Yesterday President Barack Obama took part in what over the past several decades has become a traditional part of the Thanksgiving holiday in Washington, DC. This year the White House website took the tradition to a new height when it allowed the public to vote on which of two turkeys would receive the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey. The turkey named Popcorn edged out Caramel for the honor. The White House says both turkeys will be spared, receiving official Presidential turkey pardons.
At this festive time of year we always profile a handful of turkey patents, because after all what better way is there to celebrate a holiday than to celebrate American ingenuity? Even the Wall Street Journal did a front page article on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, about turkey innovations and inventors, an article in which I was quoted.
Before proceeding with discussion of turkey frying patents, allow me to on this Thanksgiving day express my thanks. For the 5th consecutive years we have been selected one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association, and this year we were added to the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame, which currently is a select group of only 20 legal blogs that have exhibited long term excellence. It is gratifying to receive such an honor, but without our wonderful guest contributors and regular columnists it wouldn’t be possible to publish on such diverse topics. So a special thank you to everyone who has contributed through the year! I also want to say a special thanks to those who have consulted with me on articles and stories, many times on background. You know who you are and your contributions are greatly appreciated. Finally, I want to thank our readers. Five years ago we averaged about 25,000 unique monthly visitors, and this year we are on pace to average close to 120,000 unique monthly visitors with traffic growing practically every month. Without our readers and the many who take time to leave comments there wouldn’t be much point in providing a pro-IP, pro-Patent point of view. Thank you all!
On this most festive of American holidays, where we emerse ourselves with family, food and football, I am once again inspired to share some thematically appropriate patents. After all, what better way to celebrate a holiday than reading patents appropriate for the festivities?
Before proceeding immediately into the discussion of various turkey related U.S. patents, allow me to first present my yearly Thanksgiving public service announcement. This announcement is not about the perils of eating too much turkey and falling asleep before dessert, or before you have gotten your appropriate fill of the NFL. Rather, this public service announcement is for the mathematically, or at least geometrically, challenged in the audience.
If you are going to deep fry your turkey you MUST remember 2 things (at least). First, make sure the turkey is completely thawed! You do not want to put something frozen into a pot of boiling oil! Second, for goodness sakes don’t fill the turkey fryer to the top with oil and then put in the turkey! Let Archimedes be your guide.
Did you know that since President George H. W. Bush started the tradition of pardoning turkeys in 1989 there have been 24 turkeys to receive Presidential Pardons, sparing them from the dinner table? Somewhat ironically, that first turkey to receive a Presidential Pardon was sent to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. In any event, the latest two turkeys to receive a Pardon were Peace and Liberty, both who received a pardon by President Barack Obama in a ceremony held on the North Portico of the White House.
But was President George H. W. Bush the first to pardon a turkey? According to the definitive history of turkey pardons on the White House blog, the answer is technically yes but not really yes. While there are rumors that President Lincoln issued the first pardon at the behest of his son, it is known that in 1963 President Kennedy returned the turkey sent to the White House saying: “We’ll just let this one grow.” Perhaps not exactly a pardon, but the turkey was spared the death penalty.
From Design patent D297,249, titled: Turkey hunter's safety placard
Earlier today President Barack Obama carried out a traditional Presidential duty of pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year there were two pardons handed out by the President, one to the National Thanksgiving Turkey Apple, and one to his understudy Cider. Apple and Cider will live out their days at Mount Vernon, home of our nation’s first President, George Washington. I can assure you that in the Quinn household there will be no pardoning of turkeys, and we will consume copious amounts of the creature as we celebrate, give thanks and watch football.
The pardoning of the Presidential turkey caught my imagination as I was trying to figure out what holiday patents to profile for this Thanksgiving, something I always try and do whenever possible. So what better thing to focus on than on turkey patents, and there are many of them. I easily found multiple dozens of turkey callers and all kinds of turkey transportation devices used by hunters to carry their prey home, but these were the ones that really caught my attention for one reason or another.
It is that time of the year for Americans to give thanks for all the many things we have and enjoy — family, friends, country and of course patents! Here is hoping that everyone has a restful, peaceful and very Happy Thanksgiving!
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