Great Invention Idea? The Modern Bathhouse!
If you are like countless other people around the world who are trying to incorporate greener practices into their everyday living then this patent is for you.
As many of you already know, conservationists espouse the use of car washes because the facilities recycle the water used to get your vehicle looking its squeaky-clean best. Sounds like a good idea, right? But why should such a practical idea, like recycling water, be limited to cars? After all, we don't generally wash our cars everyday. We do, however, bathe our bods (I hope) everyday. Presumably then, washing ourselves is far more wasteful of a precious natural resource - one that some people argue will be the world's next "oil" - than the occasional washing of our cars.
For this reason, I want you to seriously consider United States patent 634629. This patent, issued in 1969 at the end of the "free love" decade, is for an Automated Bathing Facility that resembles a car wash for humans!
In the patent application the inventor, G. Hallum, outlines the benefits of his invention for use in hospitals by infirmed patients. He maintains that suspending patients by means of a harness from an overhead rail and moving them along a conveyor belt floor past a wetting station, a soaping station, a rinsing station and finally into a drying station where a patient is air dried while still in standing position, is good for the patient and more sanitary for the institution because there is no need for towels or wash cloths. Can you imagine running sick people through something that resembles a carnival ride?
Anyway, Hallum's argument sounds nice, but this guy doesn't fool me. All this is is an updated version of a San Francisco style bathhouse - one that actually involves taking a bath! Just think about it for a minute: Multiple bathers stand around naked while attendants attach harnesses to their flesh. Next, these same bathers, who are now outfitted to resemble something out of an S&M fetish magazine, are pulled through the human car wash on a conveyor belt, positioned one behind the other. At the end of the adventure all are gathered, naked but clean, to wait for assistance in removing the implements of the device. I don't know what you think, but to me it all seems pretty kinky!
Perverted thoughts notwithstanding, the machine, operating under the same principles of a car wash, could be used to conserve water while people meet other like-minded, socially conscious individuals like themselves. So don't disparage the hippy who prefers the joys of a socially responsible communal bath over the wasteful, capitalist practices of solo bathing. After all, you just might run into him in the granola aisle of Whole Foods and find that you have a lot more in common than you think.