Celebrity Invention: Albert Einstein's Fancy Blouse

By Rebecca Greenfield

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Some celebrities aren't just pretty faces. A few of them are also touched with that Yankee prowess for tinkering and invention. In this weekly series, we introduce you to the Patents of the Rich and Famous. And maybe you learn a little bit about how patent literature works along the way.

Inventor: Albert Einstein

Known For: For the record, Albert Einstein was not an inventor, he was a scientist -- it's different. His very name is synonymous with genius. Physics students in high schools across America memorize his simple, yet theoretically complex, equation: E = MC^2. He discovered the theory of relativity, delineating the connection between space and time. He picked up a Nobel Prize for theoretical physics. And, he was named Time's person of the century.

But, did you know he was also a fashionista? I guess we should've know, judging from his fierce white locks. The man practically invented intellectual chic, with his sweater pullovers and slacks. And that 'stache -- what a look.

Invented Apparatus: "Design for a blouse"

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It's an expandable suit jacket that has two sets of buttons, one for skinny Al and one for hefty Al.

Understandably, finding new clothing, after putting on a few pounds, is a hassle. Why not just invent a shirt that works for varied weights?

Rationale Behind Invention: The man has a Nobel Prize in physics. Why would he file a design patent for this garment? Perhaps it had something to do with his patent office past. After Einstein graduated he spent time working in the Federal Office for Intellectual property in Bern, Switzerland. Maybe his days perusing patent applications encouraged Einstein to seek his own.

Off-Label Uses: An authentic Albert Einstein costume would incorporate this vest into the mix.

Future Directions: Al, how about a ladies model -- some of us have beer bellies too!

Peruse more Celebrity Inventions.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/celebrity-invention-albert-einsteins-fancy-blouse/237704/