In Rock Island County, a woman recorded designs for what she called a pouch towel -- two towels sewn together, leaving a space in between to hold a bar of soap. In McHenry County, two men recorded their plans for a ball-joint driver, a tool, as its name implies, to drive ball joints into cars.
And of course, a few people have used recorders' offices to make their love eternal.
Wanting to reaffirm their wedding vows for the millennium, George Martin, a retired Lake County sheriff's deputy, drafted a one-page document that he titled "Recommitment of Marriage."
On Feb. 14, 2000, he and wife Salli stood before a judge and signed the paper.
That afternoon, Salli, who has worked as a part-time proofreader for the Lake County recorder's office for eight years, recorded the document on a lark after processing so many bland legal documents.
If those could live forever, she figured, why couldn't her love?
"Maybe if we lived a long time ago we'd have had it etched in stone, but this was as close as we could get," Salli Martin said.
"We'll be dead and gone and this paper will still be here," she said.
So will Gillette's letter, in which he apologizes to ex-wife Maureen Murphy for "words said in anger or words meant to hurt," which included threats to take her inheritance and longtime home.
"For an instant I thought he might be serious, but in the context of the rest of his behavior, it didn't mean a lot," said Murphy, who no longer has a copy. "But I guess he was trying to make it official."