New Year’s Resolutions 101: Examples and Suggestions from Old Patents

Every year, around this time, many people’s minds turn towards New Year’s Resolutions.  Things like saving more money, learning a new skill, and better self-care are timeless classics when it comes to resolutions.  So, we here in the Cartographic Branch would like to offer up some patents related to resolution keeping, just in case you need ideas for the coming year!

      If you are looking to save a little extra money, having an interesting coin bank can make storing away spare change fun and interesting.  Check out this fancy little “Race Course Toy Bank!”  Invented in 1871 by J. Hall, this bank features a rider on horseback that races around the small track through two arches when coins are inserted.

RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. John Hall Race Course Toy Bank. Patent No. 118,011. NAID 172017390.

If you are less of a horse lover and more of a dog person, there is something for you, too!  E.R. Morrison’s “Toy-Bank,” invented in 1878, allows one to “feed” the dog money which goes into the bank when the dog “swallows”.

RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. E.R. Morrison Toy-Bank. Patent No. 206,893. NAID 313317013

If learning a new skill is more your thing, you could try taking guitar lessons.  The one pictured below, invented by E.D. Sherr in 1841, looks as if it might present a nice challenge if you are up for it. Just make sure that you dress the part like this handsome fellow!

RG 241: Restored Patent Drawings. E.N. Sherr Guitar. Patent No. 6788-X. NAID 159160213.

If you are a bit more adventurous, you could also take up diving!  “Chauncy Hall’s Patent Drawing for a Diving Dress”  which includes a copper chest plate held together with staples, a pair of spectacles, and a lamp that burns underwater would be just the thing for gathering oysters (seen near the model’s feet).

RG 241: Restored Patent Drawings. Chauncey Hall’s Patent Drawing for a Diving Dress. Patent No. 1405-X. NAID 149285724.

Sometimes, you might want something a bit lower key, say, a board game with family or friends.  But why go with standard chess when you can try out “P.H. Sessoms’ Game Apparatus”?  Billed as, “A variety of chess subject to new rules, having the court customs of royalty as a basis,” this game looks as though it would present a challenge to even the most avid chess player.

RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. P.H. Sessoms Game Apparatus. Patent No. 153,459. NAID: 245166559.

If you like board games, then you likely know the name Milton Bradley.  Over the years, the Milton Bradley Company has been responsible for many popular games including Life, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Chutes & Ladders, and Candyland.  But, did you know that way back in 1872, Milton Bradley patented “Games of Cards,” which has a literary theme depicting both books and characters from them.

RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. Milton Bradley Game of Cards. Patent No. 133,296. NAID: 178967950.

Finally, who doesn’t love a spa day? The following items are just a tiny sampling of the huge variety of bath tub and vapor bath related items found within the patent drawings.

RG 241: Restored Patent Drawings. Boyd Reilley’s Patent Drawing for a Vapour Bath. Patent No. 7190-X. NAID: 169378700.
RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. C.F. Wolters: Bath-Tub. NAID: 312770621.
RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. E. Smith Vapor-Bath. NAID: 301700759.
RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings. G. Gordon: Portable Hot-Air and Vapor-Bath Combined. NAID: 313073684.

Happy New Year from the Cartographic Branch! We wish you all the best in the coming year.

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