Vast profits accrue from manufactures, but the best returns for
investments in this line are realized when the manufacturer is able to
make a new article, or to make an old article by improved means. David
Maydole, a village blacksmith, was requested to make for a carpenter a
hammer as good as he could make it. He made a better hammer than had
ever before been seen, and the carpenter’s mates all wanted one. The
village storekeeper ordered two dozen. A hardware dealer, passing
through the place to sell his wares, left an order for all the
blacksmith could make. The hammer-maker built a large factory, and this
was the humble origin of the celebrated Maydole hammer, and the
foundation of a great fortune. Another fascinating chapter on
manufacture is the “Story of Pullman,” which reads like a fairy tale,
but is all strictly true. Mr. Pullman began in a small way to build
parlor cars, making one or two as an experiment. The traveling public
were quick to appreciate the luxury, and Mr. P. had to enlarge his works
again and again. He built the town of Pullman, which is now valued at
$30,000,000, and the capital stock which now has a market value of
$60,000,000, has paid dividends with the regularity of a government
344. BICYCLE FACTORIES.–These have proved veritable bonanzas during the
past few years. In 1878, Col. Albert A. Pike began the manufacture of
bicycles, making fifty that year. To-day he has a phenomenal business,
employing a capital of $5,000,000 utilizing four factories in Hartford,
Conn., and making 600 bicycles a day.
345. DOUBLE PROFIT FURS.–Here is a way to make a double profit from the
skins of animals: Soak the furs in limewater till the hair is loosened,
then wash and hang it up to dry. Lay it on a board with the hair side up
and apply a solution of glue, care being taken not to disturb the
natural position of the hairs. When the glue is dry and hard, hold the
hairs so firmly as to allow the natural skin to be peeled off. Now you
can apply the artificial skin by pouring over the hairs liquid
India-rubber, boiled drying-oils, or other waterproof substances, which
on drying will form a continuous membrane supporting the hairs. The glue
is then removed by steeping the fur in warm water. This plan has the
double advantage that the fur so prepared is moth-proof, and the old
skin can be used for the manufacture of leather.
346. MICA SHEETS.–Large sheets of mica command a great price. There are
only a few places where the mineral can be mined in sheets of one foot
square or larger, but the vast heaps of waste mica can be utilized by
building up the sheets artificially. This can be done by treating it
with shellac. There are fortunes in waste mica quarries for those who
know how to utilize the countless tons of fragments. The field is
especially promising in North Carolina and Georgia, where immense
347. ARTIFICIAL MARBLE.–There is room for profitable investment in the
manufacture of any article which is procured from nature at great
expense. This is the case with marble. It is scarce at best; the
quarries are remote from the centers of population, and the mining and
transportation make it a very costly article. Marble can be manufactured
by imitating nature’s processes–the percolating of water through chalk.
The popular verde antique can be made by an application of an oxide of
copper. The slices of marble are then placed in another bath, where they
are hardened and crystallized, coming out exactly like the real article.
In Italy, a fine black marble is made from common white sandstone. The
manufacture is carried on by the owners of the local gasworks, who thus
reap a double profit from their plant. Here is a hint for American
348. ARTIFICIAL WHALEBONE.–Whalebone is in great demand. It is worth
from $3 to $4 per pound. No artificial substance has as yet been found
to take its place, but we are surely on the eve of that discovery. No
one substance is at the same time so hard and so elastic, but
experimenters will yet find a combination which will answer the purpose.
One has already been found which draws the surplus demand when the
genuine article cannot be obtained. The inventor who can advance another
step and produce an exact imitation will have the whalebone market in
his hands. This field is rich with possibilities.
P. S.–Since writing the above we have the secret. Here it is: Treat the
rawhide with sulphide of sodium, remove the hair, immerse the hide
twenty-six to thirty-four hours in a weak solution of double sulphate of
potassa, and stretch it upon a frame or table, in order that it may not
contract in drying. The desiccation is allowed to proceed in broad
daylight, and the hide is then exposed to a temperature of fifty to
sixty degrees. The influence of the light, combined with the action of
the double sulphate of potassa absorbed by the skin, renders the
gelatine insoluble in water, and prevents putrefaction, the moisture
being completely expelled. Thus prepared, the skin is submitted to a
strong pressure, which gives to it almost the hardness and elasticity
which characterize the genuine whalebone, with the advantage that before
or after the process of desiccation any color desired may be imparted to
it by means of a dye bath.
349. ARTIFICIAL INDIA RUBBER.–A man while experimenting recently with
cottonseed oil for the production of a varnish, obtained to his
surprise, not a varnish, but a rubber. By its use, with fifteen per
cent. of genuine rubber, an article can be produced so exactly like the
real as to defy detection. The process is so simple that a patent is not
obtainable. So, manufacturers, the field is open. Rubber is high and in
350. ARTIFICIAL CAMPHOR.–Here is another trade secret. The genuine
camphor is scarce. The artificial is made in England, shipped to
Hamburg, and then re-shipped to England as the real article. Here is the
way it is made: Pass a current of dry hydrochloric acid gas through
spirits of turpentine cooled by a freezing mixture. The liquid deposits
crystals, which are dissolved in alcohol and precipitated by water. The
separated crystals are drained and dried. They are perfectly colorless,
with an odor like camphor. At the ordinary temperature, its vapor
tension is sufficient to cause it to sublime like ordinary camphor in
small brilliant crystals in the bottles in which it is preserved. It is
insoluble in water, and gyrates when on the surface of that liquid like
351. CAR BUILDING.–Some day another Pullman will arise, but with
developments in car building in a totally different direction. We quote
from a recent magazine article: “The time is sure to come when a new
railroad genius will arise and make an end of the game of brag between
American general passenger agents. This reformer will probably
substitute light and easily cleaned bamboo seats for those now in use;
he will save a good deal of the money now spent in useless
ornamentation, and spend it in better ventilation and lighting; and he
is likely to design frames and trucks much lighter, and at least as
strong and durable, as those which carry the average day car of the
present time. It is possible, too, that he may accomplish a good result
by lowering the center of gravity of the prevailing type of passenger
car, thus preventing it from rolling at high rates of speed, and
obviating the supposed necessity of placing two or three tons of old
rails in the floor to keep it steady.” It is perhaps needless to say
that such a man as Mr. Pullman or Mr. Wagner will become a
multi-millionaire through this much-needed reform.
352. THE TRANSVERSE WOODEN PAVEMENT.–One day the celebrated wit,
Sidney Smith, was talking with some vestrymen of the church of which he
was a member about laying a wooden pavement around the sacred edifice.
“Well,” said the famous jester, “we have but to lay our heads together
and the thing is done.” But here is a pavement which some capitalists
will one day lay their heads (funds) together to produce, and it will be
no joke. It has been ascertained that the most durable pavement is made
from blocks of wood sawed transversely about twelve inches in thickness.
The larger and smaller blocks are fitted together, the smaller
interstices being filled with wooden wedges. Here is a chance for some
The immense importance which minerals play in our industries and the
glittering fortunes made by delving into the earth, are faintly
indicated by the fact that the output of last year aggregated the almost
unthinkable sum of nearly $1,000,000,000. Profits in mining come mainly
from four sources. The buying of mining lands with a view to sale,
prospecting for the purpose of selling claims, placer-mining, and mining
by machinery. Here are a few of the most promising roads to the earth’s
353. NEVADA SILVER.–The Comstock lode produced in three years
$100,000,000, of which $30,000,000 went for cost and working expenses,
and $70,000,000 for profits. Altogether $300,000,000 have been taken
from that celebrated mine. In the African mines there are sixty-nine
companies. In 1896 the lowest dividend of any of these companies was 10
per cent., and the highest 350. In 1897 the lowest was 10 and the
highest 500 per cent. The accounts of the way that such men as James
Flood, James G. Fair, and William Sharon obtained their wealth from
silver mines reads like the fascinating story of a popular novel.
354. ALUMINUM, THE NEW MINERAL.–“The product of aluminum in the United
States,” says a mining expert, “should be three million pounds in 1900.”
The present price is from thirty-five to fifty cents per pound. It is
found chiefly in Georgia and Alabama at the foot of the Appalachian
system, but there is no known reason why it should not be discovered in
other parts–the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, and
355. NORTH CAROLINA MICA.–In the mountains of North Carolina are found
the best mica dikes in the United States, but the methods of mining are
crude and bring small profit. Here is an opportunity to make a vast
fortune by the producing of mica with machinery such as is used in
extracting other minerals.
356. KANSAS ZINC.–Zinc is a mineral which has a great future. It is
being used largely in place of tin. There are many zinc mines, and
especially in the Western States, as yet undeveloped. One acre in
Galena, Kansas, produced $250,000.
357. MISSOURI COTTAS.–For clay go to Missouri. It is found in 90 out of
the 114 counties of the State. From this mineral three companies in
Kansas City are manufacturing sewer-pipes and working on an invested
capital of $1,000,000. They have an annual output worth $1,100,000, or
more than 100 per cent. profit, less, of course, the cost of production.
The sewer-pipe industry will vastly increase with the growth of cities.
358. NICKEL MINES.–Nickel is a metal for which there is a constantly
increasing demand. Aside from the vast number of nickel-plated articles,
it has recently been found that steel, alloyed with a small percentage
of nickel, makes the hardest substance known which can be produced on a
large scale. It is bound to be used in future for the shells of our
ironclads. In North Carolina and in Oregon, are large deposits of this
valuable ore awaiting the hardy miner or bold speculator.
359. MEXICAN IRON.–Near the city of Durango, Mexico, are the largest
iron mines in North America, but as yet entirely unworked. There are
10,000,000 square feet in sight, sixty per cent. of which is metallic
iron. An opportunity for capitalists.
360. TENNESSEE LIMESTONE.–In the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains
are ranges of blocks–lower Carbonifererous and Devonian shales, and
impure limestone, but the rocks of the basin proper are pure limestone.
This limestone when pulverized makes the best phosphate, and is worth
$18 a ton. A mining authority states that with proper working it ought
to produce at least 200,000 tons of rock per annum.
361. FORTUNES IN COPPER.–Forty-eight per cent. of the copper of the
world is in the United States and Canada. The price is $200 a ton.
Almost all the mines of the Lake Michigan region are making profit, but
the industry is yet in its infancy. When it is known that a mine has
been made to pay which contains less than one per cent. of copper, it
can be seen what fortunes are in the mines that pay from forty to fifty
per cent., and there are some that pay even more.
362. GERMAN AMBER.–In Memel, Germany, a dredging company pays the
government an annual rental of twenty-five thalers a day for the
privilege of dredging in the Kurische Hoff, near the village of
Schwarzarts. But it is not to be supposed that this is the only spot
where amber is to be found. It will doubtless yet be discovered in this
363. AFRICAN DIAMONDS.–Diamonds in vast numbers are found in the beds
of many South African streams, but if you have capital you may develop
an industry like that of the De Beers Company, which is paying forty per
cent. per annum.
364. TASMANIA TIN.–A single company in Murat Bischoff has paid more
than $7,000,000 in dividends to the fortunate owners of a tin mine.
365. GEORGIA SAPPHIRES.–In 1872, Colonel C. W. Jenks, of Boston, picked
up one hundred of these valuable stones at Laurel Creek, Rylang County,
Georgia, a single gem of which was sold for $25.
366. ROCK SALT.–Rock salt is found in Syracuse, New York, and in
Michigan, also in Louisiana, and in South Eastern Arizona. It is
believed that if these mines were bored deeper, potassium salt–a salt
hitherto not found in the United States–would be discovered, and home
plants take the place of foreign imports. Here is a chance for
367. ASBESTOS POCKETS.–A profitable pocket of asbestos was found a few
years ago on Long Island not far from Brooklyn. Present supplies come
from Sal Mountain, Georgia, and from Wyoming. It is believed that the
serpentine rocks in Western North Carolina, as well as similar rocks in
California and Oregon, contain rich deposits of this mineral.
368. PROSPECTS IN PLATINUM.–This is a metal of very great importance.
It has not thus far been found in large quantities in the United States.
The most promising field is the North Pacific Slope, following the line
of the coast mountains. Some day, it is thought, that rich platinum
mines may be discovered there equal to those in Russia, and, of course,
the early prospectors will reap large fortunes.
369. PETROLEUM WELLS.–“Petroleum,” says a leading article in the
_Electrical World_, “is the coming fuel.” It is believed by many that
the excitement over the discovery of oil fields in Pennsylvania in 1865
will be repeated on a much larger scale in oil regions yet to be
discovered in the far West. At present, the mountains of Wyoming appear
to be the most promising field. To sink an oil well costs $500 on the
average. On Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, a few wells have been struck which
yielded 3,000 barrels a day. One of the quickest ways to accumulate a
fortune is to prospect for oil, and when a rich vein is struck to buy as
much land as you can. A young man named Johnny Steel once owned nearly
all the land where the Pennsylvania oil wells were discovered. His
income was over $1,000,000 a year, $30,000 a day, or about $2 a minute.
But, verifying the adage that “a fool and his money are soon parted,” he
not only spent all this enormous income, but also squandered the entire
principal, and came at last to work as the driver of an oil wagon on the
very oil farm he had once owned.
370. GOLD DISCOVERIES.–Draw a line from Colorado Springs, Colorado,
north to Laramie City, Wyoming. From these two points draw straight
lines one thousand miles to the west and inclose the parallelogram. You
have inclosed what is known as the great gold belt of the United States.
Nearly all the gold has been discovered within these comparatively
narrow limits. Cripple Creek produced $8,000,000 in four years. A man
who walked into that place three years ago to save his stage fare is now
taking out $100,000 a year from his mines. Dawson City, way up in the
frozen British possessions, promises to do as well as any gold discovery
in the United States. Two men, the Thorpe brothers, cleaned up with
their pans $13,000 in eight weeks. This was but a very small part of the
immense amount of gold found in an insignificant creek, but there are at
least five hundred creeks on the branches of the Yukon River, many of
them no doubt as rich as the one that gave Dawson City its fame.
371. PROSPECTING FOR MINES.–“How many undeveloped mines are there west
of the Mississippi, which, if developed, would be valuable properties?
There may be ten thousand. It is far more likely that there are a
million.” Extract from “Mines and Mining Industries in the United
States.” The same authority also says that a prospector who has spent a
year in locating a mine should receive $10,000 from a capitalist as his
share. Mark this, you who think mining has no prospects, except for men
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 wealth.
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
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
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
_Section 1. Money in Bicycles._
372. A NON-PUNCTURABLE BICYCLE TIRE.–Any improvement in the universal
wheel means a fortune to the inventor. The Dunlap tire sold for
373. A BICYCLE-HOLDER ATTACHMENT.–One that will make it stand upright
when not in use. There is a fortune here.
374. THE BICYCLE UMBRELLA-HOLDER.–It 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 CLOCK.–A 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
376. THE DOUBLE-POWER BICYCLE.–One 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 WHEEL.–One that can be carried lightly on the shoulder
and packed in small space for storage or shipment.
378. A BICYCLE SUPPORT.–A contrivance for holding the wheel in place
when the rider stops but does not wish to dismount. A large sale
379. THE CUSHION SADDLE.–The 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 GUARD.–One 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
381. A COMBINATION BICYCLE LOCK.–One million bicyclists want a cheap
lock which can be operated without a key and fastened to any object.
382. A BICYCLE TRUNK.–One made of light material and adapted to
carrying on the rear of a wheel.
383. THE UNICYCLE.–The wheel of the future will doubtless be single.
The man who is the first to invent a practical unicycle will reap a
384. A BICYCLE COVER.–One 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 HOLDER.–One 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 CYCLOMETER.–Let the indicator or dial face be fixed to
the handle-bar instead of the wheel. Every bicyclist would want it.
387. THE ALL-SELLING WHEEL.–A 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 CLIP.–An 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 BICYCLE.–A 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 SHOE.–A sole adapted to be attached to an ordinary shoe,
and with means for retaining a hold on the pedals.
391. THE STIRRUP PEDAL.–A pedal which is shaped like a stirrup, holding
the foot and doing away with toe-clips.
392. THE HOME BICYCLE.–The 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. Money in Building Contrivances._
393. THE ORNAMENTAL FLOOR.–Ornamental floors, for ballrooms, summer
hotels, and all rooms where carpets are not indispensable.
394. THE SECURE WINDOW BLIND.–The 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
395. THE SELF-LOCKING WINDOW.–Doors 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 BLIND.–A 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 CLOSER.–The 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 WINDOW.–A 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 DOOR.–Devise 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 LOCK.–A 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 WINDOW.–Here 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 FURNACE.–A 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 SASH.–When 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 COVER.–Carpets 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 BALANCE.–A 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 MACHINES.–Why 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 TANK.–Instead 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 money in a pneumatic water tank.
408. THE WOOD-PULP FLOOR.–Floors 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. Money in the Kitchen._
409. THE CHEAP WASHER.–For 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 CHOPPER.–One 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
411. AUTOMATIC STOVE-DAMPER.–One 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
412. POTATO EXTRACTOR.–Apply 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 SHARPENER.–One for the kitchen use, that could be sold for
twenty-five cents; almost every housekeeper would want one.
414. COLD HANDLE.–A 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 money
to its inventor.
415. THE ELECTRIC STOVE.–Cooking by electricity will be the domestic
feature of the next century. There is a rich field here awaiting some
416. FRUIT-JAR HOLDER.–A device for holding fruit jars during the
preserving process so that the can will neither burn the hand nor spill
417. CAN OPENER.–All 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 VESSELS.–An attachment whereby the odors of
cooking will be carried into the chimney instead of out into the room.
419. COAL-FILLED FLAT-IRON.–Construct 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 SOAPER.–A washboard so arranged that the soft soap is
fed to the clothes by the simple act of rubbing.
421. DISH-WASHING MACHINE.–A 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 ALARM.–Proper 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 LINE.–Save washerwomen and housekeepers the
nuisance of tying and untying of hard knots by inventing the elastic
424. COMBINATION LINE AND PIN.–If 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 PRESS.–A 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-SLIDE.–The 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 fortune awaits 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. Money in the Parlor._
427. THE CHAIR FAN.–A 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
428. ROCKING-CHAIR FAN.–A fan to be attached to the top of a
rocking-chair and operated by the motion of a rocker.
429. CHRISTMAS-TREE HOLDER.–A 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 FASTENER.–A device such that every one can frame his
own picture, the parts of the frame being attached without hammer or
431. ADJUSTABLE HEAD REST.–One that can be attached to any chair and
adjusted to any position.
432. IMITATION COAL FIRE.–The 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 TURNER.–A 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-SCREEN.–It 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 ROCKERS.–A chair with rockers easily adjustable, so that
it may be a rocker or an ordinary chair as desired.
_Section 5. Money in the Bedroom._
436. A NOISELESS CLOCK.–Many nervous people are annoyed by the ticking
of clocks. Who can invent one which will perform this work silently?
437. A NARCOTIC PILLOW.–Will 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 IGNITER.–In 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 FASTENER.–A clamp or clasp which shall fix the cover to
the board so that children shall not kick or pull the clothes off in
440. THE EASY-WORKING BUREAU.–Who 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 BEDSTEAD.–A 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 BED.–Some 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 CRIB.–A 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
444. PULSE INDICATOR.–Hardly 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 HANGER.–The 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-SNORER.–It should not be difficult to invent a simple
mouth or nose attachment to prevent the intolerable nuisance of snoring.
447. THE VENTILATED MATTRESS.–Housekeepers 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. Money in the Cellar._
448. A FURNACE FEEDER.–Every 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 MACHINE.–The 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 wealth for a
450. STOVE ASH-SIFTER.–The 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
451. JOINTED COAL CHUTE.–Much 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 ROLLER.–A 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 BARREL.–Much 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. Money in the Library and Schoolroom._
454. A PAPER BINDER.–One 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 DESK.–A 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 DUSTER.–There 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 LIBRARY.–A 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 BASKET.–A lunch basket which can be folded and put in
the pocket when empty. Ten million school children want this article.
459. THE MULTIPLE-LEAVED BLACKBOARD.–A 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. Money in Meals._
460. BUTTER AND CHEESE CUTTER.–A 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 CLOTH.–The 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 KNIFE.–The 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 a fortune is yours.
463. CARVING-KNIFE HOLDER.–A 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 COOKER.–A 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 TABLETS.–Here 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 TABLE.–Difficulty 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
_Section 9. Money in the Business Office._
467. THE KEYBOARD LOCK.–A 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
468. AUTOMATIC SAFE OPENER.–Run 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 HOLDER.–A 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
470. BOOK LOCK.–A 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
471. THE PERPETUAL CALENDAR.–A calendar which will show on what day or
month any event fell or will fall for all time.
472. THE LIGHTNING ADDER.–It 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
473. COPYHOLDER.–Typewritists want a copyholder capable of being
adjusted to any size of manuscript and which can be sold as low as
474. ENVELOPE MOISTENER AND SEALER.–Construct 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 LOCK.–A device for locking with one movement all the
drawers in a desk or bureau.
476. OFFICE DOOR INDICATOR.–One 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 SELLER.–It 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 STAMP.–The 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. Money in the Packing Room._
479. NONREFILLABLE BOTTLE.–Such 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 BOX.–A 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 STOPPER.–There are mines of wealth in a cheap substitute
for cork. An inventor will some day make a fortune by the inventing of a
482. COMBINATION CORK AND CORKSCREW.–A 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 BARREL.–A 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 BAG.–A 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-OFF.–Barrel 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
486. FOLDING CRATE.–The 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 BARREL.–Who 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. Money in Articles of Trade._
488. THE TRADESMAN’S SIGNAL.–An 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 GAUGE.–A dial with hands to be attached to a barrel or keg
to indicate the amount of its contents.
490. ELASTIC CHIMNEY.–An elastic glass chimney which will expand with
the heat and not break would sell by the million.
491. AIR MOISTENER.–A 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 LUBRICATOR.–Every 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 NEGATIVE.–A process by which the negative of a
photographic camera may be developed almost instantly instead of
consuming the time now required. An immediate fortune is assured to the
discoverer of this art.
494. DRYING APPARATUS.–An 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 REGISTER.–A revolving frame for a hotel office, so
that the register is alike accessible to the clerks within and the
496. GLASS DOME.–The 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 money to the inventor.
497. ROUND CUTTING SCISSORS.–A scissors or shears that will cut round
as well as straight. It would be bought by every one who uses a needle.
498. CASKET CLAMP.–Three 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 CLOCK.–An 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 STOPPER.–A thimble-like contrivance which shall act both as a
bottle-stopper and a cup to contain the exact dose.
501. FAUCET MEASURE.–A device for measuring the quantity of liquid that
passes through the faucet. Invaluable for store-keepers.
502. AUTOMATIC FEEDER.–A 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 BOOK.–At 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 DETECTIVE.–A 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 TOWELS.–Paper 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 FILTER.–A 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 TUBE.–If 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 WARNING.–Apply 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 GOVERNOR.–If 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 FEEDER.–An 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 FEEDER.–A 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 FAUCET.–The 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 PATTERNS.–Thousands 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 HANDLE.–A 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 STRETCHER.–Thousands 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 TAG.–A price tag which can be instantly attached to a piece
of goods. Merchants would buy it by the thousands if made for a trifling
517. THE HANDY VISE.–In 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 LADDER.–A light ladder which is portable and extensible
would pay well.
519. SMOKELESS FUEL.–A 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 GAUGE.–A 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
521. LAUNDRY BAG.–Hotel 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 CEMENT.–A cement which could take the place of pegs, nails,
and threads in the manufacture of shoes would revolutionize the trade
and make money for the patentee.
523. GOODS EXHIBITOR.–On an upright column attach a number of steel or
wooden rods radiating like the spokes of a wheel, and made to turn by
524. SHOE STRETCHER.–A 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 EJECTOR.–A simple means by which the cork can be ejected from
within would supplant all prevalent methods and bring wealth to the
526. LEMON SQUEEZER.–A 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 WHEEL.–A wheel with inner and outer rim, and the space
between filled with springs would afford much easier riding than the
528. THE PLURAL CAPSULE.–Capsules made so as to be divided in order
that one-half or one-quarter the quantity can be taken.
529. THE DOSE BOTTLE.–This 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 CLAW.–A 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 SCALE.–A 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 REGISTER.–There 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 TYPE.–Here 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
535. PAPER BOTTLES.–If 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
_Section 12. Money in the Street._
537. STREET SWEEPER.–A device like the present carpet sweeper to be
used on paved roadways will command a large sale.
538. PHOSPHORESCENT STREET NUMBERS.–Who 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 ADJUSTER.–A contrivance for raising or lowering the
buggy top so that it can be readily operated from the buggy-seat.
540. SHOULDER PACK.–Men 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 BOTTOM.–A 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 SHOE.–A rubber shoe, which can be easily adjusted
to a horse’s foot without nails. The advantages would be many and the
543. ELASTIC RING.–An 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
544. HEEL CYCLOMETER.–An 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 LOCK.–A 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-HOLDER.–A 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. AUTOMOBILE.–The 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
548. THE LOW TRUCK.–It 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-FASTENER.–The man will make a fortune who can
devise some means whereby the rider can fasten his horse and unfasten
him without alighting from the vehicle.
550. THE FOOT-CYCLE.–Persons 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
_Section 13. Money in Farming Contrivances._
551. A CORN CUTTER.–A 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 PROTECTOR.–A 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 FERTILIZER.–Wanted–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 FENCE.–For 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 OPENER.–Fix 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 PLANTER.–A 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 PLANTER.–A 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 DISTRIBUTOR.–One constructed on the plan of the
street-sprinkling cart would make much of the farm labor easier than it
559. BONE CUTTER.–Farmers 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 TIPPER.–A 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 DIGGER.–A 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 REFRIGERATOR.–Farmers 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 CHURN.–A 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. A fortune in this.
564. FRUIT PICKER.–An 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 FENCE.–A 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 FOUNTAIN.–A 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 PERCH.–A movable perch, with an erect post and numerous
projecting arms. It has the advantage that it can be removed and
568. MOLE TRAP.–One 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 SOWER.–Apply the principle of the revolving nozzle in the
lawn sprinkler to a machine for the sowing of seed.
570. MILKER AND STRAINER.–Construct 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
571. PAPER MILK CAN.–In 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. Money in the Mails and in Writing Materials._
573. THE REVERSIBLE PACKAGE.–There 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 PAPER.–A paper used for duplicating manuscripts would
command a ready sale. The carbon paper now employed is very expensive.
575. WORD PRINTING TYPEWRITER.–Some 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 BOTTLE.–Produce 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 CARD.–The 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
578. THE SAFETY ENVELOPE.–An 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 LETTER.–An envelope to which is attached a
half-sheet of paper which folds in the cover, thus making only one
580. ALWAYS READY LETTER PAPER.–There 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 REGULATOR.–An 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 FINGER.–Might 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 REST.–There 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 SUPPLY.–On 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 ANNUNCIATOR.–Constructed 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 OPENER.–Most 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 STAMPER.–A 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
588. ROTARY STAMPER.–A 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 INK.–An 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. Money in Dress._
590. BACHELOR’S BUTTONS.–Invent an eyeless and threadless button,
somewhat on the style of the envelope-clasp. The million or more
bachelors would surely buy them.
591. SHOE FASTENER.–Some 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
592. A TROUSERS’ GUARD.–One 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. TWENTIETH CENTURY SHOE.–It 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 COLLAR.–A 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 HAT.–Not 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 SHOE.–A 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 money here.
597. DETACHABLE RUBBER SOLE.–An 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 CEMENT.–For 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 PIN.–A 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 BAND.–Shirts 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 SHIELD.–Ladies 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 HOLDER.–An elastic cord passes between the fingers with a
grip at each end for holding the sleeve of a coat while an overcoat is
603. THE CONVERTIBLE BUTTON.–The button which can be so contrived as to
be made into a flower holder when required would have an unlimited sale.
604. PAPER CLOTHING.–Many 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. Money in Personal Conveniences._
605. THE POCKET UMBRELLA.–Few 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 MATCH.–A 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 PARER.–A fine blade, especially adapted to the rounded
shape of the finger-nail. It may be attached to an ordinary penknife.
608. THE WATCH PAD.–A 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 HOLDER.–Within 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 UMBRELLA.–An 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 DESK.–A 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 HOLDER.–A 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 LOCK.–A 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
614. SPRING SHOE HEEL.–A spring inclosed within the leather of the heel
so as to facilitate walking. It would be of special aid to the sick and
615. SELF-IGNITING CIGAR.–Some day an inventor will make a stupendous
fortune by a cigar which can be ignited by simply rubbing the end, as a
match is now rubbed in lighting.
616. SPRING KNIFE.–A pocket knife in which the blade can be opened by
touching the spring, thus avoiding the vexation of broken finger-nails.
617. PHOSPHORESCENT KEY GUARD.–A 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 CLASP.–An 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 DELIVERY.–A 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 CANE.–A small watch fixed in the head of a cane would
be a great convenience to walkers.
621. BOOK CASE CHAIR.–An easy chair, provided with a small rack for
books on each arm. Specially adapted for invalids.
622. COIN HOLDER.–A 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 PUNCH.–A 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
624. MOUTH GUARD.–If 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 FASTENER.–A hook and eye capable of instant insertion in
the wrapping of paper parcels would be sold by the million.
_Section 17. Money in Household Conveniences._
626. THE WARNING CLOCK.–A 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 MACHINE.–One 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 STAND.–A clock-work device so that all plants in
a cone or pyramid could get their share of a sun-bath.
629. WINDOW SHADE SCREEN.–The inventor would make a fortune who could
devise something for windows which would be a shade or screen or both as
630. BABY WALKER.–A 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 BATH.–Every 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 BEATER.–Every husband would buy a machine that would beat
carpets and thus save himself that drudgery or the expense of hiring a
633. CARPET STRETCHER AND FASTENER.–Unite in one device a stretcher and
fastener, thus doing away with the mischievous tack and the damage of
piercing the carpet.
634. STEP-LADDER CHAIR.–A chair so contrived that it may be thrown into
a short step-ladder. A greatly needed device for the house.
635. A WINDOW FLY-GATE.–Apply 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 SHADE.–It 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 CARRIAGE.–One 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 MACHINE.–The 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
639. CATCH-ALL CARPET-SWEEPER.–A sweeper with an appliance for running
into the corners of rooms would supersede the sweepers now in use.
_Section 18. Money in the Saving of Life and Property._
640. SAFETY SHAFTS.–A device for separating the shafts from the body of
the carriage in the case of a runaway, and thus insure the safety of the
641. POCKETBOOK GUARD.–Nearly 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 ALARM.–If you can invent an effective burglar alarm
which can be sold at ten cents per window, you will have a monopoly in
643. COLLAPSIBLE FIRE ESCAPE.–One 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 TESTER.–We 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 wealth and fame open in this
645. LIFE BOAT LAUNCHER.–The 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 CRUTCH.–Provide a crutch with teeth on the under side
so that it can be used on ice or sleety pavements without slipping.
647. ELEVATOR SAFETY-CLUTCH.–Such 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-GUARD.–A rubber guard for guns which will prevent their
649. POCKET DISINFECTOR.–One 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 ALARM.–Procure some substance easily melted by
heat; which, when melted, releases a spring which operates an alarm
651. KEY FASTENER.–A 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
652. LIGHTNING ARRESTER.–Why 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 CLEANER.–One 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 REIN.–A 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-GRIP.–A 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
656. SCISSORS GUARD.–An 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 POCKET.–A pocket in two parts, the lower part easily
opened by the owner, but of sufficient difficulty to baffle pickpockets.
658. FIRE EXTINGUISHER.–Now 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. Money in the Laboratory._
659. FLY-KILLER.–There 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
660. ARTIFICIAL EGG.–The 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
money by his skill.
661. SEDIMENT-LIQUEFIER.–Find 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 KINDLER.–A material which will kindle both wood and coal
without addition of paper, shavings, or any other article.
663. EGG PRESERVER.–No 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 ANNIHILATOR.–The 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
665. ARTIFICIAL FUEL.–There 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 TORCH.–There are hogsheads full of money 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
667. CHEMICAL ERASER.–Some chemical should be produced which will
effectively erase the marks of a pen and leave the paper the same as
_Section 20. Money in Tools._
668. THE INSTANTANEOUS WRENCH.–A monkey wrench, the jaws of which may
be adjusted instantly, instead of by the screwing process now in vogue.
669. THE DOUBLE CHANNELED SCREW HEAD.–A screw in which the head has two
channels instead of one, crossing each other at right angles.
670. THE DOUBLE POWER SCREW DRIVER.–The 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 PARER.–A 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 GUARD.–A knife with a guard for peeling fruit, preventing
the fruit from being pared too deep.
673. THE ALL-TOOL.–A 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 HAMMER.–A device for holding nails to a hammer.
Carpenters would work twice as fast.
_Section 21. Money in the Cars._
675. A SPEED INDICATOR.–A 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-COUPLER.–A 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-BRAKE.–A 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-STEP.–To 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 SIGNAL.–A 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
680. AUTOMATIC WATER TANK.–Here 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. Money in Making People Honest._
681. THE HOUSEKEEPER’S SAFETY PUNCH.–We 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 CHECK.–Invent 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 TESTER.–One 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 LOCK.–A 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 BOX.–There 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. Money in Traveler’s Articles._
686. THE ADJUSTABLE TRUNK.–Some 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 CANE.–One which will contain many small articles for
the use of travelers.
688. THE ELASTIC TRUNK STRAP.–Avoid 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 BAG.–An 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 TRUNK.–There 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
_Section 24. Money in Toilet Articles._
691. CURLING IRON ATTACHMENT.–A 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 BOX.–Invent 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 BRUSH.–A 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
694. THE SOAP SHAVING BRUSH.–A 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. Money in Amusements._
695. THE DUCKING STOOL.–A 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 SWING.–A swing or scup, in which the swinger can
raise himself up and down at the same time he is being carried backward
697. THE FOLDING SKATE.–The 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 fortune in his own pocket.
698. BICYCLE BOAT.–A 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. Money in War._
699. THE SLOW EXPLOSIVE.–A 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 a fortune awaits the man who shall
invent such a shell.
700. THE TRANSPARENT CARTRIDGE.–A 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 CLEANER.–Here 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 fortune in this than in
the much-lauded revolving turret.
702. SELF-LOADING PISTOL.–There 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. Money in Minerals._
703. GALVANIZED IRON.–If 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 EXTRACTOR.–A 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 PAINT.–Henry 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. Money in Great Inventions Unclassified._
706. STORAGE OF POWER.–No 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 TELEGRAPHY.–One 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
708. SOLIDIFIED PETROLEUM.–Here 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
fortune to 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 WOOD.–The 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 wealth from such an
invention almost surpass the limit of the imagination.
710. SUCTION PIPE.–There 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.