Unquestionably, Albert Einstein had one of the greatest minds of all time. Even the most casual student of science associates the great man with relativity, unlocking the secrets of the atom, and the photoelectric effect.
Einstein believed that “the origin of all technical achievements is the divine curiosity and the play instinct of the working and thinking researcher, as well as the constructive fantasy of the technical inventor.”
Armed with an abundance of curiosity and a play instinct, it should not be surprising that Einstein’s name shows up a few times in the registry of the Patent Office. He received 69 patents in 7 countries for such innovations in such areas as refrigeration, photography, and sound reproduction.
There was one patent of which he was particularly proud. One might not suspect this from looking at the man with the famously-unkempt hair who refused to wear socks, but Einstein had a keen interest in fashion. This was confirmed on October 27, 1936, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. 101,756, to Albert Einstein for a “Design for a Blouse.”
The great physicist pondered the problems that arise when the human body’s density begins to intensify. Unlike a black hole that compresses to a tiny pinprick, a human’s waist tends to balloon outward. This poses less of a concern about the bending of light and more of a problem about how to keep from outgrowing one’s wardrobe.
Einstein’s innovative fashion design was an expandable suit jacket with two sets of buttons. If the wearer happened to indulge in a wee bit too much caviar at the celebration dinner for his latest Nobel Prize, it was a simple matter to adjust the button settings to make the jacket wider.
Perhaps it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the concept of splitting an atom, but it definitely avoided the embarrassment of popping an overstressed button.