Patent of the Month January

  Copyright: © US256265

Device for waking persons from sleep

Traditionally, a new year comes with good intentions. For those who intend in 2022 to get out of bed more easily in the morning, the wake-up device of the American inventor Samuel Applegate might be helpful. On the 14th of December 1881 the contemporary of Thomas Edison applied for a US-patent for his invention. The patent document of the curious endeavour US256265A was published in April 1882 as "Device for Waking Persons from Sleep", and is our Patent of the Month January!

One common phenomenon of our sleepless society is the difficulty of getting out of bed in the morning. The refreshing slumber only comes towards the end of a restless night, felt as few minutes before you have to get up again. So it can easily happen that even shrill alarm clocks and radio sounds are simply overheard.

Apparently, the problem was also known 140 years ago, although at that time people slept an average of nine hours per night, two hours longer than today. Applegate took offense at his dosy contemporaries and developped a "mechanical wake-up device" that could no longer be ignored by sleepers. It consists of a gigantic wooden construction that is fixed above the headboard of the bed. A set of small blocks of light wood, preferably cork, is attached to it. At the appointed time, an automatic release mechanism drops the corks down on the unsuspecting sleepers. The patent description does not specify the nature of the falling material, but points out that the collision with the face should cause as little pain as possible.

However, the brutal waking method did not establish itself. It is not even known, whether it was ever used. Probably, the installation itself would pose such a thread that those lying underneath could not sleep a wink.

Fortunately, more harmless wake-up methods are available today - or flexible working time models that allow people to arrive at work fully rested.

The Patent & Standards Centre wishes you fresh ideas for a happy new year 2022!

“From idea to product" – We provide practical services for researchers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, founders and independent inventors to protect your ideas.

All our services are now online available!


Podcast Kalenderblatt Bayrischer Rundfunk; Status: 14.12.2017

Patent document US256265A