Family uncovers patent for citrus bowls in Tampa storage unit
Brothers John and Garrett Honeycutt were cleaning out their family's storage unit in Tampa this weekend when they came across some odd bowls at the bottom of a box.
They were about to toss the decorative ceramics when Garrett pulled from a rusty file cabinet an envelope marked "DESIGN PATENT, FRUIT BOWL."
- Inside were drawings, documents, letters and ... a stamped and sealed design patent — #203.515 — for a coupling design for bowls in which fruit fills a small central bowl, and crushed ice fills the surrounding cavity to keep the fruit cold.
Flashback: The inventor was the brothers' grandfather, Henry Zibelin, who owned a motorcycle dealership in Winter Haven, in Polk County, starting in the 1960s. Old timers might remember it for the blonde life-sized doll mounted on a Honda out front for years.
- Zibelin, a former airplane mechanic and refrigeration specialist, was always tinkering when he wasn't selling motorcycles.
- John and Garrett knew about his patents for a mattress drain for bed wetters, a kidney stone crusher and a heart valve.
They did not know about his patent for "BOWL FOR CITRUS FRUITS."
- Zibelin doesn't appear to have profited substantially off any of his inventions, his grandsons tell Axios, even, astonishingly, the mechanical heart he patented in 1986.
- He had an inventor's mind and not much follow-through.
📬 Yes, but: We wonder if these bowls ever made it to market. If you recognize them — hello, Polk County — or know anything more, email us.
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