In Brief:  Love is in the air as inventors tackle Valentine’s Day.

Here’s What Happened:  

On October 20, 1908, the USPTO issued a patent to Harry Richter of Omaha, Nebraska for his innovative Valentine’s Day box. The box allowed the romantic swains of the day to present their Valentine with a combination of candy and a card held securely in “a manner to prevent injury” (although the type of injury remains unclear).  As we can see from the patent drawings, many a young lady in the early 20th Century would have been delighted to receive a token of affection in a keepsake box. And she wouldn’t have to be worried about being injured on Valentine’s Day.

The Valentine’s Day Box is one of many inventions inspired by the traditional day to profess one’s love for another. At any one time, consumers could have found:

· A Love Tester which, for a penny, you get reliable data about your sex appeal;

· Eharmony’s process for matching people to form a lasting relationship;

· The Romantic Card that had “use zones” for adding pictures, hair clippings and scents; and

· Valentine Toothbrush as a way to promote good oral hygiene for the object of one’s affections.

Why You Should Know This: These are some of the great inspirations for Valentine’s Day. Of course, a card and some flowers would also be nice.

Case Information: Happy Valentine’s Day

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