Richard Garwin is a polymath physicist who earned his Ph.D. at the age of just 21. Enrico Fermi, his doctoral advisor, supposedly said "Garwin was the only true genius he had ever met." Garwin, at the age of 88, won the National Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor that a U.S. citizen can receive.
Garwin was involved in the development of early hydrogen bomb, reconnaissance system, MRI, and many other projects. During the award ceremony speech, President Obama mentioned that Garwin also developed/patented a mussel washer. So I looked it up.
It's US4324020 A with Harold Friedman, a physical chemist, as a co-inventor. My guess is that they perhaps faced a difficulty washing mussels during dinner preparation or mussel collection and decided to come up with a solution.
The device has rotating cylinder with a handle. The cylinder has triangular shaped openings that draw and tumble the mussels, thus cleaning and polishing the shellfish. The floatable cylinder allows on-site collection, significantly reducing the efforts and time involved in transporting and cleaning in a separate location.