An alarm clock that tips you out of bed when it is time to get up, a hat that would allow men to tell if a woman is already spoken for and a device that would allow dogs to generate electricity. These are just some of the bizarre inventions that have been granted patents over the years.
Many of these devices would not pass a health and safety test, such as a stove under the driver's seat of a car or the lantern perched on a horse's head. However, some of them would be pretty useful today. Keeping poisons in a skull-shaped bottle seems very sensible. And who would not want to travel on a small hammock slung between seats on a train or plane?
IBTimesUK presents 20 brilliant ideas that – somehow – just did not quite make it. An alarm bed that tips the bed up to a 45-degree angle when it is time for the sleeper to get up. Designed by Ludwig Ederer, patent no 643789, dated 20 February 1900 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images An alarm clock that wakes the sleeper with a blow to the forehead from a pivoting antennae released by the clock mechanism. Designed by J D Humphrey. Patent no. 1293102, dated 4 February 1919 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A snore alarm that monitors noise levels with a microphone and adjusts the angle of the sleeper's head when snoring is detected. Designed by George J Wilson, patent no 3089130, dated 7 May 1963 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A small portable travel hammock, ideal for relaxing on cramped journeys when slung between two seats on a train. Designed by H M Small, patent no. 400131, dated 26 March 1889 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A combined rocking chair and bath, combining the comfort of a chair with the benefits of a bath, designed by Richard Straube, patent no 633398, dated 19 September 1899 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images Alfred Clark's design for a butter churn supported in the frame of a rocking chair (patent no. 1051684, dated 28 January 1928). The rocking provides the motion and makes the job more pleasurable MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images Richard Mayer's bath apparatus, patent no. 945241, dated 4 January 1910. The combined hood and seat fits onto a normal bath tub and would create a steam bath or sauna in your home MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images Edward T Oliveira's design for a date hat that would prevent boys asking a prospective date out if they are already spoken for (patent no 2749555, dated 12 June 1956). The hat displays the time and day of the girl's date and has a label that reads "taken" MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 15 April 1879: L G Macauley's patented design (no 214422) for a road lantern fixed to a horse's bridle and balanced between its ears on a small cap MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A stove under the driver's seat in a car heated by channelling the exhaust pipe underneath the apparatus. Designed by Robert L Martin, patent no 1392956, dated 11 October 1921 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A safety container for poison with a skull in relief so the bottle cannot be mistaken by accident or by blind people or children. Designed by William M Caterson, patent no. 164265, dated 8 June 1875 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 10 May 1910: A life preserver and swimming machine patented by Oscar B Lyon and William H Young (no 957513). The contraption was operated by turning a handle at the front that works a propeller underneath the swimmer MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A gun with a built-in searchlight to illuminate the target, designed by Joseph Matys, patent no. 1338239, dated 27 April 1920 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 31 August 1926: J B Mangan's aeroplane parachute designed to ensure safe landings. Patent no 1597918 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 3 August 1926: L Pelton's design for a car with a collapsible roof and windscreen that means it can be stored vertically to take up less space MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 1 September 1885: John O Lose's design for a one-wheeled vehicle (patent no 325548). The driver sits in the centre of the structure and pedals a small wheel which operates the large one. There is also an umbrella for when its raining MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images Dexter C Slater's dog-power machine, patent no. 24338, dated 7 June 1859. The dog walks around a turning disc to provide enough power to operate a range of small machinery MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images A combined head covering and hair comb designed by A K Dawson, patent no. 1327528. The flat cap conceals a comb so that when the hat is removed the hair is automatically combed through MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images Richard S Gaugler's refrigerating apparatus which could be worn as a suit or used as a blanket. Patent no 2093834, dated 21 September 1937 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images 20 October 1953: A car that can be driven from both ends, thanks to pivoting front and back sections. Designed by M A C Alamagny, patent no 2656214 MJ Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images