Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Game #1: What was the inventor thinking?
Guess the purpose of this invention using the comment form. Enter as often as you like. Begin your guess with "This is a…" or "This is for…"
Two winners will be named, one for the correct guess and one for the funniest guess. And yes, this invention pertains to young children and/or parenting young children.
No links! If you discover a website describing this invention, keep it to yourself. All will be revealed in time. [This game is sheepishly inspired by Neatorama's What Is It? competition.]
You are competing for the glory.
Update: Glory Dispensed
Natalie gets a dollop of glory for devising an insane and highly detailed explanation for how the invention could be used to assist with cleaning poopy diapers.
Erica gets a heap of glory for correctly guessing how the invention functions, and envisioning a plausible purpose that not even its inventor directly considered — an anti-thumbsucking and anti-nail biting device.
Thank you to everyone who ventured a guess without any thought for personal gain as is so common in blog contests. All for the glory!
A "Baby-Protector" was patented in 1913 by Jacob Everette Dodd of Yoakum, Texas.
The device is comprised of two cylindrical rigid cardboard sleeves through which an infant’s arms are placed to cover his elbows.
Straps are attached to the sleeves, joined together with a loop that goes around the infant’s head. The loop, or an optional safety pin attached to the infant’s clothing, keep the sleeves in place so the sleeves don’t slide off the infant’s arms.
Here is what the inventor was thinking…
"This invention relates to baby protectors, the object in view being to provide a simple device adapted to be easily applied to an infant, and which when properly applied will prevent the child from bending his elbow sufficiently to enable the hands to reach the mouth. [...] At the same time, in crawling these inflexible sleeves assist the infant by bracing the arms."
That’s right, it’s a babyproofing device. He goes on to indicate his concern is foreign objects ("…the child is prevented from placing articles, too numerous to mention, in the mouth").
One wonders how a baby would crawl without bending his elbows. Think also about tiny bones snapping as a walking toddler tries to brace his fall with rigid elbows.