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Peculiar Patents and Pumpkin Carving

With Halloween right around the corner, many people will begin to carve pumpkins, or "jack-o'-lanterns," to place on their porches and welcome spooky season revelers. 

Have you ever wondered the origin story of today's jack-o'-lanterns?

In 1889, George A. Beidler received a patent for his model of a jack-o’-lantern which was constructed out of “sheet metal, papier-maché, glass, or other material capable of being stamped-up, molded, or otherwise” (U.S. Patent Number 369,252). Beidler wanted to “provide a new article of manufacture of unique appearance which would form an attractive, desirable, and amusing toy for children, supply a long-known want, and could be used as a campaign-torch, for celebrations, torch-light processions, political meetings, and other like occasions where an effective pyrotechnic display is desirable.”

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