Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Knowles of note

From the online miscellany Futility Closet:

In July 1979, Horace A. Knowles applied for a patent for a “novelty toy which assists the user in twiddling his thumbs”:

Heretofore no equipment has been available to the thumb twiddler to assist him in the twiddling procedure. To those twiddlers who lack sufficient coordination, not only is the repose and peace of mind which thumb twiddling normally brings not available, but the inability to carry out the twiddling successfully, including the inadvertent bumping of the thumbs against one another during the twiddling motion, causes additional frustration.

Is this satire? I can’t tell, and neither could the Patent Office — they approved Knowles’ application the following year.

4 comments:

Lorin said...

Clearly there was a lot less to do in the 1790's. Then again, twiddler, Twitter... plus ca change, etc.

Lorin said...

sorry, 1770's.

LKT said...

Actually, 1970's! I had to read that several times myself.

Elisabeth said...

Even in these busy times, the Twiddler would come in handy. Public meetings of any kind seem the perfect place to display and use such a product! If the Twiddler were available, I would purchase one for myself. Why doesn't the Archie McPhee company sell such a thing?!