Connecticut Invention of the Day: “A Handy Invention”

Sometimes I run across an obscure Connecticut invention that seems like a good idea but I have no real way of testing it out. Not so with today’s find. This is a “Pen and Pencil Holder” patented by Frederick P. Peiter of Norwalk in 1886. A simple idea, have a writing implement literally at hand whenever you need it.


We don’t have any in our collections here so I built my own simple version with a pencil and a rubber band…..and you know what? It works pretty well. Maybe the inventor had some kind of similar version of his own before he patented the real thing.

Connecticut Patent of the Day: “Very Cool!”

Occasionally while trolling through patent applications I’ll come across one that elicits an audible “that’s very cool” from my mouth. This morning was one of those times. The application simply said “Fan”, I clicked on it because I have a thing for old fans, especially ones with an art-deco look. This one certainly doesn’t have that, but it is still really cool.

Invented by Wincenty Kragiel of Norwalk in 1916 it is a simple fan apparatus attached to a rocking chair. When you rock the chair the mechanism paddles the fan thus cooling you off while you rock away. How cool is that? I can imagine using this one a hot summer night on the front porch watching the world go by……

“Fan Chairs” were around before this patent in various forms. Including one that George Washington had at Mount Vernon and one advertised from a company out of Mississippi in the late 19th century.

Courtesy of the George Washington Estate and Gardens