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The History of the Spork

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
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Trademarking the Name Spork

D388,664 Patent for a spork
1996 D388,664 design patent for a spork
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Above is an illustration for the ornamental design for a spork, as shown and described in the design patent. This particular design for a spork was invented by Canadians Hubert Gagnon and Aldo Balatti in 1996. However, sporks have been around for years before 1996 and we do not know who invented the first spork.

What is a Spork?

The name "Spork" is a blend of the words (sp)oon and f(ork) and has also been called the runcible spoon (mentioned by Edward Lear in his 1871 poem "The Owl and the Pussycat"). A spork is a eating utensil that can be used as both a spoon or a fork.

Spork Trademerks & Patents

The name Spork was trademarked registered by the Van Brode Milling Co., Inc., of Clinton, Massuchests in 1969 for a piece of cutlery combining the features of a spoon, a fork and sometimes a knife. A New York Times article mentions that Hyde Ballard of Westtown, Pennsylvania filed an application to register "Spork" as a trademark around 1952. In the United Kingdom, "Spork" has been trademark registered by Plastico Limited (TM 1052291) since 1975.

The name spork has been in common use since at least 1900 and appeared in the 1909 Century Dictionary supplement. There are many patents for sporks with or without the use of the name itself dating back over one hundred years.

Early Spork Patents

On the next several pages you can view several patents for spork type inventions.
  1. Trademarking the Name Spork
  2. Spork? - Table Utensil 1907
  3. Combination Table Utensil 1949

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