The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Friday, 31 October 2003


Thinking of commissioning a new home or office but afraid that all those tasteful modern glass buildings are a bit “samey”? Are you looking for a house or HQ that will ensure that you stand out from the herd? Then the IPKat’s October Patent of the Month is just what you’ve been looking for. Granted to James V Lafferty in 1882, the claim is for:

“A building having the form of an animal, the body of which is constructed with floors divided into apartments, provided with windows and stair, and supported on hollow legs, one or all of which contain stairs, and supported on hollow legs, which afford access to the body…”

It seems that novelty requirements were less strict a century ago as Lafferty had already had a building in the shape of an elephant built the previous year in South Atlantic City. This building, affectionately known as Lucy, still stands today in what is now known as Margate NJ. However, Lucy’s sister pachyderms, the Light of Asia and Elephantine Colossus, did not survive. As well as being a building of “unique appearance”, as the patent specification points out, there is a functional aspect to Lucy. The elevation provided by the legs allows air to circulate beneath the body, resulting in “a building which is well ventilated and lighted”.

The IPKat is rather keen on this idea and feels that the City of London would definitely benefit from a building in the form of an IPKat.

Visit Lucy here
Visit Margate here
Fun you can have with an elephant here and here

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