Billy Mays Would Have Been Proud

We had the good fortune to spend part of a lazy weekend afternoon thumbing through the pages of Scientific American. Interesting stuff, and for some reason we can’t quite define, we were particularly fascinated by Dr. August Friedrich. Stockley’s Pacific Coast Scrubber.  Here it is from the pages of Scientific American:

Stockley's Improved Scrubbing Machine

Here’s two more views, from Dr. Stockley’s patent application:

Stockley - 2

Stockley - 3

The box in the center is used as a water tank, and beneath is a lamp that heats the water and sprays it on the brush. As one pushes the machine forward, the bristles as the front move back and forth by a set of pinions and gears. All we’ve been able to find out for certain on the good Dr. Stockley is that he lived in Lone Pine, California, and later received a patent for an improved mail-bag fastener.

We also came across this interesting device. Imagine you’re a coal miner, working long hours underground. Of course, you have a trusty lantern, but what if you could also have a piping cup of coffee and a warm lunch? Joseph Haight, of Port Chester, NY has solved the problem you didn’t even know existed. Coal miners, break out your pocket books, because we present the combination lantern and lunch pail; the lantern inside not only lights your way, but keeps your lunch warm in Chamber A, and your coffee hot in Chamber B.

Haight's Lantern

Finally, we note that one of the major public safety issues of the day was that crooks had a particularly diabolical tendency to hit policemen over the head, before proceeding to rob the nearest millinery store or apothecary shop. Jose M. de Celis, of New York City had a solution, an improved policeman’s hat. Mr. de Celis’ invention contained a separate mechanism between the hat’s brim and its body, designed to lessen the impact of any blow through the use of a cushioning spring. Perhaps it wasn’t particularly stylish, but then style is a secondary concern when warding off the blows of a wandering gang of toughs.

De Celis' hat


*** Update ***

Courtesy of the good folks at, we have a picture of Haight’s combination lantern and dinner pail:



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