Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force

Birthingpatentttt A centrifuge creates excess gravitational force (G's) by spinning things, and sometimes people. (It's excess G's that press you into your roller coaster seat on those nauseating loops.) Aerospace medicine types spent lots of time in the 1960s documenting the unpleasant effects of excess G's. If a pilot starts spinning in a high-altitude bailout, for instance, the outward force on his/her head can rupture vessels in the eyes and brain and even, at spins in excess of 175 rpm, spin the brain right off its brainstem. La, la la.

Seen here is an unusual example of excess G's being harnessed for the good. The patent holders, George B. and Charlotte Blonsky, contend that the centrifuge could be a boon to "more civilized women," who, they surmise, often lack the muscle strength needed to easily push out a baby. Centrifugal force would act as a sort of invisible midwife, lessening the muscular force required for birthing. Would it work, though? Could one create enough outward force on the baby to make a difference -- without simultaneously making the mother lightheaded? I sent the patent to April Ronca, who used to research the effects of zero G on fetal growth and birth for NASA. "That is an interesting invention," she replied.


As with so many U.S. patents -- the "Decorative Penile Wrap" I stumbled onto while researching my previous book leaps to mind -- one longs to know the back story. Did Charlotte undergo a difficult birth? Did the couple actually build and use the thing? Perhaps they'll read this and post a comment.

Note the elasticized "pocket-shaped newborn net" - lest the baby shoot out and bump its head with double-G force.

Patent No. 3,216,423: Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force, Patented November 9, 1965