By Nur Anis
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! This is just one of the songs that we can’t get out of our heads during the month of December, when many around the world celebrate the merry festival of Christmas. There is a lot about Christmas that brings joy, like Santa Claus, receiving gifts, Christmas fruitcake, gingerbread houses, long holidays, shopping, festive discounts and of course spending time with our loved ones. But did you know that there are some very interesting inventions related to Christmas? Let’s take a look!
Santa Claus Detector (US patent 5,523,741 A)
Every Christmas, the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve is the most awaited event for children. The white-bearded man with a red coat who delivers presents to children is a figure that everyone loves. Although Santa Claus is a folktale, children across the world still attempt to stay up all night to catch a glimpse of him to greet him and his mystical reindeer sleigh. They try various tricks just like Cindy Lou Who in the movie Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch who sets a trap to catch Santa Claus as soon as he takes a cookie or Kate and Teddy, who set up a tripwire to alert them when Santa Claus enters their home in The Christmas Chronicles. So, the question is how do we know when Santa Claus is at our door or chimney? Obviously there will be no knocking on doors or tapping on windows.
Inventor Cane Thomas provides an interesting solution in his “Santa Claus Detector”, a Christmas stocking which visually signals the arrival of Santa Claus by illuminating an externally visible light source disposed in the stocking. The specially designed stocking is proposed to be hung around an entranceway of a house. The toe portion of the stocking has a pull cord or a ribbon which is tied across the entrance of a chimney in such a way that when the jolly old fellow enters the house, he trips on the pull cord of the stocking which then causes the strained cord to actuate an LED placed inside the stocking to turn the lights in the stocking on.
This picture below from the patent helps us to visualize the working of this signaling stocking:
Christmas Tree Watering Ornament (United States Patent 7757435B1)
Having and decorating a Christmas tree is a tradition. The celebrations seem incomplete without coruscating lights from the Christmas tree. That is why the invention of “Christmas Tree Watering Ornament” that was invented by Boskofsky Kenny is valuable. Why is it unbelievably valuable? Well, we’ll tell you why!
In colder climates, people will commonly bring an evergreen live tree into their homes to decorate as a Christmas tree. However, in order to prevent the tree from drying the tree must have a constant water supply. Without proper water supply, the leaves of the tree may wither and fall. The dry leaves may lead to a fire hazard. Therefore, this invention helps to solve that problem. This patent related to a Christmas tree watering system functions as a funnel system to aid in watering of the tree. The system comprises an ornament assembly with a flip-open cap exposing an interior reservoir that is connected to a section of tubing routed along the tree branch and trunk. This invention allows the user to water the tree simply by opening the ornament, pouring the water and allowing the water to drain into a water basin. This watering system can help to ensure an adequate amount of water can be supplied into the tree. And the ornament helps to camouflage the watering system as the ornament can be designed as a snowman, an angel, a bell, a gingerbread man, or other common seasonal icons. This patent makes its very convenient to water the tree quickly without having to bend over, kneel or crawl under the tree to water it. Indirectly, this invention is especially useful for elderly or disabled people.
Automatic Fire Extinguishing System for an Existing Christmas Tree and Associated Method (United States Patent 7963343B1)
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are two of the top days for home fires caused by cooking, candles and Christmas trees. The US fire department, between 2014-2018, has responded to an estimated average of 160 home fires per year that began with Christmas trees.
These statistics may have provided Hopkins James the necessary motivation to conceptualize and provide a solution to reduce the probability of fire damage to a Christmas tree and surrounding objects in his United States Patent 7963343B1
This patent discloses a fire prevention device that includes a mechanism for automatically discharging a fire retardant when an unsafe event is trigged. The device will also emit an alarm signal when the automatic fire-retardant agent discharging mechanism is activated. This invention not only prevents fire from spreading and extinguishes fires but also warns user of the dangerous situation.
How amazing are these patents! We can see from these patents how solutions have been provided to frequently occurring problems during Christmas. As Santa (in The Christmas Chronicles) says, “Christmas must endure”.
The solutions provided by these patents make Christmas merrier and more joyful, not to mention safe. Are you going to look for that signaling stocking to welcome Santa this year? If you do, tell us how that works out! Until then, a “Ho! Ho! Ho!” from all of us at KASS – Have a Merry Christmas!