2Spare has a list of 10 Strangest Inventions. For example, here's a patent by Charlotte E. Blonsky (Patent No. 3,216,423): an apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child using centrifugal force!
In their patent application, Blonsky and Blonsky explained the need: "In the case of a woman who has a fully developed muscular system and has had ample physical exertion all through the pregnancy, as is common with all more primitive peoples, nature provides all the necessary equipment and power to have a normal and quick delivery. This is not the case, however, with more civilised women, who often do not have the opportunity to develop the muscles needed in confinement."
Therefore, wrote Blonsky and Blonsky, they would provide "an apparatus which will assist the under-equipped woman by creating a gentle, evenly distributed, properly directed, precision-controlled force, that acts in unison with and supplements her own efforts". The Blonskys explained: "The foetus needs the application of considerable propelling force." They knew how to supply that propelling force.
See the rest of the wacky inventions! http://www.2spare.com/item_64209.aspx - Thanks Michelle!