Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My greatest invention.

As a young lady, I was an avid reader. I would sneak my book under my desk in math class to read rather than pay attention. I would read as late into the night as my parents would sleep (usually undetected, but I would get the occasional scolding for staying up past my bedtime). Because much of my reading was done in bed, I reading lamp was essential. I had one of those "clip onto the headboard" thingies that would enable me to have direct light on my book at the head of my bed. The one problem with this lamp was that the shade was made of metal. Left on for any length of time, it became quite hot. Any touch of it would sear my skin. That was pretty awesome.

One year, one of our class projects (I cannot for the life of me remember which class) was to come up with an intention. My constant burning of my skin due to late nights spent reading and my inability to fall asleep timely created the best idea for me: I would make a cover for my lamp. My mom found some fabric for me and helped me sew  cover for the small lamp. Blue and fuzzy, and I'm certain that cover my mother and I so diligently crafted was a fire hazard. But me? I had THAT part covered. You see, the blue fuzzy version was just a model. My actual invention would be of a fire-proof cloth. Asbestos? Yes. That was the material from which my invention would be made. To me, that was a brilliant touch.

In my defense, as a ten year-old, I had no idea that asbestos would cause cancer. How could I know that there would be millions of dollars invested in removing this material from buildings? Could I be expected to foresee that there would be billions of dollars sought for injuries sustained from this fire-proof material. No. I only knew it as a fire-proof material. Again, as a ten year-old, this detail made my invention particularly efficient and practical. Additionally, my dad always instilled in me a great fear of house fires. We had to ensure that every potential fire hazard was eliminated before we left the house. Toaster? Unplugged. Hair dryer? Unplugged. Clearly, my invention must be similarly conscientious of this fire hazard aware family in which I lived.

Sadly, I did not get a patent for this invention. I used my blue, fuzzy lamp cover unbeknownst to my dad for awhile until I did realized it would get very hot as well. It was thrown away eventually.

Let it be known, that to this day, my hair dryer gets unplugged every time I leave the house. I might not put it away, Dad, but it is most definitely unplugged. (Proof that I would listen occasionally.)


  1. This is a really cute post. I'm sure your dad is proud that you still unplug stuff.

  2. I had one of those lamps too! One time, when I was trying to fake like I was sick, I stuck a thermometer in it to get it hot. Then it exploded, and I played with the mercury. WHAT?

    My greatest invention was "Scent-o-Vision," which was kind of like a VCR, but instead of film, it had scent cartridges that released specific scents that went with whatever movie you were watching. Apparently, some folks in Japan also invented it and put it on the market last year.

    Foiled again!

  3. Awesome. I am completely jealous of your fire hazard turned cancer causing invention. For realz! I've never invented anything. Unless my kids count?