[Washington DC]: United States Patent Office, 1920. First Edition. 8 1/2" x 11" U.S. Patent Office application (attached to a 7" x 11 1/4" sheet containing 3 drawings illustrating the concept. Fine condition. Item #21733
On October 23, 1919 Winifred S. (Mother) Stoner (c1870-1931) applied for a patent for 'a new and useful candy wrapper' she had invented. 'Mother' Stoner was an educator (she founded three schools of "Natural Education") who believed learning should be fun and exciting and should appeal to all of the senses. In pursuing that goal (and according to her application for this patent) she believed that then existing plain candy wrappers only served to protect the candy, missing the opportunity to at the same time engage a child's imagination; her invention would not only protect the candy, it would 'offer unusual inducement to the purchaser in that aside from purchasing the candy they are in reality purchasing a paper doll which may be used as a source of amusement...' The accompanying drawings of a wrapper with a charming pictorial illustration of an Asian child with a queue illustrate the concept. Mother Stoner encouraged the use of toys and typewriters, which she thought were "liberating" for young children. She was an advocate of Esperanto and at the age of eight her child prodigy daughter translated 'Mother Goose' into Esperanto. Mother Stoner's educational philosophy bore fruit; her daughter could type by the age of six, could speak between 6 and 13 languages by the age of ten and passed the Stanford University and University of Wisconsin–Madison entrance exams at age nine (she learned to play the violin and piano at a young age, and won several chess tournaments, as well). Mother Stoner was clearly on to something!