“Apparatus and method for improving the air” …

… is the poised and funny title of US patent 2147435, issued by Ernst Gehrcke in 1935:

US patent 2147435 heading
US patent 2147435 heading

Ernst Gehrcke was an experimental physicist (see Wikipedia entry). Despite his last name, I do not think that we have a lot in common, except for being physicists. Regarding named patent, the main idea sounds hilarious in modern days:

This invention relates to a new apparatus and a method for improving the air, i. e. to produce an artificial climate. It consists in admixing a powdery preparation in a finely divided state with air. When breathing air pretreated in such a manner, a very agreeable and refreshing sensation is caused.

There also is a beautiful drawing:

US patent 2147435 Figures 1 & 2.
US patent 2147435 Figures 1 & 2.

Claim 15 of the patent is a good summary of the entire idea:

An apparatus for improving the air comprising a container, a powdered material having the property of stimulating respiration therein, means for retaining the heavier particles of said powder in said container, an opening for allowing the escape of the lighter particles, means for moving the entire container to agitate the mass of material, whereby said lighter particles rise in and pass out of said container, and means for causing a current of air to flow in proximity to said lighter particles, said flow being outside of said container, to transport the same to an individual to be treated.

By the way, according to this article, in the United States “the text and drawings of a patent are typically not subject to copyright restrictions.”

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