Unexpectedly Intriguing!
04 November 2022

It's that time of year again. Autumn has come, and with it, leaves that had only been green for half a year or more change color to shades of red and yellow. It happens every year and it's spectacular when it does.

Autumn Trees - Photo by Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

But before too long, if not already, those colorful leaves will fall from the trees. And when they do, you might have some work to do. The kind that involves rakes or leaf blowers. Which is exactly the situation that inventor Paul Frederic Kinnier contemplated in developing his patentable innovation. Here's how he described it in the Background/Summary section of U.S. Patent 6,604,245:

Collecting and gathering leaves that have fallen to the ground has proven to be a time consming lawn and yard chore, espectially in geographic locations that are characterized by a preponderance of deciduous trees and shrubs that drop their leaves in the fall season. A variety of tools and devices, which are available in the marketplace, are used to collect and gather these leaves and include but are not limited to rakes, power blowing and vacuuming devices, scoops, and the like. Each tool and device functions to a limited degree to collect and gather leaves but suffers from certain limitations and disadvantages. Rakes, for instance, are cumbersome and strenous to use for some people and remove leaves only from a limited area during each stroke. Gasoline and electric powered blowing and vacuuming devices are relatively expensive and can be cumbersome to use. In addition, their use requires provision of a fuel source and constant maintenance to ensure adequate service.

Truly a pain, right? But this is Inventions in Everything, where the obvious solution to life's everyday problems involves innovations that maybe aren't so obvious at first glance. For Paul Kinnier, that invention goes by the title of Leaf Gathering Trousers:

What is needed then to overcome the aforementioned disadvantages of current leaf gathering and collection devices is the provision of a device or item that collects and gathers leaves in a manner that is relatively simplified and efficient and compatible with the natural body movement of a person. In this respect, the instant invention consists of modified pants or trousers that are fitted with a net between the leg stalls thereof so that leaf collecting and gathering can be accomplished by walking. Additionally, the instant invention, if desired, can be used in conjunction with a rake to enhance the leaf collecting and gathering process.

The written description really doesn't do the concept of leaf gathering trousers justice. For that, we've created a composite image from two of the 2003 patent's illustrations. Behold the most rakish trousers ever conceived:

U.S. Patent 6,604,245 Figures 7 and 1

Figure 7 shows what only the most fashionable leaf gathering users (#88) will be wearing this fall, while Figure 1 provides a better view of what leaf gathering trousers (#10) look like before they've begun gathering leaves. Now, just imagine our pictured model walking with simple efficiency, using their natural body movement to clear the yard of thousands of leaves for weeks on end during the fall. Every fall. Year after year.

Alas, that's a sight we're afraid we'll never see, since we found no examples of leaf gathering trousers for sale anywhere on the interwebs. But the next time we have to reach for a rake or leaf blower, we'll remember the patented invention that could have made our lives much easier.

Image Credit: Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

From the Inventions in Everything Archives

Here's a curated list of fashion or lawn maintenance-oriented innovations the IIE team has previously featured:


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