An unsuccessful Austrian inventor has won a £400,000 government grant to set up a museum of failed inventions.

Fritz Gall dreamed up the idea of a museum dedicated to the flops and disasters created by other would-be entrepreneurs.

Now - thanks to the grant - he and partner Friedl Umscheid have opened the Museum of Nonsense in Herrnbaumgarten, Austria.

The museum prides itself on utterly useless creations like the ‘portable anonymyser’ - a piece of black card on a stick so people who don’t want to be in the public eye can black out their own eyes.

Or there are the pencils for cautious civil servants with no lead, a padded rolling pin to meet even the toughest health and safety standards, a portable hole and a fully transportable hat stand.

Other batty brainwaves include a bristleless toothbrush for people with no teeth, and a fits-anyone jumper with sleeves in various lengths.

“We held our first fair for rubbish inventions and thought we’d get 20 or 30 visitors but more than 5,000 came and so we knew we were obviously onto something,” explained Mr Gall.

The museum will move to a new expanded home later this year so it can cope with the thousands of visitors who now flock to it every month.        –ON