For many, the start of fall means decorating homes with bright pumpkins, watching leaves turn colors, and preparing for the cooler weather ahead. It’s a season filled with changing leaves and fall-themed patents as we say goodbye to the hot summer months.

While it is common to think about cozy scarves and delicious pies during fall, Suiter Swantz IP wants to showcase three other classic fall-themed patents.

1. The Rake

As the leaves change, raking leaves become a chore. However, with the help of some of these inventors, raking has become easier. One of the first rakes to be issued a patent was invented by Edmund Brown in 1874 (U.S. Patent No. 148,660). This rake was comprised of a bamboo handle and metal teeth. Brown noted other rakes were continually “clogged by the refuse matter which they collect,” which led to the user removing the debris from the rake by hand. Brown’s rake was able to maneuver the debris more conveniently with the “automatic clearing attachment for iron-tooth door-yard rakes.” This attachment removed “all matter that may be collected between the teeth by simply raising the rake from the ground.”

One of the more popular rakes still used today was invented by C.J. Rocquin and patented in 1929 (U.S. Patent No. 1,706,547). This invention was one of the first rakes that was able to be “manufactured with a minimum number of parts quickly.” The way this rake was structured also made replacing any broken teeth of the rake easier, which was a marketable convenience at the time. Rocquin was later granted five additional patents for improvements in rakes and other tools.

Football Helmet

Once the weather becomes cooler, football fans gather to fields and stadiums to watch a classic fall sport. In the hopes of creating safer and better football equipment, John T. Riddell invented and perfected the first plastic suspension helmet in 1939 (U.S. Patent No. 229330A). Riddell’s helmet replaced the formally used soft leather helmets with a plastic shell and webbed suspension that could absorb some of the impacts to the head when a player was struck on the field. The company Riddell founded still dominates the industry today. In the hopes of encouraging innovation and prevention of head injuries, the NFL revoked his exclusive branding rights as “the official helmet of the NFL” at the end of the 2013 season.  Today, Riddel’s equipment company is seen on football fields protecting every level of player and dominating the sports equipment industry.

3. Caramel Apple Making Machine

The caramel apple is a sticky and sweet treat enjoyed by many during the fall months. Whether you buy them at the pumpkin patch or make them at home, they’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Caramel apples were first created with leftover candy when Kraft Foods employee, Dan Walker, discovered the recipe while experimenting with leftover caramels from Halloween. He melted them down, added apples, and the rest was history. While caramel apples were first created by hand, Vito Raimondi made and patented the first caramel apple machine in 1960. Raimondi’s machine allowed for an easier and quicker way to dip apples into the caramel. The machine included seven “work stations.”  The second work station inserted the stick into each apple while the fourth station coated the apples into caramel. The last station coats each caramel-coated apple in nuts, candies, or other toppings.

However you choose to celebrate the autumn months, Suiter Swantz IP hopes you are able to enjoy the crisp weather and all of what the autumn months offer with your fall-themed patents.

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