like to plan for themselves the building of their homes. At present the only means provided is that of pencil and drawing paper. Wooden blocks adapted for the purpose, and ready-made joints would fill a long-felt want.
514. EXTENSION HANDLEA handle which may be applied to any kind of a brush, and which will enable painters, window-scrubbers, and others who have to work at high elevations, to do their work from the ground.
515. WIRE STRETCHERThousands of tons of wire are manufactured annually, but the wires often are slack. Invent a cheap, simple device which will keep spring beds even and wire fences taut.
516. PRICE TAGA price tag which can be instantly attached to a piece of goods. Merchants would buy it by the thousands if made for a trifling cost.
517. THE HANDY VISEIn the course of time a hundred things need fixing in every house. What is needed is a small vise which can be readily attached to a kitchen table, and which would not cost over fifty cents.
518. FOLDING LADDERA light ladder which is portable and extensible would pay well.
519. SMOKELESS FUELA kind of kindling which will be as ignitable as wood, but which will not smoke. The inventor will have money to burn.
520. FINGER-RING GAUGEA cylindrical piece of metal to which are loosely attached a number of rings of the same material, serving as a gauge to measure the finger, each ring differing from the others by a slight fraction.
521. LAUNDRY BAGHotel keepers want a bag adapted to the carrying of washing, so as to avoid the unsightly baskets of washerwomen. A large ornamental bag should be constructed with apartments for different kinds of wearing apparel.
522. SOLE CEMENTA cement which could take the place of pegs, nails, and threads in the manufacture of shoes would revolutionize the trade and make fortune for the patentee.
523. GOODS EXHIBITOROn an upright column attach a number of steel or wooden rods radiating like the spokes of a wheel, and made to turn by clock-work machinery.
524. SHOE STRETCHERA metal frame made adjustable to any shoe by having its parts extended or depressed and worked by a tiny crank. The extension of the frame when the crank is turned stretches the shoe.
525. CORK EJECTORA simple means by which the cork can be ejected from within would supplant all prevalent methods and bring treasure to the inventor.
526. LEMON SQUEEZERA squeezer of a new type, having a tongue to pierce the fruit, and making a hole just large enough for the juice to be extracted by the squeezer, but not large enough for the pulp to escape. The only squeezer which presses the lemon without cutting it in half. The inventor of the glass lemon squeezer made a large fortune.
527. SPRING WHEELA wheel with inner and outer rim, and the space between filled with springs would afford much easier riding than the present method.
528. THE PLURAL CAPSULECapsules made so as to be divided in order that one-half or one-quarter the quantity can be taken.
529. THE DOSE BOTTLEThis might be called the neck measurer. A bottle whose neck holds exactly the dose, and an arrangement for closing the lower end of the neck when it is full.
530. FISHERMAN’S CLAWA large, steel claw somewhat on the principle of a net, but with many advantages, might be invented. The claw when opened should cover three or four square yards of water. It closes with a spring attached to the handle. Quite as much sport in this as with the hook and line. The right article ought to have great sales.
531. POCKET SCALEA little scale capable of being carried in the pocket, so as to be instantly at service in weighing small articles would be appreciated and purchased by almost every one.
532. TOY BANK AND REGISTERThere is needed for the holding of children’s money a bank with a device attached for registering the amount which it contains. A cheap device of this kind would be a great improvement on the present toy bank. The inventor of one of the principal banks for children now in use is said to have made half a million dollars out of his invention.
533. THE PAPER MATCH“The time-honored scheme of rolling up a piece of paper and using it for a lighter could be utilized by an inventor in the manufacture of matches,” says the _National Druggist_. “The invention would revolutionize match manufacturing, because the wood for this purpose is constantly growing scarcer and more costly. The matches would be considerably cheaper than the wooden ones, and also weigh less, a fact which counts for much in the exportation.”
534. ILLUMINATED TYPEHere is an idea which if properly worked ought to put the inventor on the high road to fortune. Why could not our newspaper-type, by the use of phosphorous, after the manner of the illuminated watch dial, be illumined so that the print could be read in the dark? Illuminated type may be a newspaper feature of the coming century.
535. PAPER BOTTLESIf a paper bottle could be made as serviceable as glass, its many other advantages would make it an El Dorado for the inventor. Its lightness in transportation and its freedom from breakage would cause it to come into general use. Especially on shipboard, where bottles are constantly broken by the roll of the vessel, would such an invention be hailed with joy.
536. THE PAPER SAIL“Paper sails,” says the _Railway Review_, “are meeting with considerable favor. They are cheaper than canvas sails, and they are soft, flexible, and as untearable as the original article.” There is room for invention here. Treated with the proper solutions, it may be that paper will entirely displace cloth in the wings of our ships.
Section 12. Fortune in the Street._
537. STREET SWEEPERA device like the present carpet sweeper to be used on paved roadways will command a large sale.
538. PHOSPHORESCENT STREET NUMBERSWho has not been vexed in trying to locate an unfamiliar house in the dark? In many streets not one number in a hundred can be seen in the night. Contrive some means of illuminating these numbers, and you will confer a boon to others and reap a reward for yourself.
539. BUGGY TOP ADJUSTERA contrivance for raising or lowering the buggy top so that it can be readily operated from the buggy-seat.
540. SHOULDER PACKMen persist in carrying in their hands that which could be borne between the shoulders with much less strain. Who will give us a convenient pack to be carried upon the back?
541. ADJUSTABLE CART BOTTOMA cart with device for lowering the bottom to the ground or nearly so, for the easy reception of the goods, with jack for raising the same when loaded. Every merchant, carter, and expressman would hasten to possess himself of this invention.
542. NAILLESS HORSE SHOEA rubber shoe, which can be easily adjusted to a horse’s foot without nails. The advantages would be many and the sales numerous.
543. ELASTIC RINGAn elastic ring for hitching horses. One with snap buckle for opening so as to receive both the bridle and the object to which it is to be attached. As the ring is elastic, it will fit any hitching post or tree. It would be welcome to everybody who owns a horse.
544. HEEL CYCLOMETERAn indicator fixed in the heel of a boot or shoe so that each step records itself, and by which the pedestrian is enabled to tell the distance he has covered.
545. WHIP LOCKA cheap device to be placed in the whip-stock of a carriage for securing the whip against theft. If it could be sold for ten cents every driver would have one.
546. REIN-HOLDERA contrivance attached to the dashboard and which holds the reins securely in position and prevents them from being switched under the horse’s tail.
547. AUTOMOBILEThe horseless carriage is sold at prices ranging from $1,800 to $3,000. Josef Hofman, the great pianist, says he is confident he can build one for $300. Here is a great opportunity for mechanical electricians.
548. THE LOW TRUCKIt would be a great advantage to carters if a truck could be constructed whose body would be much nearer the ground than the one in present use. Great expense as well as expenditure of muscle would be saved if by some arrangement the cart body could be as low as eighteen inches from the ground.
549. AUTOMATIC HORSE-FASTENERThe man will gain prosperitywho can devise some means whereby the rider can fasten his horse and unfasten him without alighting from the vehicle.
550. THE FOOT-CYCLEPersons who know the ease and exhilaration of skating as compared with walking will be interested in an effort to invent a foot-cycle which will do for the foot on the ground what the skate does on the ice. The roller-skate does this in a measure, but it is adapted to hard surfaces only. What is needed is something in the order of a miniature bicycle–a machine capable of going over surfaces hard and soft, in fact, a sort of bicycle skate. Here is vast room for a fertile inventor.
Section 13. Fortune in Farming Contrivances._
551. A CORN CUTTERA machine to run between the rows and cut the stalks on each side would sell to every farmer; and there are 4,565,000 farmers in the United States.
552. FROST PROTECTORA chemical combination whose product when ignited is chiefly smoke. All farmers suffer from late and early frosts. They would pay liberally for a smoke producer which would protect their crops, for it is known that a very little smoke acts as a mantle to keep off the frost. They should be made cheap so that half a hundred might be placed to the acre. Farmers are the most numerous class of people, and fortunes await those who can invent anything for their benefit.
553. A FARM FERTILIZERWanted–a fertilizer more powerful and less bulky than those in use. We have condensed meat extracts for the table; why not better condensation of food for the farm? Chemists will find no better paying employment for their brains than in this direction.
554. A POSTLESS FENCEFor posts substitute a windlass at each corner of the field so as to keep the wires taut. If the field is large or irregular, more windlasses would be required, but they could be manufactured at a cost much less than that of posts.
555. AUTOMATIC GATE OPENERFix an iron bar or rail with a spring contrivance in such a way that the pressure of wagon wheels on one side of the gate releases a spring and causes the gate to fly open, while the pressure on the opposite side causes it to close. The arrangement of the contrivance on one side is of course the reverse of that on the other.
556. CORN PLANTERA long, hollow cylinder filled with seed corn and having rows of holes placed at regular intervals for dropping the kernels, and wedge-like or plow-shaped pieces of iron between the rows so as to throw up a light covering of soil, would plant easily twenty-nine acres a day. Such a simple contrivance would cost only a few dollars, and would command a ready sale to agriculturists.
557. THE ALL-SEED PLANTERA device like the above, the wheels and gearing remaining the same, but with the cylinder fixed so as to be readily detached, and other cylinders substituted, having the rows and sizes of holes adapted to the planting of any kind of seed. These sets of cylinders would make the machine much more expensive than the one in the former article, but it would be much cheaper than separate machines for different seeds.
558. FERTILIZER DISTRIBUTOROne constructed on the plan of the street-sprinkling cart would make much of the farm labor easier than it now is.
559. BONE CUTTERFarmers want a cheap bone cutter–cost not to exceed $5–by which bones and sea-shells can be cut into small bits for fowls. Bone is an egg-producer, but no cheap means has been invented for utilizing this kind of refuse.
560. BUCKET TIPPERA bucket with an attachment at the bottom connecting with a finger-piece at the top, so that the bucket can be tipped and its contents emptied without the wetting of the hands.
561. POST HOLE DIGGERA four-sided metal casing is driven into the ground by a sledge-hammer. A small handle sunk in one side of the casing pulls a metal plate through the earth at the bottom, thus making an earth-filled box. Two more stout handles on the top are for lifting the digger and its contents. A digger which could be made for $5 would sell by the ten thousand.
562. WELL REFRIGERATORFarmers often keep articles in the well; but if an accident to the rope occur, the articles of food are often spilled, thus spoiling the water in the well, and entailing great annoyance and expense. Invent a way by which a well may be a safe ice-box.
563. MULTIPLE DASHER CHURNA churn which is constructed on the principle of the common egg-beater, and which is operated from the top instead of the side or end. Prosperity in this.
564. FRUIT PICKERAn open bag fixed at the end of a long pole with a shears operated by a string in the hand of the picker.
565. PORTABLE FENCEA fence in which the posts are made of steel or iron two inches in diameter, and tapering at the end so as to be readily driven into the ground. Such a fence may be carried in a wagon and set up anywhere in a few minutes.
566. POULTRY DRINKING FOUNTAINA round wooden dish with a large cone occupying the central space, except the narrow channel near the rim. This will prevent the fowls from getting their feet in the water and fouling it, while at the same time the cone is a reservoir of supply. There should be a faucet allowing the water to drip slowly so as to keep the channel filled.
567. POULTRY PERCHA movable perch, with an erect post and numerous projecting arms. It has the advantage that it can be removed and cleansed.
568. MOLE TRAPOne of the greatest pests of the farmer, and the most difficult to catch is the mole. Invent a trap whose upper part shall be somewhat like an old-fashioned hetchel, full of sharp spikes; the under part is a platform, and releases a spring when the mole steps upon it.
569. SEED SOWERApply the principle of the revolving nozzle in the lawn sprinkler to a machine for the sowing of seed.
570. MILKER AND STRAINERConstruct a pail in two parts, the upper part to receive the milk directly from the cow while a strainer separates it from the lower part. Thus the milk can be taken from the barnyard already strained.
571. PAPER MILK CANIn time milk cans will probably be constructed of paper. The saving in cost of transportation would cause every farmer to hail the construction of such an invention.
572. PLANT PRESERVER“A German chemist,” says _Merck’s Report_, “has prepared a fluid that has the power when injected into the tissue of a plant of anesthetizing the plant. The plant does not die, but stops growing, maintaining its fresh, green appearance, though its vitality is apparently suspended. It is also independent of the changes of temperature. The composition of the fluid is shrouded in the greatest secrecy, but as the process is not patented the secret may be discovered and utilized by another investigator.”
Section 14. Fortune in the Mails and in Writing Materials._
573. THE REVERSIBLE PACKAGEThere is needed a package or paper box in which legal papers or merchandise sent for approval can be turned inside out and remailed to the sender. Such a device would have a large demand.
574. COPYING PAPERA paper used for duplicating manuscripts would command a ready sale. The carbon paper now employed is very expensive.
575. WORD PRINTING TYPEWRITERSome typewriters have as many as fifty keys. A small increase in number would cover the words in common use. Many words can be omitted, and yet the sense be conveyed. Letters or postal cards, consisting of one, two, or three lines could thus be written in one moment.
576. TRANSPARENT INK BOTTLEProduce an ink-bottle of which the glass shall not be so opaque as the one in common use and in which the depth of the ink is clearly seen, thus avoiding the too deep dipping of the pen, with the result of blots on the page and stains on the fingers.
577. DOUBLE POSTAL CARDThe United States Government would no doubt consider favorably a postal-card made double, so that one part could be readily torn from the other and remailed, the one part containing the message and the other left blank, save for the sender’s name and address.
578. THE SAFETY ENVELOPEAn envelope such that it is impossible for it to be surreptitiously opened without the fact being discovered. The government seeks such an envelope.
579. COMBINATION COVER AND LETTERAn envelope to which is attached a half-sheet of paper which folds in the cover, thus making only one piece.
580. ALWAYS READY LETTER PAPERThere is room for a device whereby letter paper can be fed out to the writer as desired, so that the pen or machine may travel continuously without stopping for new sheets.
581. INK REGULATORAn inkstand provided with a tiny wooden disk which floats on the surface of the ink. The slightest touch of the pen depresses the disk and permits the pen to be filled, and at the same time prevents it from dipping too far, and thus making an unsightly daub on the holder and fingers.
582. THE PEN FINGERMight not a device be attached to the forefinger which could serve the uses of a pen? Think what ease and speed would be gained if one could write directly with one’s finger instead of employing the entire hand.
583. PEN RESTThere is room for a device which shall rest upon the paper and support the pen while the latter is writing. Those who do every day a vast amount of writing would appreciate this invention.
584. PERPETUAL PEN SUPPLYOn a slight elevation have an inkstand with an opening at the bottom to which is attached a small piece of hose, the other end being connected with a hollow pen holder, thus insuring a perpetual flow of ink. A saucer on the writing table containing a tiny cup or several tiny cups holds the pen or pens in an upright position when not in use, care being taken that the pens in that position are higher than the reservoir, so as to cut off the supply.
585. LETTER ANNUNCIATORConstructed on the principle of nickel and slot. The weight of the letter in the house letter box pushes up into view a red card, thus announcing the presence of mail matter at a distance, and avoiding the opening of the box in vain.
586. ENVELOPE OPENERMost people open envelopes at the end, often with trouble and awkwardly, but almost every envelope has one of the flaps a little loose near the corner. A small flat piece of steel with ivory handle such as could be disposed of for ten cents, would be salable.
587. MAIL STAMPERA stamper constructed upon a letter box so that it would be impossible to insert a letter without at the same time stamping it. The United States Government would pay a large sum for such a device.
588. ROTARY STAMPERA wheel broad enough to contain the name desired, and which is operated by taking the handle and drawing or pushing the wheel over the matter to be stamped. It would be ten times quicker than the ordinary way.
589. INVISIBLE INKAn ink which is invisible, and must be treated by some chemical to make it appear. It would be invaluable to those carrying on a secret correspondence.
Section 15. Fortune in Dress._
590. BACHELOR’S BUTTONSInvent an eyeless and threadless button, somewhat on the style of the envelope-clasp. The million or more bachelors would surely buy them.
591. SHOE FASTENERSome device is needed for the quicker and surer way of fastening shoes. The button is inconvenient and the tie is unreliable. The Foster kid glove fastener made the inventor a man of millions.
592. A TROUSERS’ GUARDOne which will effectively prevent the wear at the bottom. Trousers commonly give way first at the end of the legs. The trousers-wearing world is vexed by garments frayed at the bottom.
593. TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SHOEIt will be one without laces or buttons. The upper can be taken off or put on instantly when desired, and yet be waterproof. There is a gold mine in that shoe.
594. COMBINATION TIE AND COLLARA time saver which can be adjusted instantly, and yet be separable when desired. You would not have lost the train but for the delay in fixing your collar and tie. Thousands of minutes saved every day mean as many thousands of dollars in the pockets of the fortunate inventor.
595. SPRING HATNot a hat to be worn only in the spring, but a hat with a padded spring on each side, so that it will fit closely in all kinds of weather, and whether the hair is long or short.
596. THE REAR-OPENING SHOEA shoe in which the foot could enter from the back instead of from the top would have the double advantage of ease of adjustment and elegant appearance. The buttons or lacings would then all be upon the sides. There is a possibility of much fortune here.
597. DETACHABLE RUBBER SOLEAn invention whereby a rubber sole may be attached to an ordinary shoe in wet weather, or to the shoes of base ball and tennis players to prevent them from slipping.
598. THE INSTANTANEOUS CEMENTFor the last-named invention as well as for hundreds of other cases, there is required a cement which will set in a minute. The man who will produce it can live at his ease the rest of his days.
599. ELASTIC HAT PINA flexible pin provided with a clasp at the head so that the pin may be bent around and secured, thus lessening the danger from that formidable weapon.
600. STARCH-PROOF COLLAR BANDShirts first wear on the collar. Millions of otherwise perfectly sound garments have to be thrown away because the collar band is worn out by the use of starch in ironing. Here is the inventor’s opportunity.
601. DRESS SHIELDLadies are often inconvenienced in keeping their dresses out of the mud, both hands being occupied. A dress shield attached to the dress does the work.
602. SLEEVE HOLDERAn elastic cord passes between the fingers with a grip at each end for holding the sleeve of a coat while an overcoat is being donned.
603. THE CONVERTIBLE BUTTONThe button which can be so contrived as to be made into a flower holder when required would have an unlimited sale.
604. PAPER CLOTHINGMany of the Japanese wear paper clothing. The idea might be extended to warm climates, and in the summer season to our own climate. Will not the time come when we shall hear of “Moses’ Patent Paper Trousers,” and “Isaacs’ Patent Paper Coats?”
Section 16. Fortune in Personal Conveniences._
605. THE POCKET UMBRELLAFew things are in more common or universal use than the umbrella, and yet what a cumbersome, awkward thing it is. Who will invent one that can be folded, packed and pocketed? A Mr. Higgins, by the invention of the sliding thimble for umbrellas received $100,000 cash as royalties on his patent. A pocket umbrella should realize for its inventor much more than that.
606. THE MILLION MATCHA slow-burning match, which will burn four times as long as the ordinary one. Such a device contains a million dollars, for it would drive all other matches out of the market. “A Hungarian named Janos Irinyi, the inventor of the lucifer or phosphorus match, sold his patent for $3,500.”
607. FINGER-NAIL PARERA fine blade, especially adapted to the rounded shape of the finger-nail. It may be attached to an ordinary penknife.
608. THE WATCH PADA small watch set in the center of a square pocket pad, so that the engagements for the day may be marked upon a paper opposite the time fixed. The pad should have a sufficient number of leaves to last a month or more. When all have been torn off, the watch can be attached to a new pad.
609. POCKET BILL HOLDERWithin a flat, leather case, suitable to be carried in the pocket, construct a device for holding bills for collection on one side and for bills for payment on the other. Every business man wants it.
610. EXTENSION UMBRELLAAn umbrella capable of extension in one direction so as effectually to shelter three persons. It must be made on a radically different plan from the kind now in use.
611. PORTABLE DESKA desk which can be conveniently carried under the arm, hung upon a nail when it is not desired for use, and in unfolding presents a stand and all the materials for writing.
612. FLOWER HOLDERA spring between the ends of pieces of wood will cause the opposite ends to press firmly together. These ends will press firmly to the lapel of the coat, and the coil of the spring will hold the stem of the flower.
613. HAT LOCKA device for securely locking a hat in a public place so that it can be removed only by the owner; a coat lock also would be useful.
614. SPRING SHOE HEELA spring inclosed within the leather of the heel so as to facilitate walking. It would be of special aid to the sick and the feeble.
615. SELF-IGNITING CIGARSome day an inventor will make a stupendous prosperityby a cigar which can be ignited by simply rubbing the end, as a match is now rubbed in lighting.
616. SPRING KNIFEA pocket knife in which the blade can be opened by touching the spring, thus avoiding the vexation of broken finger-nails.
617. PHOSPHORESCENT KEY GUARDA device which will serve the double purpose of covering the hole when the key is not in use and for finding the hole when the key is inserted.
618. KNOT CLASPAn effective clasp which will securely hold a knot. Parcels are constantly becoming untied and shoes unlaced when an effective clasp would prevent it. It must be very cheap.
619. SINGLE MATCH DELIVERYA penny-in-the-slot machine for use in cigar stores, but operated free of cost. The machine should deliver but a single match at a time.
620. WATCH HEAD CANEA small watch fixed in the head of a cane would be a great convenience to walkers.
621. BOOK CASE CHAIRAn easy chair, provided with a small rack for books on each arm. Specially adapted for invalids.
622. COIN HOLDERA device by which coins are in sight in a traveler’s purse, and by touch of a spring he can cause to fall the exact coin he wants. Very convenient for ferries, cars and cabs.
623. THE POCKET PUNCHA simple punch by which with a pressure on a pocket one could secretly make a record every time he paid out money, and thus keep an account of his daily expenses without resort to bookkeeping.
624. MOUTH GUARDIf you can invent a mouthguard which will be both simple and ornamental and prevent contamination when drinking at public fountains or in partaking of the communion cup in churches, you will confer much favor upon the community and reap large funds for yourself.
625. PARCEL FASTENERA hook and eye capable of instant insertion in the wrapping of paper parcels would be sold by the million.
Section 17. Fortune in Household Conveniences._
626. THE WARNING CLOCKA clock which will give notice of its wants when it is nearly run down. A simple device which it should be easy to contrive and quick to sell.
627. A SLOT GAS MACHINEOne which will operate a certain length of time by the payment of a nickel and automatically close when the money’s worth is consumed. It would be invaluable for small consumers.
628. REVOLVING FLOWER STANDA clock-work device so that all plants in a cone or pyramid could get their share of a sun-bath.
629. WINDOW SHADE SCREENThe inventor would gain prosperitywho could devise something for windows which would be a shade or screen or both as occasion required.
630. BABY WALKERA light frame, mounted on four casters, partially supporting the baby and permitting him to propel himself in any direction. Only the four posts need to be made of wood. For the rest, two or three light pieces of cloth are sufficient. It should not cost over fifty cents–better at twenty-five cents. Every mother with a baby would want one at the latter price.
631. DETACHABLE SHOWER BATHEvery house should be equipped with a shower-bath, but few have one which can be readily attached to and removed from the supply pipe of the bath room. A cheap article would have an almost universal sale.
632. CARPET BEATEREvery husband would buy a machine that would beat carpets and thus save himself that drudgery or the expense of hiring a man.
633. CARPET STRETCHER AND FASTENERUnite in one device a stretcher and fastener, thus doing away with the mischievous tack and the damage of piercing the carpet.
634. STEP-LADDER CHAIRA chair so contrived that it may be thrown into a short step-ladder. A greatly needed device for the house.
635. A WINDOW FLY-GATEApply the principle of the fly-trap to the window screen. In this way the flies in the house may pass out, but those without will not come in.
636. DOUBLE WINDOW SHADEIt is often desirable to shade the lower half of a window for the sake of privacy, while the upper half is left open to let in light, but the present window shade covers the wrong half of the window. Construct a shade which will be fastened to the bottom and work up to meet the other, or else a single shade which works exclusively from the bottom.
637. FOLDING BABY CARRIAGEOne which will occupy no more room than an ordinary chair. Perhaps your ingenuity could make an article which would be a chair and a baby carriage combined.
638. A SCRUBBING MACHINEThe handle just above the brush passes through a cylinder holding two or three quarts of water, the bottom of the cylinder being pierced with holes so that the brush is supplied with water.
639. CATCH-ALL CARPET-SWEEPERA sweeper with an appliance for running into the corners of rooms would supersede the sweepers now in use.
Section 18. Fortune in the Saving of Life and Property._
640. SAFETY SHAFTSA device for separating the shafts from the body of the carriage in the case of a runaway, and thus insure the safety of the occupants.
641. POCKETBOOK GUARDNearly all ladies carry the pocketbook in the hand. A device should be invented for fastening it securely to the hand so that it could not be snatched by a thief.
642. CHEAP BURGLAR ALARMIf you can invent an effective burglar alarm which can be sold at ten cents per window, you will have a monopoly in that article.
643. COLLAPSIBLE FIRE ESCAPEOne which may be folded or rolled and kept beneath the window-sill, and which, when occasion requires, may be extended by throwing the unattached end to the street.
644. AIR TESTERWe have a barometer to test the vapor and a thermometer to test the heat. Who will make a contrivance that will test the quantity of pure oxygen in our rooms, and also detect the presence of disease germs? Vast possibilities of treasure and fame open in this direction.
645. LIFE BOAT LAUNCHERThe two ends of the boat should be attached to the arm of a crane, one chain of which swings the boat clear of the ship, while another releases it from its fastenings. To the inventor this will be Fortunatus’ boat.
646. SAW-TOOTH CRUTCHProvide a crutch with teeth on the under side so that it can be used on ice or sleety pavements without slipping.
647. ELEVATOR SAFETY-CLUTCHSuch a clutch has recently been invented, but it acts too suddenly; what is needed is one which in time of accident will bring the elevator to a stop slowly.
648. GUN-GUARDA rubber guard for guns which will prevent their accidental discharge.
649. POCKET DISINFECTOROne has often to go into unhealthy neighborhoods and places where disease germs lurk. A small flat can, filled with some disinfectant which could be conveniently squirted, would be not only a killer of offending odors, but also a saver of life.
650. AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARMProcure some substance easily melted by heat; which, when melted, releases a spring which operates an alarm bell.
651. KEY FASTENERA little thought properly applied will invent a device whereby a key in a door will be proof against a burglar’s nippers, it being impossible to turn the key until the device is removed.
652. LIGHTNING ARRESTERWhy has there been no improvement in the ancient, unsightly, and expensive lightning rod? This is the more remarkable since electricity is so much better understood now than formerly. Invent a cheap means of arresting the deadly fluid, and of turning it into a harmless channel.
653. A WINDOW CLEANEROne which will do the work as well as human hands, and at the same time do away with the peril of life and limb while cleaning the outside of high windows.
654. SAFETY REINA third rein attached loosely to the others, but capable of being drawn tight under the horse’s chin, thus throwing his head back and stopping him when disposed to run.
655. THE ROPE-GRIPA grip which will take a firm hold of a rope of any size and not abrade the hand as in the ordinary method of descending by a rope.
656. SCISSORS GUARDAn attachment to the scissors which closes over the parts when not in use, and thus prevents accidents to or by children by their unskilful use.
657. THE DOUBLE POCKETA pocket in two parts, the lower part easily opened by the owner, but of sufficient difficulty to baffle pickpockets.
658. FIRE EXTINGUISHERNow we will give you the secret of a fire extinguisher that will do more with the same amount of chemicals used than any patented fire extinguisher in the world. A small demijohn is filled with a substance that looks like water, but sells for the price of brandy. Half a dozen of these demijohns scattered about a building will protect it from conflagration, for it contains a liquid which is the most inimical to fire that is known. A gallon of it thrown on the flames will subdue any ordinary fire, and yet–here is the secret–it is nothing but aqua-ammonia.
Section 19. Fortune in the Laboratory._
659. FLY-KILLERThere is needed some powerful chemical that will destroy flies the moment they enter the house, and yet be harmless to man. He will become richer than Crœsus who shall give us the much needed boon.
660. ARTIFICIAL EGGThe art of chemistry is now so far advanced that a clever student of the science ought to compound an egg which will be so cheap and such a clever imitation of nature, as to enable him to make fortune by his skill.
661. SEDIMENT-LIQUEFIERFind a chemical substance that will liquefy the residual substances in barrels. There would be an enormous demand for a composition that would do the work effectively.
662. FIRE KINDLERA material which will kindle both wood and coal without addition of paper, shavings, or any other article.
663. EGG PRESERVERNo process has yet been found for preserving eggs for months and keeping them as fresh as newly-laid ones. Here is the chance for the practical chemist.
664. MOSQUITO ANNIHILATORThe greatest pest is the mosquito. If some chemical could be found which could be squirted liberally upon the marshes, which are the breeding place of the mosquito, and thus annihilate the pest, a long suffering public would shower its benefactor with gold.
665. ARTIFICIAL FUELThere is needed a fuel that can be produced as cheap as wood for use in the spring and fall, when the weather is too mild for the use of the furnace.
666. THE FLAMLESS TORCHThere are hogsheads full of fortune for the man who will invent an igniter which will cause combustible matter to burn, but will not itself flame–a device which can ignite a lamp instantly by a thrust down the chimney, or light the gas without the usual hunt for a match.
667. CHEMICAL ERASERSome chemical should be produced which will effectively erase the marks of a pen and leave the paper the same as before.
Section 20. Fortune in Tools._
668. THE INSTANTANEOUS WRENCHA monkey wrench, the jaws of which may be adjusted instantly, instead of by the screwing process now in vogue.
669. THE DOUBLE CHANNELED SCREW HEADA screw in which the head has two channels instead of one, crossing each other at right angles.
670. THE DOUBLE POWER SCREW DRIVERThe last invention requires another, a screw driver, also double at the end, by means of which twice the power may be acquired in the insertion of screws.
671. THE MULTIPLE BLADE PARERA knife with several blades so arranged as to cut the skin of the fruit on all sides at once, and with a gauge to fit it to any size of fruit.
672. KNIFE GUARDA knife with a guard for peeling fruit, preventing the fruit from being pared too deep.
673. THE ALL-TOOLA pocket device on the principle of a many-bladed knife, except that instead of blades the things which open from the handle, besides the single blade, are a saw, gimlet, file, cork-screw, screw driver and other useful tools.
674. A NAIL CARRYING HAMMERA device for holding nails to a hammer. Carpenters would work twice as fast.
Section 21. Fortune in the Cars._
675. A SPEED INDICATORA contrivance for determining the speed of street railway cars. The speed is governed by law, but there is no practical means for determining how great it is. The laws of all our cities will insure the success of such an invention.
676. AUTOMATIC CAR-COUPLERA device is needed whereby the simple impact of one car upon another will cause a coupling-pin to be inserted in place. If you can contrive a system by which cars can be coupled by the same mechanism now employed for air-brakes, every one of the million or more cars on our railways will be equipped with it.
677. THE FENDER CAR-BRAKEA fender so constructed that when it strikes an obstacle a brake is released which binds the wheels. Hundreds of lives would be saved every year. Companies which now pay heavy sums for loss of life and limb would buy such an invention on most liberal terms.
678. FOLDING CAR-STEPTo avoid the difficulty of alighting from a car or of climbing into one when a car is not at a platform, invent a step which folds up when not in use.
679. CAR SIGNALA device for signaling would-be passengers when the car is full. The law will soon require such a device, and then there will be a rush of inventors to reap the reward. “The early bird catches the worm.”
680. AUTOMATIC WATER TANKHere is a valuable suggestion to railway engineers and mechanics. It is believed that it is entirely feasible to construct a railway water tank that shall work automatically. It is to be done by utilizing the waste steam of the engine. It is a new application of the old principle of the forcing of water into and out of a steam-tight chamber by the alternate admission thereto and condensation therein of live steam. The condensation produces a vacuum, and the pressure of the external atmosphere forces water into the tank. It is only necessary to locate the tank within suction distance of its water supply, and there is the saving of wages, fuel and repairs. It has been recently stated that the cost of pumping at the railway stations of the United States last year amounted to $7,000,000, or an average of $700 per station. Who will put these millions in his pocket by devising an automatic water-tank?
Section 22. Fortune in Making People Honest._
681. THE HOUSEKEEPER’S SAFETY PUNCHWe want a device which will do away with the need of trusting to the honesty of the ice-man, grocer, baker, and others who supply our daily wants.
682. THE UNALTERABLE CHECKInvent a small, flat leather case with lock and key, into which the check or checks will securely fit. Only the signer of the check and the officer of the bank have the key. The latter, after paying the check, holds the case for the depositor. This would make it impossible for the check to be raised, or, if lost, for a dishonest finder to have it cashed, as he would be unable to give either the name or the amount. The cases should be made very cheap so that a depositor could possess a number at a trivial cost.
683. EGG TESTEROne which will test eggs by a new method and grade them according to the length of time they have been laid, such as three days’ eggs, three weeks’ eggs, packed eggs, etc.
684. UMBRELLA LOCKA small attachment to an umbrella which will serve as a lock when in place, and will do away with the intolerable nuisance of stolen umbrellas.
685. THE GUARANTEED BOXThere is sore need of a patented box guaranteed to hold exactly one quart. Not only do present measures differ, but the custom of dealers is not uniform with regard to a heaping or an even measure.
Section 23. Fortune in Traveler’s Articles._
686. THE ADJUSTABLE TRUNKSome kinds of traveling bags can be adjusted to suit the degree of baggage a traveler needs. Some similar arrangement should be supplied for trunks. A half-filled trunk is more apt to be broken than a full one.
687. THE HOLLOW CANEOne which will contain many small articles for the use of travelers.
688. THE ELASTIC TRUNK STRAPAvoid the hard work of strapping trunks as well as the unsightly straps by inventing an ornamental band which will do by elasticity what is now done by the buckle.
689. THE SLIDE BAGAn extension handbag in which when required the ends may be slid out so as to treble the space, and when empty may be slid back, making it very small.
690. THE OUTFIT TRUNKThere should be a trunk with various divisions for the reception of articles, like the drawers of a bureau or the compartments of a writing desk, in which everything can be properly placed.
Section 24. Fortune in Toilet Articles._
691. CURLING IRON ATTACHMENTA wire frame attached to a lamp. The top part, which is fixed on the lamp chimney, should have a depression for holding a curling iron. May be sold to every lady for ten cents.
692. THE HINGE BLACKING BOXInvent a blacking box with a hinge top, and thus avoid the difficulty of opening it in the old way, and also the nuisance of soiled hands.
693. THE MIRROR HAIR BRUSHA combined toilet article for travelers, the handle of the brush being enlarged so as to hold the comb, which is released by a spring, and the end of the brush containing a small mirror.
694. THE SOAP SHAVING BRUSHA shaving brush with a tin casing containing soap. Turning the brush makes a lather all ready for application to the face. Very convenient for travelers.
Section 25. Fortune in Amusements._
695. THE DUCKING STOOLA game for seaside resorts. Bathers would like a large pool or tank where, by a system of planks fastened to a central post, two bathers could go alternately up and down, one being in the water while the other was in the air, an arrangement like the see-saw which children are so fond of. It should have sufficient capacity to accommodate a number of bathers at once, and should be as near as possible to the sea, so as to be available by persons in bathing suits, who have already had a salt bath.
696. THE DOUBLE MOTION SWINGA swing or scup, in which the swinger can raise himself up and down at the same time he is being carried backward and forward.
697. THE FOLDING SKATEThe man who will invent a skate which can be folded and put in the pocket will not only confer a boon upon millions of skaters, but will also put a snug prosperityin his own pocket.
698. BICYCLE BOATA boat in which the pedal movement, as used in the bicycle, is employed for driving power, and the boat is propelled in the water somewhat after the manner that the bicycle goes upon the land.
Section 26. Fortune in War._
699. THE SLOW EXPLOSIVEA shell that will penetrate the armor of a vessel before exploding and not, as now, at the instant of contact. A military officer in France says that prosperityawaits the man who shall invent such a shell.
700. THE TRANSPARENT CARTRIDGEA mica cartridge would have the advantage of being transparent, permitting the slightest chemical change to be detected, and the danger of premature explosion avoided. Mica has the peculiar property of withstanding intense heat.
701. SHIP’S BOTTOM CLEANERHere is an invention that would be cheap at any price; one that would clean the bottom of seagoing vessels without the necessity of docking. Even if it cost as much as docking, it would still be a great invention of immense utility, because it would save the time of a long voyage. It is believed that the road to this invention lies in the direction of electricity, whose industrial applications are so rapidly multiplying. There is more fame and prosperityin this than in the much-lauded revolving turret.
702. SELF-LOADING PISTOLThere is room for improvement in small arms. A pistol ought to be invented which will fire eight or ten shots in rapid succession, the discharge continuing simply by the holding back of the trigger. In many kinds of fireworks the balls are sent off in succession in this way, while the piece is held in the hand. Apply the same or a similar principle to the pistol, and your reward will be that of a Mauser or a Maxim.
Section 27. Fortune in Minerals._
703. GALVANIZED IRONIf you can discover a process for galvanizing iron which will save one-tenth of a cent in its present cost, you will, figuratively speaking, sink a shaft into an endless mine of gold, for the amount of galvanized iron now in use is enormous, and the range of its usefulness is constantly increasing.
704. METAL EXTRACTORA solution which will precipitate gold or silver from the ore, and thus save immense sums now expended in the crushing of the ore. Such an invention would revolutionize the mining industry, and make the inventor enormously rich. Mr. Edison says: “I am convinced there is not a single abandoned gold claim in the world, where gold has ever been discovered, from which the precious ore cannot be extracted in quantities to pay a big margin of profit over the cost of operation.”
705. GOLD PAINTHenry Bessemer invented gold paint, which remains a secret to this day. At first he made one thousand per cent. To-day it yields three hundred per cent. Here is a chance for the man of brains, as the monopoly lies in a secret and not in a patent.
Section 28. Fortune in Great Inventions Unclassified._
706. STORAGE OF POWERNo man with brains need go to the Klondike. Diggings that pay infinitely better will be found in your own little workshop. Vast fortunes await those who can think out some means of utilizing the natural forces, such as tides, winds, wave power, and sunshine. These forces can be and soon will be stored compactly, so as to respond promptly to sudden drafts of power. The future of the entire world’s work lies along these lines, and there will be inventions and enterprises that in importance will dwarf the discovery of steam power and revolutionize the world’s commerce.
707. PICTORIAL TELEGRAPHYOne of the greatest fortunes ever made by inventors will be realized by him who succeeds in making a perfect picture by means of the electric wire. Already inventors are at work trying “to send pictures by telegraph,” and some have nearly succeeded; but the first in this hot race will go to the head of millionaire inventors.
708. SOLIDIFIED PETROLEUMHere is a fuel which, if possible–and it seems entirely so–will turn the world upside down. It is said that petroleum can be compressed into a solid, and that three cubic feet will represent the bulk of a ton of coal, and will last combustible as long as fifty tons. Think of the immense saving to our merchantmen, steamboat, and war vessels. Instead of five thousand or six thousand tons of coal, they will have only a few petroleum sticks. No invention of early or modern times contains such possibilities of economy in commerce, of revolution in means of transportation, and of limitless prosperityto the lucky discoverer, as this one that promises or threatens to displace coal, as yet the greatest factor in the world’s progress. Here is a prize alluring enough to call out the keenest and most devoted powers of the scientific inventor.
709. NON-INFLAMMABLE WOODThe vast benefit of a non-inflammable wood has long been realized. As long ago as 1625, a patent for such a process was taken out in England, but the old inventors labored under the disadvantage of being ignorant of the chemical and physical qualities of wood. But the time is now ripe for a successful invention of that kind. The difficulty is to get rid of the combustible gases in the wood without at the same time destroying the cells. This difficulty could probably be overcome by placing the wood in a vacuum, admitting steam, and thus, vaporizing the moisture of the wood, drawing off the product of the vapor. Then, if the wood should be saturated with certain salts, it would doubtless be found that the combustible gases would be destroyed, and the carbonization of the wood under high heat prevented. If the process should be successful, the demand for the wood would be enormous, as it would be immediately required for all vessels, and indeed, for all buildings. The possibilities of treasure from such an invention almost surpass the limit of the imagination.
710. SUCTION PIPEThere are many delicate operations in manufacture which are now performed at great expense by hand, but which could be done better and cheaper by a gentle air pressure. The inventor of a device of this kind for spreading and shaping the tobacco leaf in cigar manufacture has his patent capitalized for $2,000,000, and it is paying sixty per cent. interest.