Absurd patent of the month: an apparatus for obtaining criminal confessions

Le brevet insolite du mois : l'appareil pour obtenir des aveux
Absurd patent of the month: n°US 1 749 090
Publié le 28 March 2023

Yet another gem this month with this scary US patent. This is a skeleton-shaped extractor, definitely not for juice (oh wait, that could be an excellent idea for next Halloween…) but for confessions and intended for use with hardened criminals.


To replace it in its context, the patent application was filed in 1927, at a time when forensic technology was only at its beginning.


The patent protects an “apparatus for obtaining criminal confessions and photographically recording them”. A real revolution at a time when it was common to refute one’s confession by accusing the police of intimidation… without proof to the contrary! But with this patent application, Mrs Shelby, the inventor, goes even further…

Absurd patent of the month: an apparatus for obtaining criminal confessions

First, the suspect is isolated from his “inquisitor”, each being in a different space separated by a divider. On this divider is fixed… a skeleton! Don’t worry, this is not a real one, but the idea is to be able to create illusionary effects to depict a supernatural character and impress suspects.
Imagine: the room is brought into darkness; suddenly light bulbs installed under and above the skeleton are lit and make it look like an “apparition” or an astral body. Other bulbs, of blue and red, are located in the eyes of the skeleton, with the red ones aiming to give the skeleton an “unnatural ghastly glow”. To add a little to the horror: the bulbs blink while the suspect is interrogated! No doubt, suspects will break down!


The most ingenious aspect is the camera hidden in the skeleton skull, which visually records confessions (through the nose), as well as an advanced audio recording system based on light: when the suspect speaks, it produces sound waves that make vary the intensity of the blue bulb, and voilà! (Note that, by the time the invention is disclosed, the talking movies had not appeared yet)!


See also:


Last articles

At home
28 February 2024

New partnership with ScoreX SAS

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with ScoreX SAS, a firm of French chartered accountants, contributions auditor, and auditors.

Champagne René Jolly au Japon
Our client's place
17 January 2024

René Jolly Champagne for its 20th anniversary in Japan!

In December 2023, our long-standing client and partner Champagne René Jolly, is on the front page of “The Wine Kingdom” in Japan!

Des vêtements toujours plus innovants et respectueux de l’environnement
22 December 2023

Clothing: ever more innovative and environmentally friendly

Climate change impacts all sectors of the industry, including fashion. When it comes to the environment, the sector is particularly creative...

See all