Everyone knows that if you hold and spin an object at the end of a string fast enough, the string will break, setting the object on a free trajectory. Switch the object for a baby in the womb and the string for the umbilical cord, and you’ve got yourself an idea for a patent. Oh, you must also go back in time to 1965 and have the mind of George and Charlotte Blonsky, the inventors of “Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force”. Now, “centrifugal force” is a bit of a misnomer, since the object at the end of the string just wants to fly in a straight line but can’t due to the real centripetal force the string is exerting on it.
Not having seen one of these in our local maternity ward, this editor suspects there might have been some negative effects associated with putting something like this into practice. Perhaps it was the side effects of spinning a child as its first worldly experience (though we certainly wouldn’t have a shortage of astronauts), or maybe it was obstetricians that weren’t into experiencing high G forces on a daily basis that shot down the project. Regardless, the march of progress is never ending yet does not follow a straight line. Maybe the inventors themselves climbed into their prototype and discovered that you might need something faster than a gentle playground spin for this to actually be remotely practical.
United States Patent US3216423…
(hat tip: Gizmodo)