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Yours truly is currently in Denver, and the lure of the Denver Airport conspiracy was such a calling that I had to revisit it. In the meantime, my fake fifth cousin Wayne has been pulling a reverse Samson, with his new hair plugs increasing his and his team’s ineffectiveness.
Anyway, the transition of fall to winter and the crisp Denver air reminds me of my favorite video game as a schoolboy, The Oregon Trail.
If you don’t know your American history, the Oregon Trail was a journey across the country for families looking for a new and better life in the Pacific Northwest. The video game tried to mimic that journey using the crude (although high tech for the time) graphics of the Apple IIe. For me, that journey usually ended in my group dying of cholera, but here’s some footage if you haven’t seen the game before. Although the high point of the Oregon Trail was from 1846-1869, families continued on that route through the beginning of the new century. In honor of the families that inspired the greatest video game of my childhood, here are the patents that would have helped a family the most in their journey to cross The Oregon Trail.
1) Wagon Body and Gear – US 587,862 A
You can’t get to Oregon without a wagon and some oxen. The game recommends at least 6 oxen, but this new and improved wagon will let you do it with only 5 and half.
2) Sleeveless Crocheted Jacket – USD 10,445
You need to stay warm on the Oregon Trail, and what better way to do that than with a sleeveless wool jacket. Marty McFly would have been proud.
3) Rifle Barrels – US 198,033 A
You can’t hunt for food without a gun, and this improved rifle will give you the accuracy of a teenager playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.
4) Food preparation – US 535,434 A
After a successful hunt, you can cook, preserve and make into gelatinous cubes all of the leftover food. Just make sure you have enough oxen to pull all of your extra equipment.
5) Locomotive Steam-Engine for Rail and Other Roads – US 1 A
If all of that other stuff sounds like too much work, you can always just take the train.
Next time: Danny tries to rent a covered wagon and some oxen, but gives up when his insurance won’t cover the cost of the oxen getting injured or a cholera outbreak.
This post was contributed by Registered Patent Agent Dan Wolka and edited by Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.