Juliette Low was an extremely creative person. She wrote poetry, she painted and sculpted. She could spin, knit, and sew–a little. Of course the biggest thing she ever created was the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. But did you know that she was also an inventor?
In 1912, Juliette Low took out a patent for a kind of a trash can for liquids. She called it “The Pluto Bag.” She did not name it after the planet, for that was not discovered until after her death. Presumably, she named it after the Roman god of the underworld.
The Pluto Bag seems never to have been manufactured or sold. I can only speculate as to what prompted her to dream this up and seek a patent. Does this have camping applications?
Here’s the fine print:
You can read about it yourself (there are two more pages, one text, one drawings) on the U.S. Government patent page, or to find it more simply, click here.
Juliette Low also designed and patented the first U.S. Girl Guide Tenderfoot badge, which will look familiar to some of you:
When the patent for the badge expired in 1921, she signed it over the the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
Her attorneys stated that she owned the “trade-mark for the letters “G.S.” for clothing, hats, caps, etc., which trade-mark was #123992.” I cannot locate that one, however. If you can, let me know!
- With thanks to Lynn Daw, librarian extraordinaire at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois.
- For the use of the term “Pluto bag,” see Ernest Wilkinson to Juliette Low, 14 February 1921. For the re-assigning of the badge patent, see Jane Deeter Rippin to Juliette Low, 1 February 1921, both from National Historic Preservation Center, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. National Headquarters, Folder JGL Correspondence, 1921.