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: Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, a.k.a Yakov Smirnoff
Known For: Back when the Soviet Union existed, Yakov Smirnoff was funny. A Ukranian-born comedian, Smirnoff capitalized on Soviet-American relations for his sets. Smirnoff would act like a clueless other world immigrant, adjusting to his shiny new country.
After the Soviet Union fell, Smirnoff's act managed to survive. (Sort of.) His work lives on at his comedy club in Missouri and through cultural references, like as seen in this Family Guy clip:
Invented Apparatus: "Device for writing"
It's not just any writing device, but it's one specifically intended for writing in a shower:
The present invention relates to a device for writing in a shower or the like. More particularly it relates to such a writing device which has a support and a plurality of sheets arranged in a stack.
Now, it's not that Smirnoff has invented a way for you to write musings in your Moleskin while you bathe. No, no. Really, his patent consists of a suction device that attaches to a shower wall, which will hold a stack of "water-resistant" sheets, allowing the bather to write on a vertical surface:
A carrier to be written on, said carrier being attached to said front surface of said support and including a plurality of sheets in form of a stack such that each of said sheets can be written on and successively removed from said stack after writing, said sheets of said stack being composed of a water-resistant material which does not deteriorate under the action of water and permits writing on said sheets
His invention attaches vertically to the shower wall and holds sheets of "paper," which can be easily maneuvered while under the rushing water.