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The National Archives of the United States just released a coloring book full of strange patents. It’s all available now as a free PDF, and it’s 17 glorious pages of sheer inventive weirdness. The patents range for chicken goggles to a hat that automatically salutes to the landing craft used in D-Day. It’s an utter delight.

Why the coloring book? Coloring books for adults are having something of a cultural moment not seen since the sarirical coloring books of the 1960s, with the task heralded for its mindfulness and derided as something merely for children.

It’s also totally okay when they’re made for children. this Disney prototype for an augmented reality coloring book is stunning, and I imagine kids and adults alike can both enjoy finding the exact right colors for G. L. Witsil’s 1881 patented “sandwich bread” illustration.

From the blog of The National Archives:

If the 17 pages of patented weirdness isn’t enough, the National Archives encourages people to browse through their collection of patent images for the best ones. Find anything good? Tweet it with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections, and feel free to share it with @PopSci too!

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