Series 2, Episode 12: Thermos Flask

How does a thermos flask work?

Bonjour! It’s Nancy here – from the soon-to-be world famous pop group Nancy and the Meerkats!

Nancy-1After our first record “Put Your Paws Up” became a massive hit, we’re off on a huge tour of the UK!

We haven’t quite made it to stadium status yet – some of the venues are more Weeny than Wembley – but I’m going to be letting you know what’s been going on each day in my journal for Fun Kids!

I’m on the tour bus at the moment! It’s rather exciting – because our shows are all over the country, we’re having to drive through the night to get to the next stop in time!

It seems our poor manager Big Joe isn’t finding it as fun as me and the girls are, in fact he’s struggling to stay awake at the wheel!

I offered him one of my meaty chews (they always wake me up) but Big Joe said he didn’t like the sound of the Tripe and Gizzard flavour! I’ve no idea why, they’re delicious!

Instead, he got a Thermos out of his manbag that he’d filled with coffee earlier. We’d been on the road for hours and so I thought it’d be ice cold by now but it was still steaming hot!

Big Joe explained the trick with a Thermos was there’s a smaller bottle inside the larger one. The air between the two is taken away which makes it hard for the heat to travel out of the drink – how clever is that?

A guy called Sir James Dewar came up with the idea. He was a professor at Cambridge University.

I wondered why it wasn’t called a Dewar flask – if I invented something that good, I’d definitely want my name all over it!

Apparently, it’s because Dewar didn’t get around to patenting his invention or applying for a trade mark to protect the name of the flask, which is kind of silly really!

What is patenting?

A patent protects inventions.

How they are work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It means that no-one can copy, make, sell or import your invention without your permission.

It’s actually Thermos who own the patent and the trade mark and they’re the ones that can make loads of money from it! So when you get a cracking idea you need to protect it or else someone else might make a success of it!

Like when I invented the Hum Bone, do you remember? That dastardly devil Kitty Perry stole all my plans before I had chance to patent it!

Big Joe’s still not convinced though – he thinks it’s too similar to the instruments already out there to patent it!

Well, I think it was a work of genius! Even if it did look… well… pretty much like a recorder actually…

OK, maybe I should just concentrate on doing what I’m going at – being the most devastatingly desirable diva dog!

Listen to this episode of Nancy and the Meerkats below…

Check out Episode 13!

And if you want to get really creative, make sure you check out how to protect your cracking ideas! Click here to find out more!

Nancy and the Meerkats is supported by the Intellectual Property Office.
Click here to find out more!

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