Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Electric Fork

The perfect companion to your electric knife
 
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At last, the perfect companion to the electric knife. No longer do you have to go through the drudgery of using an old-fashioned manual fork to carve that Thanksgiving turkey! The Electric Fork has a revolutionary, dual-action reciprocating electric drive. In the in-and-out mode, used with the two-tined carving fork blade, it's timed perfectly in synch' with standard electric knives. In the up-and-down radial mode, with the four-tined blade, it makes perfect gravy wells in mashed potato mounds, and mashes peas and other soft foods like never before! You can bet that the Pilgrims and Native Americans at that first Thanksgiving sure wished they had a labor-saving device like the Electric Fork! Includes interchangeable blades, variable speed control, mode indicator light, and auxiliary plug for electric knife. Optional rechargeable battery pack available for outdoor use - camping no longer means roughing it with old-fashioned manual forks! Look for our Electric Pop-Top Can Opener coming soon!
bilrux, Nov 22 2000

The Electric Fork Test http://www.wayfinding.net/futfork.htm
One example of the metaphorical use of the term. [jutta, Nov 22 2000, last modified Aug 14 2005]

But can you trademark the term 'Electric Fork'? http://www.smartbiz.com/sbs/arts/piy2.htm
"For instance, if you came up with a new electric fork, you cannot acquire offensive rights in the mark Electric Fork, since it merely describes the product." [hippo, Nov 22 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       I've seen the "electric fork" joke attributed to Bob Newhart. Can someone more familiar with his work give a better reference?   

       The term "electric fork" is sometimes used in as the prototypical useless invention; e.g., "Is this the next killer app or just another electric fork?" Marketing and patent law teaching literature have quite a number of them in their fictitious cases.
jutta, Nov 22 2000
  

       Damn! After some energetic web trawling, I just came up with exactly the same link as you posted!
hippo, Nov 23 2000
  

       I tried hard but couldn't come up with anything better either. Though a search on Kitchen Utensils + Specialty proved entertaining.
DrBob, Nov 24 2000
  
      
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