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Found on the Internet: Actual Patent for the Louisville Slugger

I wouldn’t work in the office, I would go to the office. And then I would sit down in front of my computer and challenge the internet not to bore me for one more day. It’s all I would do. “Okay, Mozilla Firefox, I dare you.” And within twenty minutes I’d be looking at a Google image search of the world’s largest omelette and I would say, “Good job. Fair enough.”

-Kyle Kinane, Death of the Party

Were the author to account for and make a record of every moment of his life, that would become unbearable almost immediately. It would likely also reveal that most of his day — and no little portion of his night, as well — is spent in a perpetual, unthinking quest for fleeting and minor amusements.

Generally, these amusements come courtesy of the internet and are generally of the nature characterized by comedian Kyle Kinane above — if not with regard to giant omelettes, per se, then certainly other manner of comically oversized foodstuffs.

Today, however, completely by accident, the author’s idle turn around the worldwide web has produced findings of some relevance to the present site — namely, what appears to be the original (or, at least, an early) patent for the actual Louisville Slugger baseball bat.

The patent in question is dated Decemeber 23, 1902, and is authored by John A. Hillerich of Louisville, Kentucky — also known as Bud Hillerich, according to the Louisville Slugger’s own account of their creation myth. According to that same account, it was Hillerich who began making bats for Pete Browning at his (i.e. Hillerich’s) father’s woodworking shop in the late 19th century.

What else does one want to know? Perhaps this: Hillerich’s patent emphasizes what he regards as the novelty of his process, namely the hardening of the bat’s surface by means of heat and friction. And perhaps also this: owing to this emphasis on friction and the hardening of the bat, the text of Hillerich’s patent could easily be altered by an enterprising male between the ages of 14 and 39, say, into a pornographic account of some kind.

In conclusion, here’s a schematic of Hillerich’s invention:

And here, in other conclusion, is a second schematic — in this case, from 100 years later and for a baseball-bat urn:

Urn