TRIVIAL PURSUITS: When Was the Spork Invented?

The spork—a combination of spoon and fork—is not a relatively new invention.

When was the spork invented?

Dr. Samuel W. Francis invented a toothbrush with rubber bristles, a cane with a hidden compartment for bus fare, a postage-canceling device, and other things. But, in 1874, he was issued a patent for a utensil similar to what we now call the “spork.” The utensil had a handle and a spoon base with a knife-edge on one side and fork tines at the end of the spoon base.

Others patented similar items after that and the knife edge was dropped from the design. But, in 1970, a U.S. patent was issued to the Van Brode Milling Co. for the term “spork.” A few years later the Van Brode Milling Co. abandoned the patent, and it was picked up by U.K.-based Plastico Limited.

That is when the utensil became more popular.