Patent of the Day

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“In the Event of a Water Landing, Your Seat Cushion Will Act as a Flotation Device”

Posted by innovativeip on July 18, 2010

When traveling by plane, I’ve often wondered at the potential likelihood of success of a “water landing” (a water crash, if you ask me), and the real assistance that my seat cushion would be able to provide.  Now, if one were already safely in the water, such as on a cruise ship, it could be an entirely different story.  Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent no. 117209, issued July 18, 1871 to J. Max Rudiger of Brooklyn, New York for his “Folding Chair and Life Preserver.” 

Today's Patent of the Day

Most of us are familiar with the Titanic, but I was surprised to learn of many other shipwreck tragedies of similar proportions.   In 1865,  the Sultana steamboat exploded and over 1500 were killed.  In 1904, the General Slocum steamer burned and killed over 1000.  1914 brought the deaths of over 1000 on the Empress of Ireland, and 1915, over 1100 on the Lusitania.  The following year, over 3000 tragically perished on the cruiser Provence.  The worst reported shipwreck was also the only intentional incident I discovered.  In 1945, the cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by a Soviet submarine and over 9000 people were killed. 

Perhaps if the folding chair/life preserver were utilized about the deck on commercial passenger vessels, in the event of a mishap, they would prove useful.  At least in the movies, immediate survivors are always looking for piece of wreckage to grab onto.  An image of a sea dotted with floating folding chairs comes to mind.  Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, Mr. Rudiger.  Makes me wonder why it’s only the planes that have embraced the idea?

If you’d like to read or download the patent text, please visit  Enjoy!


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