Absurd patent of the month: Base-ball catcher

Brevet insolite
Absurd patent of the month: n°US 755209
Publié le 28 May 2024

This month, as the Paris Olympics will soon open, we have selected a special patent for athletes: the “base-ball catcher”


Brevet insolite : le receveur de baseball

It may not be obvious when you look at the drawings provided in the patent, but this invention was indeed created for the practice of baseball.

Filed in 1903 in the United States by James E. Bennett, this patent discloses a ball catcher designed to replace a catcher’s mitt and thus protect players’ hands at a time when mitts were not protective enough. It is a frame worn on the torso, with shoulder and hip braces, with an upward extension to cover the face. On the front of the frame, there are doors that open when the ball hits them and, at the rear wall of the frame, stuck to the player’s chest, a cushion with springs to dampen the shockwave. The doors then close automatically.

Once the ball is caught, it falls into a pocket where it can be easily retrieved by hand.

This invention was never manufactured, which is a pity, as the image of the game would be radically different today: we would see the players running around with their nice steel frame on their torso to catch the ball thrown by the opponent…

Even without baseball, happy Olympics to everyone!

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