In 1926 Someone Patented a Turtle Toy Operated By Houseflies Buzzing Inside

The toy had limbs that the flies could operate by moving around.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Toys that can move, especially animal toys, are all the rage. The more life-like their features related to the real animal they're trying to mimic are, the more popular they tend to be.

Today, we have the technology to make such toys with ease, but what about back in 1926? Believe it or not, even back then, there were some attempts at making such toys. A patent was unearthed from that time, which attempted to make toys using real houseflies. Yes, you read that correctly... real houseflies!


An old patent

The kind of creepy patent shows a toy turtle that inside is fitted with moving legs controlled by a bunch of houseflies. It was granted to Oscar Williams of San Diego, California.

In the patent, Williams describes the thinking behind his invention:

My invention relates to artificial animals with movable limbs and members operated by natural animals or insects and the objects of my invention are: First, to provide an animal of this class which in appearance resembles a natural animal and in which the limbs or members are movable substantially as those of the natural animal; second, to provide an animal of this class in which the limbs and members are pivotally, reliably and reciprocally mounted in the body thereof to obtain a variety of motion of said limbs and members; third, to provide an animal of this class in which the interior of the body portion or the parts containing movable members are made hollow so as to provide ample space for the movement and operation of the natural animals or insects placed within said hollow portion; fourth, to provide an animal of this class in which means are provided to keep the natural animal or insect in the interior thereof in motion and thus provide continuous movement of the said limbs or members; fifth, to provide an animal of this class with a convenient and novel means of entrance and exit of said natural animals or insects; sixth, to provide an animal of this class which is novelly constructed and seventh, to provide an animal of this class which is very simple and economical of construction, durable, and which will not readily deteriorate or get out of order.

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