Halloween Myths & Patents

When you think of Halloween you think of witches, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating and black cats.  Halloween is celebrated by millions of people worldwide and is no longer just for children, but for adults as well.   It’s a time to dress up in costumes, eat too much candy and scare each other silly.  Here are some fun Halloween myths and patents that you may or may not have known.Carving jack-o-lanterns is a Halloween tradition, but did you know it dates all the way back to the 18th century?  It all started from a folk tale about a man named Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil into climbing a tree to get apples, but instead of letting the Devil come back down, Jack cut crosses in the tree, trapping the Devil.  The Devil made a promise to Jack that if he let the Devil get down, he (the Devil) would leave his soul alone forever.  Stingy Jack thought he had it covered until he died and was turned away from Heaven due to his sins, but he wasn’t welcomed in Hell either as the Devil kept his promise.  And so Jack was cursed to being a lost spirit traveling through limbo carrying a hollowed out turnip with an ember as his only light.  Sticking with tradition, people still carve jack-o-lanterns, but instead of turnips they use pumpkins.One cannot carve a jack-o-lantern without the correct tools.  One needs a Pumpkin Carving Kit to do the job and this invention was patented by our inventor of the month, John P. Bardeen from Denver, Colorado.  It was filed on August 31, 1987 and granted on May 9, 1989.  According to the abstract, it’s “ A pumpkin carving kit includes first and second sets of different types of cutting tools, preferably drill elements and saw elements, at least one pattern sheet having a decorative design and an instruction book having first instructions for securing the pattern sheet and transferring the design onto the surface of the pumpkin, second instructions for using the first set of cutting tools on selected design features and third instructions for using the second set of cutting tools on other selected design features.” To see the full patent, click here.Who doesn’t love trick-or-treating; you knock on peoples doors who give you candy in return.  Did you know there are a few myths of how trick-or-treating came about.  The first one is during the Celtic times, fairies were known to be mischievous and would either reward good deeds or make one’s life unpleasant.  It was said that these fairies would disguise themselves as beggars, knock on people’s doors and ask for offerings.  If one gave them food, they were rewarded, if not they had unpleasantness brought upon them.  Another myth was during the medieval times, a popular practice was making “soul cakes,” a simple bread desert with a currant topping, and children would go round to houses asking for these cakes.  The children started singing a song based around collecting “soul cakes” which resembled our present day “trick or treating” song.One cannot go trick-or-treating without one of these, a Halloween Treat Carrier.  The Halloween Treat Carrier was invented by Bruce Elliot Kramer and Joy Elizabeth Belin from Potomac, Maryland.  The patent was filed on December 20, 2000 and didn’t get granted till September 16, 2003.  According to the abstract, it’s “a Halloween treat carrier includes a container having thereon a Halloween design, wherein the Halloween treat carrier includes a glow-in-the-dark material.” To see the full patent, click here.Without these myths and complimentary patents, one thing is for certain, Halloween would not be as fun as it is today to celebrate.  Happy Halloween!For further readinghttp://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/halloweenhistory.phphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_cakehttp://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-historyHave a great idea that you think could be the next Pumpkin Carving Kit then reach out to Innovate Product Design who can help make your idea into a reality. We can help with design, development and protection of your idea. Give us a call today.


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