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Arthur Paul Pedrick

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Pedrick was an extremely prolific British inventor in the 1960s and 1970s. Bursting with ideas, he clearly felt he had to share them with the world. After a career as an examiner in the UK Patent Office, he spent his retirement applying for large numbers of patents.

The practicality of his ideas never seems to have troubled him, as these examples show.

Patent drawing: GB1121630

UK Patent No. GB1121630. Controlling the spin of a golf ball, to prevent slicing or hooking or topspin. The ball has flaps 1 which are normally held flush with the surface of the ball by magnets. If the ball has been mishit and is spinning, the centrifugal effect overcomes the magnetic force, and the flaps project as shown to reduce the spin. Additionally, the internal structure of the ball reflects radio waves from a homing device carried by the golfer, making it easier to find if it is lost in the rough.

Patent drawing: GB1047735 UK Patent No. GB1047735. Piping snow and ice balls from Antarctica to irrigate the Australian desert. The patent suggests this will solve the world famine problem. The snowballs accelerate under gravity from 10,000 feet (3,000m) high on the Antarctic plateau, reaching 500 miles per hour (800km/hr) at sea level. They are then pumped naturally through the pipelines, by the Coriolis force due to the Earth's rotation.
Patent drawing: GB1405575

UK Patent No. GB1405575. A horse-powered car, putting the cart before the horse. To control the speed, the car's accelerator pedal varies the thrust which the horse must exert to reach its feedbox 2. The brake pedal is linked to the horse's halter. The ignition switch can give the horse's posterior a mild electric shock to stimulate it into movement.

UK Patent No. GB1251780. A practice golf tee. Photocells monitor the path of the club head. If they detect that the player is about to hook or slice the ball, a puff of compressed air passes along the conduit 1" and up the middle of the tee. This blows the ball off the tee so that the player misses it, and does not have to search for a lost ball. Patent drawing: GB1251780
Patent drawing: GB1153249 UK Patent No. GB1153249. A television tower with a revolving restaurant, an airship mooring mast, and a transparent globe for transcendental meditation. The passenger elevator floats up on water pumped from an underground reservoir. There are tanks in the tower for gravity supply of beer to the surrounding district.

Pedrick envisaged a world-wide system of such towers. If you were rich enough, you would be able to spend your entire life off the ground level, moving from one tower to another in airships fitted with sleeping accommodation.

UK Patent No. GB1204648. Irrigating the Sahara Desert by piping fresh water from the mouth of the Amazon. The patent also suggests an alternative to the Channel Tunnel between England and France. Both use a semi-buoyant tube submerged 200 feet below the sea surface. Patent drawing: GB1204648
Patent drawing: GB1361962 UK Patent No. GB1361962. Pedrick's ultimate deterrent to solve the Cold War. The UN places three nuclear bombs on earth-orbiting satellites. If these detect that one of the superpowers has been nuked by one of the others, they are automatically programmed to drop on Washington, Moscow and Peking, ensuring the mutual destruction of all three.
UK Patent No. GB1439086. Since ocean liners are now uneconomic, a large, luxurious aircraft is made by strapping together the bodies of five Boeing 747s. The aircraft can land on water, and flies just 100 or 200 feet above the ocean surface (which is safer in the event of a bomb threat or other emergency). Patent drawing: GB1439086
Patent drawing: GB1453920 UK Patent No. GB1453920. A solution to a "Towering Inferno" fire in a skyscraper. Rolled-up fire curtains are provided at roof level. When a fire starts, the curtains are released to envelope the sides of the building and extinguish the fire by suffocating it. So that the occupants of the building can breathe, they must go to certain rooms, where apertures in the fire curtains allow air to get in.

The laws of modern physics regularly worried Pedrick. Many of his patents provide a unique outlook on such fields as nuclear physics, relativity and quantum mechanics. Eminent physicists, in his view, had misunderstood these subjects. Numerous inventions were based on his alternative explanations (and some apparently contributed by his cat, Ginger).

Pedrick's work deserves a wider audience. Fortunately, at least 80 of his patents are now available on the World Wide Web. Patently Absurd! provides you with a classified list of Pedrick's patents. From there, you can view the patents (with Pedrick's home-made drawings) on the Espacenet database.

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Copyright Tim Jackson 1998-2000
Last revised: 17 December 2000.

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