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INVENTIONS AND INVEN-D TORS., Issue 7908, 16 May 1889
INVENTIONS AND INVEN-D TORS.
New Zealand is a new country, as its name implies, and its people are ready inventors of new things. According to the last returns furnished by the Patent Officer, no less than 545 applications for new patents were registered at his office in 1887. The United States have hitherto borne the palm—or, as Americans themselves would say, " taken the cake " —in this respect; but we believe that, number to number, New Zealand beats the record. To equal ours, in proportion to population, the States would have to show nearly 70,000 inventions per anuum; and they have notquite reached that yet. Said we not we were an inventive people ? Strange to say ihere is only one of the superior sex named amongst the applicants for patents. Why is this 1 Has the predominant male taken to himself the credit of novelties designed by his womankind ? Or is it that women are deficient in inventive power? Such is not, at any rate, the prevalent belief; and yet the only contribution the sex can show in this way is an application to patent "Grandpa's magic salve." Even in this the masculine element creeps in. Why does not some robustminded female invent a stitch compelling thimble, or an automatic cradle rocker, or a self-propelling perambulator, or something of thatsort 1 ? Man, with his energies ever actively at work, has seemingly devoted attention toeverythingunder thesun,from an " everlasting mop," a " universal brushholder," and a "boss house cleaner," to an " excelsior rabbit trap " and a " self-discharging hydraulic hopper pontoon." Nay, one inspired genius has lodged an application to paten'; " an invention for the preven- " tion of ships striking the ground or " bed of the ocean." If it had been a buffer to prevent ships striking the land it would, perhaps, have been more useful. But there are several items in regard to which ladies are specially interested. One is "an " invention for gathering flowers "and fruit" (as if anything could supersede the implements provided by Nature for such purpose), "to be " called ' Talbot's flower and fruit "gatherer"'; and another is for "a " combined bustle and seat, to be called " the 'Victoria jubilee bustle.'" Then there is "an invention'for an improved " manufacture of medicated candles and " night lights," which we commend to the attention of Dr Batchelor. And also—but this rather affects, because it relieves, the fatiguing duties of the male sex—there is "an invention for " turning over the pages of music- " books." The " combined night-light and food-heater for infants " seems to appeal no less to paternal responsibilities than to maternal instincts. "Zealandia candlesticks" and "automatic night-shades" are of general application; but the " absolute safety pocket protector" is specially designed for masculine use. So also is the "jubilee safety cigar-holder "; and the invention "for converting any " table or other knife into a perfect "tobacco cutter" comes within the same category. Most pleasant would it be to travel in one of Mr Axel Forsman's patent " compass-hung carriages," and a meed of thanks is due to the inventor of the " Reliance automatic window-cramp," which promises to prevent " the rattle of railway and tramcar windows." An "automatic " compound cover for protecting provisions and liquids from flies and "dirt" is assuredly a desideratum. So also is a " patent weeder," if that also is automatic. "Eggproducing food" machines and " boss wire-strainers" equally claim attention; and " electric trouser suspenders " divide honors with " combined wringers and mangles." There is really no limit to the inventive craze. One gentleman claims to have discovered "an improved method of advertising," which may be useful to some of our contemporaries. Business men are promised an "automatic goods-selling apparatus" and "patent bank cheques " which cannot be altered after being drawn. Mr Christian A bstinence Ffrost lodged an application for a " prismatic color printing piocess," and our own Mr Jolly another for printing in "Aurora type "; but neither was proceeded with. We get a glimpse of some curious vocations in running over the return. One gentleman, who describes himself as a "saw-doctor," has invented a "self-setter" for catching rats, and mice; and another, who styles himself a " bracist," has, appropriately enough, devised the "jubilee effervescing tumbler." Of "jubilee" inventions there is a profusion—jubilee boilers, jubilee pumps, jubilee chaff-pressers, and jubilee files. We note the names of many of our citizens on the roll. Mr M'Queen applies for several patents, principally for improvements in mining machinery ; Captain Hodge, of Port Chalmers, is to the fore with nautical inventions and " a self-acting till lock "; Mr Fancourt seeks protection for washing machines; and Dr de Zouche patents " improvements in lamps burning combustible oils."
At the last moment we have unearthed the name of another lady inventor—Mrs Ada Frances Cole, of Hawke's Bay, who has registered an invention " for improvements in " machinery suitable for well-sinking ■" and other purposes." This is clearly cutting the ground from under the feet of "those others," and we are pleased to record the fact
INVENTIONS AND INVEN-D TORS., Issue 7908, 16 May 1889
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