The Carbolic Smoke Ball

The Carbolic Smoke Ball was invnted by Fredrick Roe, who applied to London Patent Office for a Patent in 1889.

According to his application, the device consisted of "hollow ball or receptacle of India Rubber or other suitable elastic material, having an orifice or nozzle provided with a porous or perforated disc or diaphragm consisting of muslin, silk, wire or gauze, perforated sheet metal or the like, through which, when the ball or receptacle is compressed the powder will be forced in a cloud of infinitesimally small particles resembling smoke."  The powder used in the device was carbolic acid.

A schematic diagram of the Carbolic Smoke Ball, taken from the Patent Application, appears below.