Innovative Spirit

Patents (Only) a Mother Could Love

For Mother’s Day, we’ve pulled some of history’s wackiest patented ideas for mothers and children

Stop your baby from sucking his or her thumb with this, er, "clever" invention. (U.S. Pat. No. 2,276,612)

Visit any baby store, and you'll see plenty of strange-seeming baby items: booger extractor tool, anyone? (Although strange is in the eye of the beholder, as the product has nearly 400 5-star Amazon reviews.) But take a browse through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office archives, and you'll find that inventors throughout history have come up with a mind-boggling number of inventions for babies and kids. In honor of Mother's Day, we've pulled a few of the most interesting patents designed to help mother and child.

Pacifier with magnet

(U.S. Pat. No. 3,455,292)

Has your baby put metallic objects, such as "tacks, pins, nails" or the like in his or her mouth? Extract them easily with this 1969 patent invention, a pacifier with a magnet in its nipple. On second thought, as much as we admire relaxed Mad Men-era parenting attitudes, the better bet may be to avoid letting the baby eat tacks in the first place


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