made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

Impossible objects #2: Electric hammer

electric-hammer.jpgHere’s another in our Impossible Objects series, following on from the Simplified Calculator – the electric powered hammer.

It comes from the Catalogue of Impossible Objects by Jacques Carelman (a member of the College of ‘Pataphysics).

It includes such items as user unfriendly coffee pots, conflicting cycles and flat chairs. A home had to be found on the Made By Monkeys blog!curved-hammer.jpg 

For example, on a hammer theme, here’s a tool any workman could blame…

Previous Impossible Objects we’ve covered:

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8 Comments

  1. Joihn WH
    April 08, 2009 13:43

    A “beep when OK” alarm was fitted to the units in Police Stations & similar places linked to the “Nuclear attack warning” system (1960s-70s).
    It was quite remarkable how fast people reacted if someone turned it down too far….
    And Jeremy Clarkson had a UK-TV program some years ago in which he demonstrated a variant of ‘Homer’s gun’ – “Party-poppers” filled with baby food to allow feeding from a distance.

  2. BristolBachelor
    February 12, 2009 13:50

    I have an electric hammer. It came in very handy when renovating my house. You can also get pneumatic and steam hammers.

  3. Ken Ricketts
    February 11, 2009 12:33

    I’ve known an alarm that beeped every few seconds when everything was OK. At a certain nuclear facility there is (or used to be – I’m going back nearly 20 years) one such across the site. You got used to the beep every few seconds, but noticed if it stopped. The lack of the beep is itself a sign that there could be a problem. That way you get warning of a problem even if it occurs alongside (or because of) a power failure that stops the alarm system working. Not so silly in that sort of facility – and after all, Homer ‘works’ in a nuclear power plant….

  4. Rod Dalitz
    February 11, 2009 12:00

    I have seen a serious technical hammer with a lead, it included a piezo transducer for measuring impulse. I can imagine a useful powered hammer, like the rotary tools used in space – without gravity to hold the user in place, it is much more effective to have a powered tool which gives a rapid series of short shocks.

  5. Ed N
    February 11, 2009 11:58

    I came across this one in a engineering journal a while back and actually makes a reasonable case for an electric hammer. It is based on the kinetics of a woodpecker and they even went as far as to produce a design for a cordless hammer. Though I don’t know if they have managed to sell it to Bosch yet…
    http://staff.bath.ac.uk/ensmns/Publications/pj033.pdf

  6. February 11, 2009 11:24

    Good one. I haven’t seen that episode. (The reclining chair doesn’t seem too improbable…)
    “Homer gets to work and develops several inventions, such as an alarm that beeps every three seconds when everything is OK, a shotgun which shoots make-up onto women’s faces, a very difficult to control electric hammer, and a reclining chair which has a built-in toilet. But none of these inventions are well received.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Evergreen_Terrace

  7. Sam Evans
    February 11, 2009 11:18

    Does no-one remember Homer’s electric hammer? A design classic and apparently stolen from Edison (if I remember correctly)

  8. Chris Quinn
    February 11, 2009 11:17

    Homer Simpson invented an electric hammer -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Evergreen_Terrace