11 February 2011

To My Valentine: You're Fired

Every Friday, I usually feature some quirky appliance advertisement from the bygone days. Perhaps not surprisingly, I came across absolutely zero Valentine-themed ads; I guess it would be a bit of a hard-sell to market a washing machine as being a token of affection.

Which bring us to United States Patent #1,717,235 [Go ahead, check it out—the original illustrations are superb]. Issued in 1929, its purpose is best stated by the applicant/inventor: "The object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for carrying out table service mechanically, thus replacing the personnel which is usually employed for this purpose" [my italics.] While the labor-saving features of this self-serving [pun totally intended] device may have been well-meaning, the resulting loss of a Significant Other implies something very much to the contrary. Happy Valentine's Day, indeed.

Click on the above image to see more clearly the grim faces of the brave diners who are enjoying the convenience of the Electric Table.

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