So, I went to run a couple of errands at lunch today. My lovely dog Sam chewed up the power cord to the power supply to my 3 week old Wii system yesterday AND the cord to the Nun Chuck! Yes, I was very angry. Yes, I yelled a lot.
So I went to Wal-mart on my lunch time looking for the power supply (it's the cord that goes from the game to the plug in the wall). Let me tell you that Wal-mart is completely useless when it comes to necessities for the Wii. You want a controller that is cordless, comes with a rechargeable stand, and rechargeable batteries for $30 bucks, then go look at Wal-mart. Other then that, you'll have to go to a game store. So I got the Nun Chuck at Wal-mart and then went to Game Crazy to get the power supply. They aren't too expensive so I was alright with buying them at 2 different places.
I decided to get Taco Bell for lunch and ordered a Mexican Pizza. Taco Bell used to give you a spork when you ordered a Mexican pizza, but I guess the economy has got them down too, cause I looked in the bag, and NO SPORK! Cheap ass Taco Bell!
BUT, that got me thinking about the spork. The spork is a VERY cool invention. Who would've thought to put a fork and a spoon together? Well, some one did, obviously, because it has been in my life ever since I was old enough to order lunch at school.
I remember when the school used to get the ones with the number on the back of the top of the handle. My friends and I would all check out our numbers and whoever had the highest number would win. Win what- I don't remember (I'm pretty sure it was nothing)- but you were BAD ASS if you had the highest number. It was a coveted status! Kids!
Sorry, I got all off topic there....
So, I was thinking about the spork on the drive back to my office. I was thinking, "Man, the spork is pretty cool. Everyone knows what a spork is and everyone has used one at sometime in their life! I really wonder who invented the spork. Hmmm...." So I got back to the office, chowed on my Mexican pizza, WITH A REGULAR FORK, and then I Googled the inventor of the spork! Google led me to Wikipedia, and BAM!
Who knew that the spork had such a crazy life? Here's the link if you want to read everything on it, but I'll hit the high points below.
So the spork was invented sometime in the late 1800's. That sort of blew me away cause I think of the 1800's as a sort of primitive time span. Here's what Wikipedia had to say about it:
Spork-like utensils have been manufactured since at least the late 1800s; patents for spork-like designs date back to at least 1874 and the word "spork" was registered as a trademark both in the U.S. and the UK decades later.
Totally cool! AND....
The word spork is a portmanteau combining the words spoon and fork. The word "spork" appeared in the 1909 supplement to the Century Dictionary, where it was described as a trade name and "a 'portmanteau-word' applied to a long, slender spoon having at the end of the bowl projections resembling the tines of a fork". Sporks are occasionally known as foons.
I never knew what a portmanteau was. Oh, the things you learn! I also have never heard the spork referred to as a foon, either. I think I would look at someone like they were a little nuts if they used the word foon. It's an odd word. FOON FOON FOON! Fun to say (type) though.
YES, SPORKS HAD DRAMA!
Sporks have been mass-manufactured since at least the late 1800s. The Folgate Silver Plate Company of England manufactured one sometime between 1875 and 1900.
In the United States, various patents for sporks and proto-sporks have been issued over the years. A combined spoon, fork, and knife closely resembling the modern spork was invented by Samuel W. Francis and issued US Patent 147,119 in February, 1874. Other early patents predating the modern spork include US Patent 904,553, for a "Cutting spoon", granted on November 24, 1908 to Harry L. McCoy and US Patent 1,044,869, for a spoon with a tined edge, granted to Frank Emmenegger in November of 1912. Many of these inventions predated the use of the term "spork" and thus may be considered proto-sporks. Given this significant prior art, the basic concept of combining aspects of a spoon and fork is well established; more modern patents have limited themselves to the specific implementation and appearance of the spork. These design patents do not prevent anyone from designing and manufacturing their own version of a spork. Examples of modern US design patents for sporks include patent number D247,153 issued in February of 1978 and patent D388,664 issued in January of 1998.
The word spork originated in the early 1900s to describe such devices. According to a 20 December 1952 New York Times article, Hyde W. Ballard of Westtown, Pennsylvania filed an application to register "Spork" as a trademark for a combination spoon and fork made of stainless steel, although there is no longer any record of this application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Van Brode Milling Company subsequently registered SPORK for a combination plastic spoon, fork and knife at the USPTO on October 27, 1970, but abandoned the registration several years later. The word Spork accompanied by a stylised design is currently registered in the US in relation to hand tools, in the name of a UK based individual (reg. no. 2514381).
In the United Kingdom, Plastico Limited originally registered Spork as a trademark in relation to cutlery with effect from 18 September 1975 (reg. no. 1052291). The registration is now in the name of another company and remains in force. The trademark is also registered in the UK in relation to gardening tools in the name of the same UK based individual who owns US trademark registration no. 2514381. Another British company, Lifeventure, sells titanium and plastic versions using the name "Forkspoon".
In an unsuccessful lawsuit in 1999 where the company Regalzone sought to invalidate Plastico Limited's UK registration for Spork, Justice Neuberger wrote: "I accept that the word Spork involves a clever idea of making a single word by eliding the end of the word spoon and beginning of the word fork. The fact that it is clever and the fact that the meaning of Spork could be said to be obvious once it is explained does not mean that it is obvious what it is. Indeed, I would have thought that if one asked a person in 1975 what a Spork was, he or she would not know. If one then explained what it was and how the word came about, one might then be told that it was obvious or that it was clever."
Such drama and frivolity, and all about the damn Spork! I also love the word "proto-spork" So much awesomeness in those 2 little words!
This is my favorite part of the whole wikipedia article:
Plastic sporks are also common in prisons in the United States, because they are difficult to form into weapons.
Love it!!! I just think that's hilarious! Silly prisoners! Sporks are for eating, not for shanking! HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! That is just the greatest.
Here's my second fav part:
A similar term exists in Finnish: a "luha" (properly "lusikka-haarukka") is a portmanteau word combining the words for "spoon" and "fork" respectively, and is most commonly to issued to conscripts on national service. It should be noted that Finnish luha is not constructed as a spork but has spoon in one end and fork in other and folds at the middle.
Who would've thunk it? The Fins! They do it better! A folding spoon and fork that's an all-in-one???? Wow. Just wow. That's an awesome thing right there! PLUS IT'S PORTABLE! Whew! Excellent invention I tell you!
So I hope you have all enjoyed your lesson on the history of the spork. I know I have.
Plus, who else can say they have a blog entry dedicated to the spork? Not many people, I'd venture to say.
Thanks for reading.
Peace, I'm outtie!
P.S. The spell checker does NOT know the word Spork. I'm a little surprised by this. Something else to ponder i suppose.... is Spork in the dictionary?