Archive for the ‘Household’ Category

Cutlery

August 12, 2009

Whilst the rest of the world was still using its fingers to eat food as late as 1953, the English had long since recognised the benefits of an intermediary between dinner and digit. The invention of the sandwich in 1751 highlighted the advantages of keeping the fingers clean of grease, gravy, Marmite, etc., but it wasn’t for another 63 years that the logical next step was taken.

And Jesus spake thus unto the waiter "I haveth not cutlery" and the waiter thus respondeth "You're too early mate, the English don't invent cutlery for another 1800 years or so"

And Jesus spake thus unto the waiter "I haveth not cutlery" and the waiter thus respondeth "You're too early mate, the English don't invent cutlery for another 1800 years or so"

In the Autumn of 1814 Edgar Ramsbottom was in his parlour tuning his piano when is wife brought him a platter of fine pickles. Edgar was in a quandary because although he was hungry and loved the piquant taste of a well preserved gherkin he also knew the dangers of getting strong malt vinegar on the keys or body of his piano. Inspiration struck in a flash and taking the tuning fork he had been using, a C-128, Edgar skewered a particularly large gherkin and transferred it to his mouth without despoiling either his hands or piano with vinegar.

Edgar, sensing the enormity of his breakthrough, immediately gave up his job as a government approved leach healer and dedicated the rest of his life to perfecting his invention. He experimented with the number of tines. He found that 2 tines gave a better note when striking the food however 10 times ensured that even the most persistent  live shrimp was restrained. He eventually settled on 4 as the optimum  number, suitable for spearing all but the largest of morsels but still giving a pleasant tone when struck against the table top.

The fork was an excellent start but proved frightfully slow for eating soup and inadequate for slicing the larger gherkins into smaller mouth-sized pieces. He rapidly added the spoon and knife to his inventions and the classic cutlery combo was formed.

Related non-invention:
Chopsticks (Non-invented by the Chinese): Hold on Huang, chopping the top off the fork doesn’t invent a new form of cutlery. What you have just non-invented is the “not fork”.

The cat flap

June 16, 2009

The cat flap was invented in England by Isaac Newton, an Englishman.

Before the invention of the cat flap cats were often given their own set of house keys which, being feckless creatures, they would often lose.

A catflap, shown here with half a cat

A catflap, shown here with half a cat

Related non-invention:
The doggy door (Non-invented by the Americans): Just a bigger cat flap, you are fooling no-one Brad.