For a patent and trademark office to approve a patent, the invention must be novel, non-obvious and useful. Detailed below are just a handful of crazy automotive patents that somehow got approved.

The Automobile Attachment

On 1 June 1927, Eugene L. Baker from Massachusetts filed for a patent for an ‘automobile attachment’.

The invention comprised of a simple and efficient device to be attached to the vehicle, which would then allow the driver to speak to people in front of the vehicle to help facilitate traffic.

This patent was then approved by the United States Patent Office on 28 January 1930 (1,744,727).

Device for Horseless Vehicles for the Protection of Pedestrians and the Vehicle Itself

Heinrich Karl from New Jersey filed his application for an ‘automatic device for horseless vehicles for the protection of pedestrians and the vehicle itself’ on 2 September 1930.

The invention consisted of a device being installed on the automobile to help prevent injury or death to pedestrians when struck by said vehicle. The device would also serve as a protective barrier for the automobile if it collides with another vehicle or a stable structure.

In the event of a collision, instead of a pedestrian being run over by the wheels of a motor vehicle, a blanket of cloth or rubber would be spread in front of the wheels of the vehicle so that the individual struck would have a soft landing to help protect against any injuries.

This crazy idea was patented on 28 June 1932 (1,865,014), despite the fact that this invention excuses dangerous driving, as well as allowing drivers to have no repercussions if they hit a pedestrian.

Ice Block as Substitute for Vehicle Wheels                                                         

In April 1963, an application was filed for the ‘ice block as a substitute for vehicle wheels’ by Dragan Rudolf Petrik, from South Africa.

This automotive invention involved ice blocks in any form, shape and size being applied as skids to any kind of vehicle that is powered by a jet engine, propellers, electrical.

To allow the ice blocks to function, part of the ice block would melt to provide the sliding motion needed for the vehicle to move down a metal track or other prepared surfaces, whilst the other part of the ice block would be kept cold by a freezing machine.

This patent was later approved by the UK Patent Office on 20 April 1964 (16370/64).

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Andrew Mackenzie

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