I've read that some of the most successful inventions are those that respond to an everyday need. If that's the case, then Samuel S. Applegate holds the patent for what could be the most effective alarm clock ever.
Are you the kind of person who could sleep through an explosion? Have your friends and family expressed concern that your carbon monoxide or smoke detector's alarm isn't loud enough to rouse you from your evening slumber? Do you reassure them you'll be okay while secretly fearing you'll die in a house fire? Well, thanks to United States patent 256265 their worries, and yours, are soon to be a thing of the past.
It seems the inventor of the Device for Waking Persons from Sleep, Samuel S. Applegate, had you in mind when he argued in his patent application that, "ordinary bell or rattle alarms are not at all times effective for their intended purpose, as a person in time becomes so accustomed to the noise that sleep is not disturbed when the alarm is sounded." In other words, this is for you, the slug who could sleep through anything.
I don't suppose the following illustration needs much explaining, but I'll break it down for those of you who might be dozing off as you're reading this.
Effective Alarm Clock
A frame with a network of hanging bars each with a light piece of wood block, preferably cork, at the end is suspended directly over the head of the sleeper. The cord to which the suspended frame is attached is combined with automatic releasing devices. When the alarm goes off the cord is released causing the frame to drop and hit the sleeper's head/face with sufficient force to wake him/her but not enough to cause "pain." (Pain, of course, is a subjective term here.) Although Applegate admits that wood blocks are not necessary and that something as soft as tassels can be used instead, he prefers heavier wood blocks because he found them to be much more effective in test trials. No surprises there!
So, just like the doctor who delivers you then smacks you on the bum to awaken you from your pre-existence slumber, Applegate's device smacks you on the head and forces you to wake up and face another day. And just think of the secret fun your friends and family will have watching you get whacked in the morning. The device may not help you appear as though you woke up on the right side of the bed that morning, but it sure will help your loved ones wake up with a smile on their faces.
Looking to make a name for yourself in the invention game? Why not take your lead from Samuel S. Applegate? Look around your house and ask what needs to be kicked up a notch? You might be surprised at all the great invention ideas right in front of you just waiting to be realized. Then again, maybe you've overslept - again - and have to get to work in a hurry leaving you with little or no time to consider your potential contribution to mankind.