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Entries in patent (2)

Sunday
Jul012012

The Scantron of 1935

Michael Sokolski, the inventor of the Scantron, died recently and news of his death reminded me of this invention from 1935. Rather than use a number 2 pencil, students punched holes into a multiple choice test and weights were dropped over their test where the correct answers were supposed to be. The weights that fell through the holes, indicating a correct answer, were then weighed and the number of correct answers was determined.

From the September 1935 issue of Popular Science:

EXAM PAPERS ARE GRADED BY WEIGHT

Student's examination papers are being graded with a weighing machine at a Kentucky teachers' college, where the new method has been found speedy and accurate. Each student receives a card bearing "true-or-false" and similar questions, and punches holes as indicated points to record his answers. When the card is placed in the weighing machine, small weights drop through the holes correctly punched and fall to a platter, where the total weight gives the score.

Illustrations for U.S. patent number 2,033,817 appear below. 

Wednesday
Apr042012

The 1960 patent for the "pink slime" process

 

I keep reading articles that make it sound like the process to create so-called "pink slime" was invented in the 1990s. The process dates back to at least 1960, as evidenced by the patent filed by Chicago meatpacker Armour and Company on April 5, 1960 and approved in 1962. Patent 3,062,655 was initially intended to create a "water insoluble defibrillated meat protein" that could be added to cakes and candies. This was before the product was added to ground beef, as it is today.

I've embedded the patent below and you can read about my take on pink slime at The Daily.

US Patent 3,062,655