Welcome to the creative ideas section of the website. The notion of such can be extended to all areas – science, art, business, etc.
Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay
It is often thought of as a light bulb turning on or that aha moment.
- breaking from the past and seeing new ways to old problems.
- pushing beyond routine and trying new approaches.
- asking why not but also it’s about realizing that usually there is a good reason why not.
From a business perspective it means considering profit and loss and legal and ethical issues.
Often Happens Subconsciously
The subconscious mind can be a key driver towards such aha moments.
Outside of conscious awareness mental activity continues which is why ideas often come to us via daydreams, or after a good night’s sleep.
There are a number of stages of creativity which provide clarification and structure of the mental and physical states that an individual experiences in the idea creating process.
We’re All Capable
Everyone is capable of creating new ideas and often it is simply the process of taking an existing idea and building upon it.
Dr Robert Epstein a leading researcher on creativity highlights that as individuals we are constantly generating new and novel behaviours.
Each day, we formulate different sentences when we speak, we brush our teeth a slightly different way each morning and we keep having new thoughts and dreams.
This novel behaviour is only labelled creative when it adds some special value to the community.
Ideas often occur by combining two or more elements of knowledge together. If the resulting combination could add value to someone or something then the idea can be labelled an innovation idea.
Record Your Ideas
It is important to record all of the ideas that you have. Thomas Alva Edison recorded and illustrated every problem he worked on in a notebook.
He used his notebooks to review past experiments in light of any new learning’s and often he would review his notebooks to try and provide new ideas and insight to other projects that he was working on.
Edison would also record observations of the natural environment and he would read others creative ideas, research papers, failed patents and ideas from other fields.
Seek Out Problems
Keep on the lookout for problems within your workplace. Which problems are your biggest, most urgent? These could also be your biggest opportunities. Get your creative juices flowing and start working on some creative solutions today. For some structured assistance check out creativity techniques.
Go For Quantity
When generating creative ideas go for quantity. Try and generate as many ideas as you possibly can. Don’t worry about stopping to evaluate them, you can do that a later point.
Your Creative Ideas
Below are creative ideas submitted by readers of innovation-creativity.com. Have an idea that you’d like to share on this site then please let me know by filling out the creative ideas form further down this page.
I review all ideas submitted and publish them to the site as soon as I can.
Readers’ creative ideas…
Nursing and care homes constantly struggle with providing evidence of regular checks on the elderly to check they are alive. My idea is to create a barcode that fades if the body becomes cold.This would allow a carer to scan the individual and provide a record of these checks. If the person has died the […]
Excellent Creative Ideas From The Past
One great way to assist in getting creative ideas is to read through other people’s ideas.
Some of the ideas submitted below are ideas that people put forward prior to December 1964, the ideas are no longer covered by US copyright laws which allow me to publish them on this page. Some you will find are no longer relevant due to new and improved technologies. Others, however, are either great ideas that have never been implemented or conversely ones that are now in everyday, regular common use.
There are ideas for hand warming snow blowers, transparent fuel tanks to enable you to see how much gasoline you have left, edible toothpicks and even flame-throwing ice removers, plus many more.
Take a look – you never know they might spark your imagination for an excellent new idea.
This is an idea for a chemical hardener for an earth fill. You could pour it into a double-walled blow-up mold and make an adobelike shelter. By F.M.Scott, Leonia, N.J.May 1962
Windproof cigarette holders for convertible owners. This idea for a funnel-shaped holder with side vents and a lid might slow the combustion when driving along with the roof down to that of a normal smoke. By G.Nattboy, Brooklyn. May 1962 You can buy cigarette holders from Amazon, pretty sure that they’re not wind proof though…
Road maps could be placed on microfilm with a tiny viewfinder built into the dashboard of the car. Only a small area of the map would need to be viewable on the screen. By G.A.Mayerchak, Brooklyn Park, Minn. May 1962 These days, you would no doubt use a GPS system instead, such as these available […]
A cooking pot designed for both left and right-handed people. Simply by adding pouring lips to both sides of a cooking pot would make it easy to use for both right and left-handed people. By Marjorie Hill, New York City. May 1962 You can purchase a pot similar to this from Amazon…
A roll-up patio roof housed in a rustproof cylinder. In the summer, you would mount it on a house wall, pull it out, and prop it up. In winter you would be able to lift it completely off for storage. By W.E.Seiler, Lutherville, Md. May 1962 You can purchase motorized sun shades from Amazon…
Small water pumps for pipes leading to a shower or a garden-hose faucet to keep the pressure constant if the water is drawn elsewhere in the house. By Kurt Alverson, Tonawand, New York. May 1961 You can purchase small water pumps on Amazon…
Pipe caps, in both pointed and flat-end designs. Hammering a flat one would drive pipe under a sidewalk to carry cable for outdoor wiring.By Steve Hullcranz, Oak Park, Ill.May 1961
Indent notches at either side of automobile hubcaps. The pesky job of prying off the caps with a tire tool would sure be a lot easier.By Edward Podalske, Crystal Lake, Ill.May 1961
Underwater weed cutters you would attach to an outboard motor with its prop removed. They’d work a bit like a rotary lawn mower while you rowed the boat.By A. Malinick, Thornwood, New York.May 1961
Lunch-counter stools that could be slid in-floor slots to adjust the distance from the counter would enable both fat and thin folk to enjoy their food in comfort. By Patrick Hall, Fort Smith, Ark. May 1961 You can purchase your very own adjustable bar stools from Amazon!..
Washable paper money. If coated with plastic, bills could be given a sudsy bath as needed and there’d be no more “filthy lucre” carrying germs. By Jonas Martin, San Francisco. May 1960 This idea for polymer banknotes is now a reality in many countries. Having lived in both Canada and the UK I know that […]
A bottle opener built into the doorpost of cars. All you need is an opening of the proper shape, and it would save a lot of frustration. By M. Berger, University City, Mo. May 1960 I’m not quite so sure about a car door bottle opener, but you can get a jazzy bottle opener from […]
Ratchets in the wheels of rotary power mowers to prevent them from rolling backward on slopes. A lever on the handle would release the brake. By Roger Race, Saukville, Wis. May 1960 You can purchase a modern-day power mower from Amazon…
Disposable paint brushes. You’d buy long strips of bristles, cut off a piece as needed, and slip it into one of a set of various size holders. By Joseph A. Slais, Riverside, Ill. May 1960 You can purchase disposable paint brushes from Amazon
A weight gauge on fishing rods. You’d sight past it to the end of the rod, and the rod’s bend would indicate the weight of a fish. By George Williams, Portolla Valley, California. May 1960 You can purchase digital fishing scales on Amazon, I don’t think rods with in-built scales ever took off!
Knapsacks that open out flat to make it more convenient for campers to find things. They might be cross-shaped and zipper-fastened. By Norvell Neitzke, Plainview, Nebr. May 1959 You can purchase a knapsack/backpack on Amazon, although I don’t think that they open out flat!..
Car mufflers and exhaust pipes with flange and bolt connections. With fittings like that, removal or installation would be a breeze.By Robert E.Curlee, Winston-Salem, N.C.May 1959
A white line on a garden hose. Running the length of the plastic tubing would signal if there is any twisting of the hose as it is wound back onto the reel. By W.Dale, Marietta, Ohio. May 1959 Alternatively, you can purchase an anti-kink garden hose from Amazon…
Long-lasting fence pickets made of white plastic. Besides being rot-proof, they’d do away with the chore and expense of frequent repainting. By W.H.Hoeft, Vancouver, Washington.May 1959
A portable grill with a storage bin for charcoal. A swing-out lid could cover the lower section. Pulled out, it would become a food counter. By W.J.Roche, Scranton, Pa. May 1959 You can purchase a portable grill on Amazon…
Rear-view mirrors that can be easily re-aimed after they’ve been moved. Marked dials would let each driver of the car adjust the mirror to his own setting. By J.Nathan, Winnetka, Ill. May 1958 You can purchase adjustable rear view mirrors on Amazon…
Garden hoses on automatic reels installed inside the basement. They’d pay out or reel in the hose like the extension cord on some appliances. By S.P.Jacobus, Fairfax Station, Va. May 1958 You can purchase hoses with retractable reels on Amazon…
Easy-to-open frozen-food packages. Pull strips like those on cigarette packages would make a simple job of getting at their sealed-in contents. By Mrs. Chester Combs, Tucson, Arizona. May 1958 You can purchase frozen dinners from Amazon…
Convertible station wagons. Removable roof sections and rear windows would make them open cars in summer. They’d serve as open bed trucks, too.By Bob Marie, Huntertown, Ind.May 1958
More rigid shower curtains. Narrow ribs of plastic (like collar stays) spaced about two inches apart would keep the curtain from wrapping around you. By Hazel Atkinson, San Diego, California. May 1958 You can purchase shower curtains on Amazon…
Built in sockets on portable power tools. Cordless they’d be easier to store; and one cord, bought separately, would serve all of your electrical tools. By V.W.Rogers, Sunnyvale, California. March 1963 You can purchase portable power tools on Amazon…
Foil packed frozen dinners with a heater element in the bottom. A hunter or workman would clip a cord from his car’s power outlet socket into leads that attached to the packet. By R. Marie, Hagerstown, Ind. March 1963 You can purchase frozen dinners from Amazon…
Stubbier paint cans would provide a wider mouth for broader brushes. Cans with a greater diameter than their height wouldn’t tip over so easily either. By Donald Nauman, Caledonia, Minn. March 1963 You can purchase paint from Amazon, although at the time of posting I could only find it on the UK amazon site, not […]
Two-faced rulers marked on one face with measurements from the midpoint outwards would make it easier to determine the center between points. By R.E.Solfest, Eau Claire, Wis. March 1962 You can purchase various different rulers on Amazon
Pick-up sheets of metal foil on boxes with a choice of small, medium, or large sheets would result in less waste than with the one-size rolls and make the foil much easier to use. By Leon Holub, Island Park, New York. March 1962 You can purchase foil sheets on Amazon…
Made for the job funnels would be designed so as to fit wide-mouth and regular vacuum bottles. They’d also have large enough bottom openings to handle thick soups. By Mrs. Alex Mitin, Bay Port, Mich. March 1962 You can purchase a set of funnels on Amazon…
A pull-out hose similar to those that are found on kitchen sinks would be excellent for rinsing out the tub or for bathing and shampooing your kids. By Mrs. G.K.Williamson, Bedford, Ind.March 1962
Childproof sink cabinets you’d open with a push-button or lever on the top. This would keep toddlers from reaching harmful cleaning chemicals.By Mrs. M.Koslover, Reading, Mass.March 1961
Triggered pump oilers in the handles of die stocks and tap wrenches, and an oil exit at the cutting point. No more stops to apply oil.By A.R.Tanner Jr., Poughkeepsie, New York.March 1961
A funnel-shaped lead-in for a car’s ignition key. An integrated part of the ignition switch, it would guide the key directly into the keyhole.By R.D.Remy, Rochester, Ind.March 1961
With this idea for pick-the-spot LP records, you could guide the needle to a particular piece of music. Why not white internal spaces between the recorded bands? By Cy Groves, Calgary, Canada. March 1961 You can buy a record player on Amazon…
Rugs with pockets at the four corners into which the rug could be inserted. Pads are always shifting and showing at the edges and this would anchor them. By Joan Bost, Chicago. March 1960 You can buy yourself a nice new rug on Amazon…
A chin strap on mens hats. Tucked behind the sweat band, it could be lifted out on a windy day and snap-fastened to the face of the band.By Jim Martin, St. John’s, Newfoundland.March 1960
Individual paste pots for schoolroom use. They’d hold just enough paste for one child’s project and would therefore eliminate sticky jars and dried out paste.By Nathan Bridwell, Midland, Mich.March 1960
An antenna connection on small transistor radios so they could be operated more efficiently in a car, using the regular automobile antenna.By Charles E.Yeatts, Camp Hill, Pa.March 1959
An easy to adjust hand brake for automobiles. Why not a threaded shaft so that by simply turning the handle clockwise, you could tighten the brake? By H.J.Simoff, Cleveland.March 1959
Transparent plastic gas tanks on lawnmowers, so you could check fuel levels instead of waiting until the mower stops to know that the tank is empty. By Jeffrey Konig, Grafton, Wis.March 1959
Venetian blinds of flexible plastic. Youngsters (or the family pup) couldn’t bend them out of shape when they poke them aside to look out of windows. By Glenn Corbett, Kansas City, Mo. March 1959 You can purchase Venetian blinds from Amazon…
Curbside trash receivers like the mailboxes that can be reached from inside a car. On highways, they could be at the edge of the shoulder.By John Bryant, Cumberland, Md.March 1959
A lift-up handle on the front of power mowers would make them safer and easier to lift into a car trunk or to carry to your shed or down into your basement.By Allen Kast, Tell City, Ind. June 1962
This is an idea for an aluminum foil covered dog feeding dish. The dish would be weighted at the bottom and would have a collar at the top to secure the foil in place. This would remove the need for cleaning the dish – you would instead just throw away the foil liner. By E.Bloomingdale, […]
Bottles of oxygen you could team up with a propane torch for metal cutting or for welding jobs. Both hobbyists and homeowners would benefit.By Joseph E. Blaze, Alliance, Ohio.June 1961
Squared-off motor-oil cans so you could salvage them for your shop or garage. With one side cutaway, they would make fine drawers for small parts.By N.D.Stowell, Wichita, Kan.June 1961
A mud flap reaching from one rear wheel to the other on station wagons would eliminate the dust and dirt that collects on the rear window. By James St. George, Shelburne, Vt. June 1961 I don’t think this idea ever took off as I can only find normal mudflaps on Amazon…
A doorbell plate could be installed at the bottom of a service door. Tapping the plate with the toe of your shoe would ring the bell for you. By Paul Patete, Canton, Ohio. June 1961 These days, you’d probably be better with a video doorbell such as the ring 3 as sold on Amazon…
Measuring decals for fishermen. With a ruler on your tackle box or the gunwale of your boat, you;d never have to guess about the length of a fish. By Ken Mueller, Eugene, Ore.June 1961
A pull-out sun visor over a car windshield. It would stretch across to fill the gap and shade a middle passenger from bright sun.By Richard Bauguess, Fort Worth, Texas.June 1960
Replacement signaling wicks for cigarette lighters. Why not dye the last inch a bright color, or simply interweave several colored threads? By J.J.Vernimmen, Grand Rapids, Mich.June 1960Back in the 1960s when smoking was cool and supposedly safe. The best bet is to not smoke at all these days!
Soft-plastic milk cartons so you’d never get clumps of wax in a glass of milk. And you’d never get leaks in the nonbreakable containers, either.By R.H.Morgan, Towaco, N.J.June 1960Sounds a bit like Tetra Pak to me, I wonder which came first? This idea or the Tetra Pak milk carton?
Easy-roll boat trailers and outboard carriers on Rolygon air-bag tires. They’d handle more easily on rough terrain than wheeled ones.By R.W.Schiller, Menominee, Mich.June 1960
Head markings on bolts that require cotter pins. With a notch in the same plane as the hole, even working blind you could slip the pin in with ease. By G.Wilson, N.Guilford, Conn. June 1959 You can purchase various bolts on Amazon…
A safety lock for power windows on cars. An electrical switch, controlled by the driver, would cut off power when children were in the car.By A.J.Dallaire, Opa Locka, Fla.June 1959Another great idea that is commonplace in most cars today.
Ice stick freezer trays. Depressions the size of a carpenter’s pencil would turn out ice shaped to slide through the neck of a small pop bottle. By Phil Liston, Wooster, Ohio. June 1959 You can purchase these from Amazon…
Car top garment bags fitted with long straps that could be passed through the windows and buckled. Clothes hung inside a car cut visibility. By F.M.Matthews, Millington, Tenn. June 1959 Obviously, this was a great idea as your car rooftop storage bags are commonplace nowadays and are used for storing all kinds of things, not […]
Hinged aluminum tents you could fold up for easy transporting. They’d be waterproof and rustproof and would reflect the sun to make a cool shelter. By R.Eschleman, Reading, Pa. June 1959 Alternatively, you can purchase a modern-day ten from Amazon…
Two-ended nails for invisible joinings without drilling. Set a tube on the head to drive in one end, then drive the work onto the other end.By J.L.Barrett, Beckley, W.Va.June 1958
Cement bags like shopping bags, with handles and tough pasteboard bottoms to keep the unused contents of an opened bag dry and off the ground.By Bobby Burns, Whiteville, N.C.June 1958My guess is you’d need some strong arms!!
A rear air duct in cars to permit air entering front ventilators to escape. This would make it unnecessary to open windows in rainy weather.By J.C.Culler, Newberry, S.C.June 1958
Stamp-dispensing cash registers. They’d hold rolls of premium or gift stamps and release the correct number as the bill total is rung up.By Bob Lee, Redondo Beach, California.June 1958
Inflatable furniture of heavy plastic for use outdoors – or indoors when extra seating is required. Deflated it could be easily stored away and take little space. By R.C.Dunne, La Grange, Ill. June 1958 You can purchase an inflatable lounger from Amazon…
Precast building blocks with molded-in recesses to take electric outlet boxes. This would save a lot of hammering and chipping out of concrete.By H.P.Fischer, Rochester, Pa.July 1962
This is an idea for a safe power mower with a deadman’s switch built into the handle. Releasing the pressure of your hand, as in a fall, would cut off the current from the magneto. By Jim Sutro, Los Angeles. July 1962 Such an idea generally comes as standard on electric mowers these days one […]
Trap doors in the floors of cars would enable you to whisk out sand and dirt that can’t be swept out over the rise at the door sills.By Mrs. W.S. Wilbur, Miami Springs, Fla.July 1962Or alternatively by yourself a car vacuum from Amazon!..
Supermarket cash registers with an additional window at right angles to the keys so the customer in a checkout line could see her items being rung up. By J.Kelly, Albany, New York. July 1961 You can purchase a cash register from Amazon with an additional window that tilts for your customer to view…
Motorcycle markers to warn car-backing drivers who might not see a cycle. Reflector-topped, telescoping wands, they’d be raised in parking lots. By L.D.Hull, Oakland, California. July 1961 You can purchase reflective markers from Amazon…
Glass cutter wheels mounted in a notch instead of a fork, and a bevel-edged on one side only. Then you wouldn’t have to allow for the offset of the cut. By A.Vena, Philadelphia. July 1961 You can purchase glass cutting wheels from Amazon…
Abrasive tape backed with a pressure-sensitive adhesive. You could wrap it around a rod or any other handy object to sand those hard-to-manage pieces. By John Lubin, New York City. July 1961 You can purchase abrasive tape from Amazon…
Highway divider stripes colored to tie in with route numbers. How easy it would then be for a driver to follow his color line through a maze of city streets!By Lloyd Smith, Elmira, New York.July 1961
A file shaped like a gullet on a circular saw blade. That way you could avoid the nicks and notches that spoil the contour after a few sharpenings.By Carl Bombard, Holyoke, Mass.July 1960Buy yourself a brand new circular saw from Amazon!
Rotary-mower air filters at the top of a tubular handle. Placement far from the discharge chute should eliminate clogging and carburetor trouble. By E.Dodd, Middletown, N.J. July 1960 You can purchase lawn-mower filters from Amazon…
Throw-away bottles and jars with some salvage value. Squared off like milk cartons, they’d stack to form glass-brick room dividers or garden screens.By S.Levine, Oakdale, New York.July 1960Not quite glass bricks, but you can purchase waterproof stained glass brick pattern film from Amazon…
Disposable car seat covers for riders in beach or work clothes. Made of waterproof paper or thin plastic, they’d be sold by vending machines at gas stations. By R.C.Miller, Santa Monica July 1960 You can purchase disposable car seat covers from Amazon…
Ribbon-renewing rollers on typewriters. As the ribbon fed through, it would be re-inked and never need replacement until the fabric was worn.By John Ryder, Little Falls, N.J.July 1959
A back-scrubbing bath brush that could be attached to a shower wall. It would have a well for liquid soap and a pushbutton to dispense it.By A.T.Iberg, Highland, Ill.July 1959You can purchase a simple back brush from Amazon, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it can be connected to the shower!Return To Creative Ideas
More light on wagons. I’d like a manually operated switch on the tailgate so I wouldn’t have to open a side door to see into the back.By Gary Conley, Sheffield Lake, OhioJuly 1959You can purchase an LED work light from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Patio dining accommodations that could be built into an outside wall of a house. Table and benches would pull down for use, fold up flat for storage.By Bill Broadwell, Charlotte, N.C.July 1959Return To Creative Ideas
Cord-winding lugs on toasters, mixers, and other small appliances. Only my vacuum cleaner provides an anchorage for the extension cord.By Mrs. A.R.Tagg, Ishpeming, Mich.July 1958You can purchase a toaster with a cord wrap from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Come-apart car radiators with a top chamber that comes off like the oil pan of the engine. Then you could do a complete radiator-cleaning job at home.By L.J.Bump, Vineland, N.J.July 1958Return To Creative Ideas
Shaded eyeglasses to block out glare. A shallow overhang on the frame would have the same effect as holding your hand against your forehead.By R.Blagden, E.Hampton. Conn.July 1958Return To Creative Ideas
Patch testers for sunbathers to prevent bad burns. The chemically-treated stick-on patch would change color when further exposure is dangerous.By Bill Crowell, Raleigh, N.C.July 1958Return To Creative Ideas
Lift out foil liners, made in standard sizes for automobile ashtrays. Also, a tray designed for home use and sold with replaceable liners.By Mrs. C.E.Wilson, Vanceboro, Maine.January 1963Return To Creative Ideas
A plug-in bar with add on sections, to do the job of electrical molding. You would plug it in and anchor it flat to the wall to “install” new outlets.By R.H. Morgan, Towaco, N.J.January 1963Not quite the same, but you can purchase a 12 outlet extension lead from Amazon! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A pot saver switch on stoves. A housewife would set it before leaving the kitchen to answer the door or phone. All the burners would go off automatically in ten minutes.By S.N.Stresnic, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.January 1963Return To Creative Ideas
A combination door and cap for automobile gas tanks would eliminate reaching behind the access door. The cap would be made out of soft rubber and attached to the door with an extended spring.By N.G.K Bler, Rome, New York.January 1962Return To Creative Ideas
Here is an idea for sandpaper shoe soles. They’d be ideal for icy weather. They would have contact adhesive on the back. You would strip them off and discard them when indoors.By Dr. S.M.Dooreck, Brooklyn, New York.January 1962Not quite sandpaper soles but you can purchase Self-Adhesive Anti-Slip Stick Pad for Shoes from Amazon by clicking […]
Non-tangling cords on an electric drill and similar shop equipment. Why can’t they be sold with the self-coiling wire now commonly used on telephones?By W.C.Fox, Nampa, Idaho.January 1961Nowadays, I’d guess you would simply purchase yourself a cordless drill such as this one below from Amazo. Click on the image for more details. (affiliate link)Return To […]
A tripod flashlight stand, adjustable for height, that would swivel at various angles and lock. This would leave both hands free for the workman.By H.G.Frank, Teaneck, N.J.January 1961You can purchase a flashlight pre-mounted on a tripod stand from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A heat dispensing fan flat enough to hang between the wall and radiator where heat gets pocketed. It would operate much as a car heater does.By A.K.Baldenweck, Kirkwood, Mo.January 1961You can purchase a standalone electric fan heater from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Automatically dispensed fish food so fish fanciers could get away for a weekend. Capsules within capsules would dissolve, one every 24 hours.By Verda Ross, San Bernardino, California.January 1960You can purchase a fish-food dispenser from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A disposable toothbrush of tough paper or flexible plastic with plastic bristles. Tubular to fit over the index finger, it would need no handle.By S.S.Smith, Oak Park, Mich.January 1960You can purchase a pack of disposable toothbrushes from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Furniture locks to keep sectional couches from sliding apart. A metal plate, to slip over pins on each section or clamp into place, would do it.By W.H.Tapscott, Port Arthur, Texas.January 1960I wasn’t able to find anything representing this idea, however, on Amazon you can purchase a standard security steel cable for protecting furniture that you […]
A current meter to measure the electricity an appliance uses in a given period. You’d connect it to the appliance and plug it into the outlet.By P.M.Henson, Joplin, Mo.January 1960You can purchase something similar to this idea from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A pull-out extension cords with appropriate connections inside the car. To run an engine heater or charge the battery, you’d plug the cord into an outlet.By E.E.Frazer, Kewanee, Ill.January 1960You can buy a standard extension coord on a reel from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Water-paint capsules for use with a garden hose. You’d simply drop the capsule in a special container, turn on the water and hose on the paint.By J.M.Blasko, Savanna, Ill.January 1959You can purchase a spray painting unit from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
More storage inside cars to hold the overflow from the glove compartment. Why not put a washable plastic drawer beneath the front seat?By C.L.Berger, Plainview, New York.January 1959Return To Creative Ideas
Signal strips on frozen-food packages. Of heat-sensitive paper, they’d change color to warn buyers if kept warm enough to impair the food.By Mrs. G.Rosenfeld, Bronx, New York City.January 1959Return To Creative Ideas
Stick-on lead-in wire. The pressure-sensitive adhesive would anchor it fast from the antenna down the side of the house, along the joist, floor or baseboard.By H.P.Fischer, Rochester, Pa.January 1959Return To Creative Ideas
Posthole diggers with depth markings in feet and inches on one handle. Then there’d be no need for repeatedly trying the pole in the hole.By Stephen Walton, White Plains, N.Y.January 1959Return To Creative Ideas
A plug-in jack in the horn circuit at the base of the car’s steering column, clearly marked “horn.” Yanking out the jack would silence a stuck horn.By F.W.Edwards, Columbus.January 1958Return To Creative Ideas
A bottle-opening drawer handle. An opener stored inside a drawer is hard to find, and besides, our kitchen is disappearing under wall-hung gadgets.By John Teachman, Lincoln, Nebr.January 1958You can purchase a wall-mounted bottle opener such as this one by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Transparent flowerpots for house plants so you could check the depth penetration when watering and even determine when roots were out growing the pot.By Roger Rachow, Omaha.February 1963You can purchase transparent flower pots from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Snow shedding shovels with blades coated with teflon (the plastic used on non-stick frying pans) and a built in hand warmer in the handle.By H.F.Stephens, Pleasantville, N.J.February 1963Or alternatively you could just purchase a snowblower from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Easy to load tape recorder reels. They would have a slotted plug, set in flush, that you could turn with a finger to lock in the starter end of the tape.By David A Odom, Puyallup, Wash.February 1963Return To Creative Ideas
A car heater thermostat that you could set for the desired temperature. This would eliminate being baked, as well as a constant need for adjustment.By Mrs. Barbara Davis, Rome, Ga.February 1963These days, in many cars, there are dual climate controls, so you can set a different thermostat temperature for the passenger and the driver! Return To […]
Pliers with screwdrivers on the handles. With a Philips screwdriver on one end and a regular screwdriver on the other, you would save space in a toolbox. By Ken Sandvik, Two Harbors, Minn. February 1962 These days you could simply purchase yourself a multi-tool such as the one below on Amazon. Click on the image […]
Sectional Tire Chains with snap-fastened cross chains. Worn lengths could be removed and replaced easily with a new chain by using the same snap hooks.By Andrew Vena, Philadelphia.February 1962You can purchase tire chains from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A motor-driven music box with a drum using moveable pins. Then you could change the tune, following a direction sheet for placement of pins.By F.Harry Louden, Sarasota, Fla.February 1962You can purchase a wind-up music box from Amazon by clicking on the image below. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A foot-warming hunting boot with electrical wires in the lining would keep your feet lovely and warm while out hunting. The battery would be slipped into a pocket in the heel or on the pants leg.By Bob Montgomery, Rockford, Ill.February 1962You can purchase footwarmers that you can insert into your boots from Amazon by clicking […]
This is an idea for throw-away sheeting on rollers at the head and foot of a bed. To make the bed, you would pull out a clean section of soft, cloth-like paper from each roll.By Evelyn McGraw, New York City.February 1962Return To Creative Ideas
For better traction, metal tanks under the beds of pickup trucks. You’d fill them with water. A drain plug would allow emptying when desired.By W.F.May, Credtwood, Ky.February 1961Return To Creative Ideas
Coot-to-the-touch electric irons with all outer parts except the sole plate cast in one piece of an asbestos-cement and fiber-glass composition.By S.L.Steigman, Howard Beach, New York.February 1961I doubt a household product would be allowed to be sold with asbestos in it these days!Purchase a modern-day electric iron from Amazon by clicking on the image below. […]
A magnetic belt would be great for holding nails and small parts for someone doing odd jobs around the house. It could also be used to hold straight pins or hobby pins.By Muriel Carey, New Castle, Pa.February 1961I was only able to find belts with magnetic buckles on Amazon. Click the image below for more […]
A pooch-drying tent to replace the hood on the warm-air hair dryers that women use on their hair. It would dry a dog after a bath or a walk in the rain.By W.Ronson, Jamaica, New York.February 1961Return To Creative Ideas
Battery-operated drills would be ideal for those jobs that are far away from a power source. You would beef up its rechargeable battery at an outlet before heading for the worksite.By B.W.Pierce, Norwalk, Ohio.February 1961These days, you can purchase excellent cordless drills directly from Amazon. Click on the image below for more details. (affiliate link)Return […]
No-pump grease guns for cars. They’d use gas cartridges for pressure. Add a grease cartridge loading feature and you’d have a honey of a gun.By Leon L.Morris, Baltimore.February 1959You can purchase a modern-day, battery-powered, grease gun from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Pull-out dome lights on cars. A long reel wound cord would allow the lamp and housing to be removed for use as a trouble light outside the car.By Robert Current, Fort Wayne, Ind.February 1958Although, these days, you’d probably be better with a rechargeable flashlight such as this one from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A vacuum-bottle adapter to make it a baby’s bottle for use at drive-in movies or on car trips. No need to heat the milk – just slip on the nipple.By S.Abramczyk, Wyandotte, Mich.February 1958You can purchase an insulated bottle on Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A jack-plane with an extension on one side. By sliding the extension along the face of a board, you could keep the edge square while you planed it.By Donald Snyder, Canton, Ohio.February 1958You can purchase a modern-day Jack Plane from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A plug-in timer switch for sleepy heads. Wind it up and then plug your radio or television into it, and the set would go off after the pre-set interval. By N.Robinson, Northbridge, AustraliaDecember 1962These days, on Amazon you can purchase a programmable timer switch! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Come-a-part-hinges on car trunk lids would enable you to quickly lift off the cover. They’d make it much easier to carry large objects in cars with flat trunks.By R.Archart, Gary, Ind.December 1962Return To Creative Ideas
Illuminated saber saws. Placing a small lamp just above the blade would mean that you wouldn’t be constantly shifting the light source as you worked. By Len Watson, Cincinnati, Ohio.December 1962You can purchase a modern-day saber saw or jig saw on Amazon, not sure it illuminates though! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Speedier mailboxes with a locked, removable container at the side or back. A mailman would simply lift out a full drawer and replace it with an empty one.By J.L.Peters, Brooklyn, New York.December 1962Return To Creative Ideas
A scoring tool for seating plaster in cracks. You would open the points to the desired amount to cut a “dovetail” groove as you run the tool down the crack.By E.Hess, South Amboy, N.J.December 1961Return To Creative Ideas
An erasable writing panel on cameras like those that photographers have on film holders would enable you to record the film type and any other data of relevance.By A.E.Ortner, Brooklyn, New York.December 1961Return To Creative Ideas
This idea for a heavy-duty multiple outlet box would be ideal for cooking at the table. It would be a bit like a photographer’s lightbox and would look good if enclosed in ceramic tiles.By H.Kearney, Elizabeth, N.J.December 1961Return To Creative Ideas
Brakes on shopping carts would be great for unloading your shopping when the cart is on uneven ground. It would prevent the cart from rolling away and banging into other people’s cars.By L.D.Kurtz, Greensburg, Pa.December 1961Return To Creative Ideas
Throwaway perking bags of flow-through fabric or paper. They’d hold premeasured coffee and eliminate cleaning that messy percolator basket.By H.Lemunyon, N.Industry, Ohio.December 1960You can purchase a modern-day percolator from Amazon, however, for disposable coffee pods these days you would be better with a coffee maker such as this one also on Amazon. (affiliate links)Return To […]
Zip-up ice skates with laces too – to adjust indoors. Outdoors, you’d just zip them on or off without freezing bare hands or fumbling with laces.By J.J.Drill, St. Nazianz, Wis.December 1960Can do one better these days with a modern pair of ice skating boots such as this pair on Amazon that includes a locking buckle […]
Stick on roll film you’d press onto a take-up reel instead of fussing with a slot. There’d be an adhesive on the back of the first inch.By A.R.Tanner Jr., Poughkeepsie, New York.December 1960Alternatively in modern times, simply purchase yourself a full digital SLR kit on Amazon! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Air-breathing valves on storm doors so they’d be easier to close. The valve would automatically bleed off air caught between the inner and outer door. By M.Malmgren, Aurora, Ill. December 1960 Return To Creative Ideas
Foil pocket liners to keep coat pockets free of tobacco shreds and lint. They could be lifted out to serve as disposable ashtrays too.By C.J.Berger, Plainview, New York.December 1959Not overly convinced with this idea, but maybe that’s just me. Luckily I don’t smoke so it wouldn’t be an issue anyway.For the smokers maybe just get […]
Earring accomodaters for phone receivers so that women wouldn’t have to remove an earing to hear properly.A U-shaped foam-rubber pad might do the trick.By Catherine Gundling, Covina, California.December 1958I guess these days you’d just put your smartphone (such as this one on Amazon) on to speakerphone! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A duffel-bag carrier for servicemen. Similar to the small two-wheeled carts used for golf bags, it would fold for storage inside the bag.By C.K.Adams, Manhattan, Kan.December 1958I couldn’t find a duffle bag carrier, however, you can purchase a modern duffle bag on Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Film identification tabs you could stick to your camera as a reminder, later, of what film you had inside and its speed. The tabs could also seal the rolls.By Mrs.A.E.Opper, Brooklyn, New York.December 1958Unfortunately, no longer relevant in today’s modern, digital world of photography. You can purchase a great digital SLR with an excellent array […]
Cordless Christmas tree bulbs that could be spotted at random. They’d operate off radio-frequency currents transmitted by a device like a Tesla coil.By K.L.Swinth, Seattle.December 1958Alternatively, get a chain of LED Christmas tree lights from Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Built-in toothpaste-tube caps. Why not lengthen the neck of the tube and put the hole at the side? A few twists of a threaded collar would open the tube.By Bernard Gold, New York City.December 1957Return To Creative Ideas
A revolving electric fryer to eliminate standing by and turning food to prevent burning. It should lift off the motorized stand for washing.By Raymond A.Thomas, Burbank, California.December 1957Return To Creative Ideas
Christmas-scene stencils to make stained-glass picture windows. The black outlines of the stick-on stencil would be filled in with colored cellophane or plastic wrap. By J.Moon. New York City. December 1957 You can purchase Christmas Scene Stencils on Amazon. (affiliate link) Return To Creative Ideas
Recessed toe holes built into a sport boat’s transoms would make it unnecessary to carry along boarding ladders for swimmers and water skiers. making it that much easier to climb on board.By F.C.Tingle, State College, Miss.August 1962Return To Creative Ideas
Drain-off plugs on chest freezers would enable you to defrost your appliance without bailing out water by hand while standing on your head.By Margaret Hageman, Stryker, Ohio.August 1961I don’t even think modern-day chest freezers such as this one on Amazon have a drainage plug. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Keyed electric circuits marked clearly for every outlet area in the house. So that almost anyone could tell which fuse needed replacement.By Ann Dickinson, Warner Robins, Ga.August 1961Return To Creative Ideas
An automatic hammer operated by electricity and light enough for a workman to hold while nailing up siding and paneling or laying down roofing.Morris Roth, Duncan, Okla.August 1961You purchase the modern equivalent on this automatic hammer a nail gun on Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Recessed cargo hooks in station wagons. Then you could lash down cargo to prevent it from shifting and sliding on turns or in hilly country.By D.F.Hammond, Alexandria, Va.August 1960Return To Creative Ideas
Adjustable footrests on all office desks. A swing-down bar like that on trains could have notches for the side pieces to adapt them for long or short legs.By F.A.Casey. New York City.August 1960You can purchase an adjustable footrest today on Amazon! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
A built-in bottle opener on refrigerators. Since that’s where the cold drinks are kept, why not have an opener handy, inset in the door?By MayBelle Schouz, The Dalles, Ore.August 1960You purchase a lovely beer fridge on Amazon, not sure that it includes a bottle opener though. Stick to cans or purchase bottles with twist-off lids, […]
A mower runs on bottled gas for better starting (no carburetor troubles, no carbon deposits) and once-a-season oil changing (reduced crankcase dilution).By S.Gilley, Terre Haute, Ind.August 1960These days, you’d probably be better with a rechargeable cordless lawn mower such as this one on Amazon. (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Patio furniture for smokers. Pull-out ashtrays could be inserted in the aprons of tables, and well holes could be opened in the arms of chairs.Katherine Riggan, Leola, Ark.August 1960You can purchase some pretty decent patio furniture on Amazon however if you’re a smoker you will just have to add your own ashtray! (affiliate link)Return To […]
A powdered soap dispenser you could re-use on each new carton. Like a jigger dispenser for liquor bottles, it would pour out a measured amount.Carl Hirschfeld, Los Angeles.August 1959Return To Creative Ideas
A transparent mailbox. With a clear plastic box, you could see if the mail had been delivered. The box wouldn’t rust or require painting – probably would need a regular clean though!Rick Megenity, Seattle.August 1959I found this transparent mailbox on Amazon, although at the time of writing there were no sellers available. Return To Creative Ideas
A backpack for outboard motors. Clamped to a board mounted on the pack, would make the awkward motor much easier to carry.R.M.Woodbury, Natick, Mass.August 1959Return To Creative Ideas
A toothbrush on a flexible cable that could be attached to an electric razor. It would clean your teeth with a rotary motion.W.R.Bottger, Oklahoma City.August 1959You can purchase a modern electric razor from Amazon, unfortunately they still don’t have a toothbrush attached! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Overhead towlines for use on bridges and in tunnels. A stalled car could be hooked on to the line and pulled out of the way fast.Alexander Morris, Mahopac, New York.August 1959Return To Creative Ideas
Clamshell cases for tape recorders. With a mike fastened with a clip at the center, the open lid would become a parabolic sound reflector. – Walter Shelton, Amarillo, Texas.April 1961Return To Creative Ideas
Miniature air hammer the shape and size of a drill. It would be useful in tight or hard to get at places where a regular hammer won’t reach. – H.M.Gilbert, Kalamazoo, Mich.April 1961Air hammers such as this one on Amazon are pretty compact anyway these days! (affiliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Safer drill press with an on-off switch actuated by the chuck key. There would be an auxiliary push-button for fast emergency stops. – PFC J.E.Kaphusman, Dundalk, Md.April 1961Modern-day drill presses such as this one on Amazon (affiliate link) have improved safety immensely since 1961Return To Creative Ideas
V-shaped expansion joints in railroad tracks would eliminate the familiar and annoying clickety-clack of trains riding the rails. – Warner Walker, Exeter, California.April 1961Return To Creative Ideas
A lawn roller with two openings. A drain on one side and an air intake on the other, both with plugs, would make emptying a roller faster and easier. – Joseph P.Izzo, Providence.April 1959Here’s a modern-day roller sold on Amazon (afilliate link)Return To Creative Ideas
Here’s an interesting idea for an everyday item. Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years. In modern times they are usually collapsible so that they can be fit into a handbag or satchel and then brought out quickly just as a downpour begins to start.With this inventive change to an umbrella, you’d be well […]
May 1963…Glasses light your work. Tiny bulbs above the lenses of these spectacles and batteries in the earpieces would put light where you want it and let you use both hands.Opaque reflectors behind the bulbs would focus the light and keep it out of your eyes. Switches in the frames would let you use either […]
June 1963…Electric basin heats water. A sink like this at your country cabin might give you hot water convenience on a boiler-less budget.The basin would nest in a tank fitted with a coil heater. Two taps would feed a mixer faucet from a single inlet, but turning the hot tap would route the flow of […]
April 1963…This idea for a come-apart barbecue grill with fewer cross pieces makes cleaning much easier.The rods would lock at the ends for use but they can also easily be disconnected for cleaning or for moving a section with tongs in order to stoke the charcoal.Although after living in Canada for 8 years, I learned […]
August 1963…Car hitch loads boat. Universal couplings on the ends of this boat-loading post would let one man lift his boat in toward the support and walk it around to the car-top cradle.Tipping the boat would drain it as he walked. To offload, he’d reverse the steps; and use the pole’s reach to set the […]
August 1963…Bottle bib catches drips. Looped around the neck of a bottle, this absorbent strip would stop drips on the way down and soak them up before they could stain a tablecloth or mar a tabletop.The slightly curved strip, cut from any absorbent fabric or paper, would be slotted near one end so the other […]
Garden edging blocks with long stakes precast on one side. Then you wouldn’t have to dig a trench to prevent them from getting kicked around the yard. – Dean Himmelreich, Milwaukee.
Rear-window air deflectors on station wagons to keep out gales, yet allow ventilation throughout the car. The angle could be controllable by a switch on the dashboard. – John King, Ashkum, Ill.
Spray poles triggered at the bottom to operate an insecticide bomb held at the top. They would put you on target for spraying caterpillar tents or wasp nests in trees or under house eaves. – S. Smith, New Augusta, Ind.
High-visibility fertilizers and weed killers so you can see where you have been and not overlap on a lawn. Why not dye the pellets a bright color? S. Johnson, Wesleyville, Pa
A hide-away air conditioner to fit basement windows screened by shrubs. Cool air from a top vent would be ducted to a floor grille in the room above. A. A. Scott, Leonia, N.J.
Screw-in drain plugs for remote outboard tanks. Sloshing a left-over pint of gasoline out of that inch hole at the top of the can is for the birds. – H. Anderson, Cassopolis, Mich.
Children’s roller skates with a clip or other fastener underneath to hold the clamp key. Loose keys, constantly lost, are just a nuisance. – Mrs. E. Ross, San Bernardino, California.
Designed for a small sports car bucket seat or better still to fit between the two seats, saddled over the hump. – Mrs. Carol G. Donahue, West Andover, Mass.Although doesn’t look too safe to me!
Chemically treated netting, dyed green. Ideal for supporting vegetable vines. At the end of the season, it could be thrown on the compost pile to aid decomposition. G. Jorgenson, Tacoma
Fountain stamps with porous letters and a refillable ink reservoir. Clerks who stamp hundreds of forms daily wouldn’t waste motion swatting at a pad. – H. M. Monaghan, N.Y.
Finger grip holes at the center of a phonograph record. This idea would mean that when loading or unloading such discs the sound-track grooves would get less handling. – E.J.Monjack, Chicago Heights
Hunting and camping knives that carry their own whetstone in a recess in the handle. With this idea, you would never be caught in the woods with a dull blade. – W.L.Adams, East Syracuse, N.Y.
Bricks that have protrusions at the sides would mean that bricks could easily be laid with perfect spacing. This would make it much easier for amateur bricklayers to keep each course level. – Ben T. Sheppard, Columbus, Ga
Movie reels in square cans for upright storage on shelves. They wouldn’t roll, and they’d be easier to remove and replace than stacked cans. – A.R. Tanner Jr., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
A motorized seat back in station wagons so you wouldn’t have to struggle with latches and hooks every time you wanted to make extra load space. – Phil Glotzbach, Kettering, Ohio
A slide-out index behind wall telephones would enable you to quickly take note of numbers you need to remember. Often there is no flat surface near such phones and no place to note frequently used numbers.Great idea for the time but not so useful now we live in a world of electronic gadgets and smart […]
Basin shaped floor mats for cars would hold that grit from icy roads that you track into the car, and they could be lifted out and emptied easily. Makes cleaning the car at the weekend much easier! – S. Selsky, Massapequa, N.Y.
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