A Combined Knife and Fork: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

James Arnold & Son was a London company that make surgical instruments, but also branched out into other areas with some innovative ideas. In 1881, they registered a design for a combination knife and fork called the Desideratum, which would be a boon to someone who had only one hand to eat with. The knife was a cutting edge that could be closed scissors-style to form a fork. Let’s look closer. The sharp edge of the knife would have to be on the outside of the blade, because putting it on the inside would make it fairly impossible to cut anything. So what happens when you put a forkful of food in your mouth? I see no locking mechanism to hold the knife edge closed, and even if there was one, you’d better pray that the two parts of the instrument would hold together closely enough to not cut your mouth.

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The fork-knife-scissors gadget is one of five Victorian inventions listed together. The others include a parasol with eye holes, a trumpet developed by Adolphe Sax, who found greater success with the saxophone, and something called the “Improved Telekouphonon,” which actually worked and sold well until it was eclipsed by the telephone. Read about all of these inventions at the British National Archives. -via Strange Company

Source: neatorama

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