9 Crazy Inventions from the Pages of History
Throughout the ages, the world has seen many ingenious inventions hit the market. Automobiles, Wash Machines, Vacuum Cleaners, Telephones, and the lightbulb to mention just a few. For every successful invention, however, there are always hundreds that fail, or some that simply don’t stand the test of time.
Here are nine bizarre inventions from throughout history that either failed completely, simply didn’t catch on, or didn’t stand the test of time.
Urban Window Baby Cage (1930)
The urban window baby cage was used in the 1930’s to give infants plenty of fresh air. Doctors encouraged the use of these potential death traps in the name of health, stating that the urban window baby cage would allow for a child to get plenty of fresh air which would boost their immune systems and keep them generally healthier.
While fresh air is really good for young children especially, the obvious danger factor of suspending a baby several stories about a city street might just cancel out those beneficial health factors.
There are a few things to note about the urban window baby cage.
First, take a look at these tiny metal rods whose job is to ensure that the cage and the baby inside of it stay well above the street.
Secondly, note how the back of the cage has in fact, no back. This means the child inside could easily fall right back into the room, and as you are likely aware, windows are rarely just above floor level. Ouch.
None of that is mentioning the large gaps in the wire where a baby’s appendages could easily get caught and or cut. Plus, get a load of those huge spaces around the entire cage where a kid could simply fall out the window onto the street below. Kids back in the day were made of tougher stuff. The ones that survived, anyway.
Yodeling Meter (1925)
A device called a yodeling meter invented sometime around the 1920’s was a device that could measure the pitch of a singer voice.
The yodeling meter, while not being that much of a crazy idea, considering its job is to measure the pitch of a singers voice, does have a very interesting name. Who came up with the name yodeling meter instead of voice meter or singing meter? I would love to personally congratulate them on that one. I think that so awesome. The yodeling meter.
Mass Shaving Machine (19th Century)
The 19th century is known for its many inventions, particularly ones that make a persons work faster and more efficient. One such invention hit the barbershops. This device was known as a Mass Shaving Machine designed to shave a dozen men all at once.
I find the Mass Shaving Machine extremely amusing. I want to highlight a few things in this picture for you. First, take a look at this man’s face. He is on what appears to be the ‘recently shaved’ side of the contraption and honestly, he looks like he just saw something he wishes he could forget.
Then, you have his friend next to him who looks properly horrified.
But, please, note the barber who seems to be thoroughly enjoying freaking everyone out.
One question I have is how do you get a custom cut, if the barber who is cutting your facial hair is all the way across the room. I don’t think there can be much presicion at that distance, but perhaps I am mistaken.
Look at this man, if they go any higher up on his face, he will be in for an eyebrow trim. His whole nose is covered in shaving cream.
The Family Bicycle
Image it’s the weekend and your whole family would benefit from a nice ride about town on bicycles. But you have a few problems holding you back. Mother has an unending pile of sewing work to do and pedal work is above your daughter’s capability.
Nonetheless, the whole family has to go, otherwise there is no point. Introducing the solution to all your problems! The Family Bicycle. Mother can still do her sewing work as you go along, and your daughter’s only occupation for the duration of the ride is to hold on to her seat! You only need to purchase one bicycle and the whole family can enjoy hours of fun!
Where do I start with the family bicycle.
Maybe I should first point out that anyone who has come in contact with a tredle sewing machine, especially those who have had the pleasure of lifting one will know from experience that they weigh a ton, probably literarlly.
If you look at the bicycle on a whole, it is so tall that it probably would only take a good gust of wind to knock the whole thing over, pinning mother underneath of it.
The only person in this picture that appears to be actually enjoying themselves is the daughter and little surprise there since all she has to do is hold on. Most of the pedal work will fall onto the son, because father is busy steering, and anyway every time he pedals he will kick his son in the face. So keep it up champ, you’re doing great! I mean he looks exhausted. Refer back to how heavy mother’s sewing machine is.
And speaking of the sewing machine, how is mother supposed to get any proper sewing work done. She has to constantly worry about accidentally getting her fabric caught in the front bicycle tire. Besides that, you can’t tell me that is a completely smooth ride, so bumping about would make her work more difficult to do and there is always the risk of getting your fabric durty.
I could go on and on about this one, but lets move on shall we?
Rain Goggles for Race Drivers (1930s)
In the 1930s a special type of goggles was made for race drivers who happened to have to race in the rain occasionally. Rain Goggle for Race Drivers featured a tight water proof fit and wipers on the lenses so racers could always see where they are going even if they are racing in the rain in an open top car!
The way this handy little gadget works is the airflow created from driving in an open-top car makes the fan on the top of the goggles spin, which in turn operates the wiper blades.
The frequent wiping motion, especially if you are driving quite quickly, the faster you drive the faster they wipe, would be more distracted to me than a few raindrops. And if its downpouring, then you have other problems.
This particular product is for mothers who value taking their babies for walks, but a walking pace is not satisfying. Why not hit the streets at fifteen miles per hour in a Pramobile. Invented in the 1920s, this bicycle and stroller combination in a predecessor for child-carrying trailer that parents can hitch onto the back on their bicycles nowadays.
Walking is too boring, so you have to hit the streets at 15mph! That’s almost 25 kilometres per hours. That’s is insanely fast, especially for that time period when most cars topped out at the speed.
Suspended Baby Carrier (1930)
The suspended baby carrier required two parents and a child to work. Each parent shoulders a strap across their opposite shoulder and the child get suspended in the middle. Seems safe, especially while ice skating.
What can I say about the suspended baby carrier. Maybe that if both parents drifted apart suddenly, they would accidently slingshot their kid into the air. And can we just appreciate the fact that they are ice skating? That baby carrier just looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
During the first few decades of the 20th century you had to be very careful when on the road, especially as a pedestrian. Automobiles were a fairly new invention and people hadn’t quite gotten adapted to having them around just yet. Some years even saw car crash deaths surpass the 20,000 people mark and injuries as a result of car crashes hit above the 100,000 mark. An inventor by the name of A. J. Grafham tried to make things a little safer by inventing a special bumper. It was a sponge rubber seat attached to the front of a car that would catch pedestrians safely when they were hit a speeding automobile.
The idea behind the rubber bumper is not a bad one. Can we just appreciate this guys acting skills though? I mean look at how he arranged his legs. That is impressive, unless, of course they actually hit the man with car for demonstration purposes in which case he isn’t actually acting.
This last one is truly ridiculous. In the 1950s, amateur inventor Russel E. Oakes solved the prevalent problem of accidentally dragging your sleeve through a stick of butter during dinner. He created a spider-like gadget whose sole purpose is to protect your sleeve from the butter…or the butter from your sleeve. Whichever you prefer.
This is by far the most ridiculous and redundant invention on this list. Why do you need a butter protector. Here are a few tips for you. Maybe use a covered butter dish, or better yet, lift your arms a tiny bit higher, move the butter dish, or ask for it be passed to you.
The butter protector looks like it wouldn’t be very hard to accidentally knock over or set into the butter when putting it place. His sleeves aren’t even loose.
The butter protector is so weird. That guy must have pretty bored when he came up with that one.
Which one of these crazy inventions straight from the pages of history interested you the most? Do you think any of these deserve a comeback? Or are they better left in the pages of history?
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