On July 30, 1985, Eddie Van Halen filed for a US Patent on his guitar rest. Described simply as a “musical instrument support,” Eddie designed the device to prop up the guitar to make finger tapping easier.
According to TMZ, memorabilia collector Eric Kuck plans to auction off the original designs. Kuck purchased the pages for $800 about 15 years ago. He says they’re highly detailed and include a certificate of authenticity that’s signed by Eddie.
The patent, which was approved in 1987 and expired in 2005. According to the patent’s abstract:
The supporting device is constructed and arranged for supporting the musical instrument on the player to permit total freedom of the player’s hands to play the instrument in a completely new way, thus allowing the player to create new techniques and sounds previously unknown to any player. The device, when in its operational position, has a plate which rests upon the player’s leg leaving both hands free to explore the musical instrument as never before. Because the musical instrument is arranged perpendicular to the player’s body, the player has maximum visibility of the instrument’s entire playing surface.
Eddie’s wasn’t the first patented invention of its kind. The original application cited alternative types of rests, dating back to 1918. Though previous ones referenced devices designed for sit-down playing.
You can download and read the original patent document here.
As for the original design, Kuck plans to offer it via silent auction at his brother’s Tampa store, Carrollwood Fine Wine and Spirits. Bidding will be open from October 15th to November 15th.
Kuck told TMZ he’s hoping the documents can remain in the VH family, and he’s willing to work on reaching an agreement with them. He added that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society and the Free Rider Fellowship Church in Plant City, Florida.