Aerial Photography Apparatusleisure
The drawings in this patent for an early aerial photography system are relatively simple, and even seem a bit silly with a camera suspended from a kite string. But looks can be deceiving. Turns out, Mr. Eddy was famous for his photographic and meteorological experiments with kites. In fact, on May 30, 1895, Eddy took the first kite-based photograph in the Americas (seven years after the first ever kite-based photographs, taken by Arthur Batut). Mr. Eddy professionally as an accountant and journalist, but it’s clear his passion was in science and technology…and inventing. Ironically, it’s difficult to find the early Eddy kite photographs online.
This is the last, I believe, of the Victor Travers hammock patents, ending a period of about fourteen years of hammock-related invention and innovation by Mr. Travers and his company. Perhaps reflective of the ending of that period, this patent is directed at something that is, at best, an incremental improvement on a Travers application filed just over a week before the application underlying this patent. In his 492,852 patent, Mr. Travers describes a spreader that can be folder, and illustrates a spreader having a series of segments attached at pivot points. Here, he shows an alternative arrangement of spreader segments…and attaches a canopy to the spreader. He even reused the main drawing from that earlier patent, although the female figure is reading a different book in the figure in this patent (it actually has a title, where the book in the figure of the earlier patent does not). And the title of that book is one of my favorite historical patent puzzles. What is it? Is it a real book? My best guess at the title is, in Latin, Mars Pre Ut Vivas, which roughly (and perhaps not accurately) translates to “May you live dancing.”
This patent is directed to a hammock spreader that can be “readily folded for packing and other purposes.” It is notable for its intricate main drawing, which is reminiscent of an image of a woman lounging on a hammock that the Travers Brothers Company used in its corporate letterhead.
This patent for a hammock spreader shows a bit of patent strategy, as the underlying application was filed on the same date as the application that produced U.S. patent no. 381,864 for Mr. Travers, which issued on the same date as this patent. This patent appears to illustrate the holder claimed in the other patent, although it is difficult to tell if all details are included here. To avoid any prior art effect of the disclosure in this application on claims for the holder in the other application, Mr. Travers and his attorney filed both applications on the same day, a strategy (and legal necessity) that is still used today.
Hammock Holder for Supporting Ropesleisure
This patent for a holder reflects a bit of a departure from the holder disclosed in U.S. patent no. 240,866, an earlier patent of Mr. Travers. The holder of the earlier patent was actually manufactured (I have one), but I have not seen any evidence that the holder of this application was ever made. Also interesting, this patent shows a bit of patent strategy. Mr. Travers filed two applications on December 12, 1887 - the application underlying this patent and the application underlying U.S. patent No. 381,863, which issued alongside this patent on April 24, 1888. This patent claims the holder that appears to be shown in the other patent, although it is difficult to tell if all details of the holder are included in the other patent. To avoid any prior art effect of the disclosure in that application on claims for the holder in this application, Mr. Travers and his attorney filed both applications on the same day, a strategy (and legal necessity) that is still used today.
According to the inventor, this patent provides a cheap, comfortable, and durable hammock chair. The gentleman in the drawing certainly looks comfortable. The innovation here appears to be the automatic placement of the foot rest “into position when a person enters the hammock” in response to the person’s weight acting on the cords and bars of the hammock.
This patent is quite interesting when viewed in context with some of the later Travers hammock-related patents, particularly those directed at cinches for tightening ropes that secure a hammock to a support, such as a tree. The invention here seems anything but secure: ‘The suspension of a hammock from the backs of ordinary chairs, so that a hammock or a hammock-bed may be readily put up…without the use of permanent fastenings.’ I don’t think I’ve ever had the urge, or need, to suspend a hammock from ordinary chairs and, even if I had the particular chairs illustrated in FIG. 1, I doubt I’d give it a try. I wonder if Mr. Travers had some stories to tell about his development efforts with this invention. Perhaps he even had some bruises to show folks.
Victor Travers criticized one of his prior patents in describing the need for his invention described in this patent, the simple idea of attaching the headrest to the spreader instead of securing it to the body of the hammock.
This appears to be the first patent hammock-related patent application of Victor Travers. Here, the body of the hammock is relatively intricate while the connectors between the suspension ropes and the rope tied to the trees is just a simple loop. Some of his later patents focus on tighteners for the ropes used to tie the hammock to trees instead of the hammock body.
Clasp for Adjusting Hammocksleisure
This patent is memorable for the idyllic image of a hammock strung between two trees and flapping in the breeze. The inventor’s company made a product marked with the patent, too, with minor adjustments. Travers Brothers branded hammock clasps actually looked like boat anchors.