Robertson IP

The Life of Arthur Pedrick 

After retiring from his position at the UK Patent Office, Arthur embarked on a unique journey. He filed an abundance of eccentric and often whimsical patents during his retirement. Arthur Pedrick’s eccentric patents and creations were notable for their impracticality and sheer absurdity. Although they were often groundbreaking in their originality they were also seen as impractical. This blog delves into the fascinating life and inventions of Arthur Pedrick’s eccentric patents.  We explore the motivations behind his amusing patents and their impact on the world of intellectual property.

Arthur Pedrick was born in 1918 and began his career at the UK Patent Office, where he worked for several decades. His tenure at the office provided him with a deep understanding of the patent system. It also gave him a platform to observe the innovative and often bizarre ideas submitted by inventors. This experience likely planted the seeds for his later exploits in the world of patents.

Arthur Pedrick’s Eccentric Patents

Upon his retirement, Arthur’s inventive spirit blossomed in unexpected ways. Between the 1960s and his death in 1976, he filed over 160 patents, each more peculiar than the last. His inventions ranged from the seemingly practical to the outright fantastical, capturing the imaginations of those who encountered them. Here are some examples of his inventions.

1. The Cat-Flap Controlled by a Photoelectric Cell (GB1426698A) One of Arthur’s most famous patents involves a cat named Ginger. This invention was a cat-flap controlled by a photoelectric cell, designed to prevent stray cats from entering the house. The idea was to have a system that would only allow his own cat, Ginger, to pass through the flap, triggered by a device on the cat’s collar.

2. Golf Ball Delivery System (GB1253754) Another notable invention was a system designed to deliver golf balls from the UK to Australia via a network of tubes and rocket-powered transport. This outlandish concept was intended to allow golfers in the UK to enjoy the sport even during harsh winters by playing on sunny Australian courses.

3. Tidal Energy System (GB1359957) Arthur also proposed a method for generating tidal energy using a complex system of pipes and turbines. While the concept of harnessing tidal energy was not new, his method involved using the entire Earth’s ocean currents to power his system, reflecting his grandiose thinking.

4. The Snow-Warming System (GB1186893) Perhaps one of his most eccentric patents was a system for warming snow to prevent it from accumulating on roads and sidewalks. This invention involved a network of heated wires and pipes, showcasing Arthurs imaginative approach to solving everyday problems.

Motivations Behind the Whimsical Inventions

Arthur Pedrick’s eccentric patents, while often impractical, were not entirely without merit. His inventions reflect a playful creativity and a desire to think outside the box. Several factors may have influenced his unique approach to invention:

1. A Creative Outlet After years of working within the rigid structures of the patent office, Arthur may have found joy in the freedom to explore his wildest ideas without constraint. His patents provided a creative outlet where he could experiment with concepts that defied conventional logic.

2. A Satirical Commentary Some speculate that Arthur’s patents were a form of satire, highlighting the absurdities and bureaucratic inefficiencies of the patent system. By submitting outlandish ideas, he may have been making a statement about the need for reform and greater scrutiny in the patent approval process.

3. Genuine Curiosity Despite their impracticality, Arthur’s inventions often addressed real-world problems in novel ways. His genuine curiosity about how things worked and how they could be improved is evident in the detailed descriptions and thought processes behind his patents.

The Impact of Arthur’s Patents

Arthur Pedrick’s patents, though never commercially successful, left a lasting impact on the world of intellectual property. They serve as a reminder of the importance of creativity and innovation, even when the results are unconventional. Arthur’s work also underscores the value of humour and playfulness in the often serious field of patent law.

The Legacy of Arthur Pedrick

Arthur Pedrick’s legacy continues to inspire inventors and intellectual property professionals. His story is a testament to the power of imagination and the potential for innovation to take unexpected forms. Arthur’s life and work have been the subject of various articles and studies, including a notable blog by the Intellectual Property Office titled The Story of Arthur and Ginger.

Arthur Pedrick in Popular Culture

Arthur’s eccentric patents have not only fascinated the intellectual property community but have also made their way into popular culture. The South London theatre company, Handheld Arts, developed a groundbreaking original play inspired by Arthur’s life and inventions. This play brings to life the whimsical world of Arthur Pedrick, capturing the essence of his creative genius and the quirks that made him a beloved figure in patent history. More about this play can be found on their website Handheld Arts.

Conclusion of Arthur Pedrick’s Eccentric Patents

Arthur Pedrick’s journey from a patent office examiner to an inventor of eccentric patents is a captivating tale of creativity, curiosity, and the joy of thinking outside the box. His playful inventions, though impractical, have left an indelible mark on the world of intellectual property. By exploring the motivations behind his inventions and the impact they had, we gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of creativity and the value of challenging conventional thinking.

As we celebrate the life and work of Arthur Pedrick, we are reminded that innovation often comes from the most unexpected places. His story encourages us to embrace our own creative impulses and to view the world through a lens of curiosity and imagination. Whether you are an inventor, a patent professional, or simply someone who appreciates a good story, Arthur Pedrick’s legacy offers inspiration and a delightful reminder that sometimes, the most whimsical ideas can spark the greatest joy.



Feel free to explore these links for more detailed insights into the fascinating world of Arthur Pedrick and his whimsical patents.

We love intriguing stories about history and eccentric patents and another of our blogs talks about the Failures and Successes of Patent Strategy 


The Whimsical World of Arthur Pedrick’s Eccentric Patents

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