The wristwatch is one of the oldest pieces of technology we still use en masse. Dating back to the 1600s, it’s been around forever, and with smartwatches, it’s here to stay.
But some old inventions are more obscure… and mind blowingly crazy!
1. The Baby Stroller/Scooter
For mothers who don’t have the energy to walk and push (read: all mothers). Notice that there’s no baby in there. Hmm…
2. Goggle Umbrella
Admit it. You’ve always wanted to hold your umbrella that low down. In order to make this possible, here, from Japan, is the goggle umbrella
3. The shower hood
Every woman’s dream is to have a nice hot shower, without having to wet their hair. However, I’m not sure the sound of water hitting plastic is much better.
4. Cigarette holder for two
For the romantic smoker. Some may think it’s more intimate to pass the cigarette from one mouth to the other. But they haven’t tried smoking at the same time.
5. Smoke 2 Cigarettes at once
You could share one cigarette between two. Or two cigarettes between… 1. This was for the classy lady who needed a bit more tar in her life.
6. Suspended baby carrier
Early feminists must have been proud of this display of a man sharing the load. These two are ice-skating, proving that a couple can do fun things with their baby, without getting angry at each other.
7. Baby gas-mask pram
Those were tough times. As bad as you think things are, just be thankful your baby doesn’t need this pram.
8. Bed Piano
For the bedridden pianist. This was basically the equivalent of making music on your Macbook while sick in bed.
9. Cigar Protector
People were really dedicated to smoking back in the day. The cigar protector made sure that nothing – not even the rain – could get in the way of some grimy lungs.
10. Pipe sharer
Another romantic piece of smoking paraphernalia. These two men may have found it difficult to kiss, but at least they could share a pipe.
11. Dimple Maker
Now you can get plastic surgery to make dimples – it just requires a small nip and tuck in the inside of your cheeks. Back then, they had knobs.
12. Dog Restrainer
I think many dog owners have wanted one of these for their wild pooch. This small dog doesn’t seem like the target market though.
13. Chain Smoker
Wow, people loved smoking. We’ve had two men sharing a pipe, and a woman with two cigarettes at once. This device takes the cake for self-destruction.
14. Extendible Ears
Sort of like in Harry Potter, but not really at all. This invention from Japan makes things louder (and then softer as everyone you love leaves you).
15. Face protector
Hate getting rain or snow in your face, but don’t mind looking like a platypus? This one’s for you.
16. Folding Bridge
A nifty way of keeping unwanted people from crossing you moat. Also, probably a nice way to spend a Sunday morning with the kids, extending your folded bridge to get to Church on time.
17. Longest RV Ever
This is another invention that extends. One of the biggest problems you hear about RVs, is that people can’t get their whole extended family inside. So that they can enjoy a nice holiday with 30 lovely and now very close relations.
18. Hair dryer
This may look insane, but before the modern hairdryer, long hair was a disaster to wash. Especially in winter. I have no idea how it works, but it’s creative use of a stocking.
19. Ice-Mask for hangovers
This beautiful piece will switch one problem for another, that just might be worse. To be fair, there still isn’t a good cure for the hangover.
20. Portable hat radio
And you thought it was inconvenient to carry a walkman around. In wartime, radio was the only source of information, so we can forgive this man for wanting it on him at all times. And yes, I assume that all old photos were taken during wartime.
21. Gas mask for horses
See. Old photo, wartime.
22. Tires for the tacky
Illuminated tires were good for one thing only, and that was to give this lady light in order that she could do whatever it is she was doing.
23. Inbuilt coffee machine
We still don’t have coffee machines in our cars. The reason is that you need a lot of power to boil water – like, a lot. Your kettle is the reason for your high electricity bills. Tea is ruining your life!
24. Tubey life-”jacket” thingy
The kids in the photo still haven’t lived this one down. From what I heard, after this made the rounds, they went into their rooms, never to come out except to be occasionally humiliated.
25. Fruit-Pain Measurer
I don’t know why anyone thought this was a good idea. Even if we could measure the pain fruit would feel if it was human, numbers would mean nothing until we got fruit to talk and tell us how they’re feeling.
26. Parallel Parking
We need the equivalent of this today. Parking is such a disaster, that when I get offered one I take it. Even if I’m not going there.
27. Portable Sauna
So that you don’t have to use the one at gym, and sit around with sweating naked people. Also, it’s portable, meaning you can sneak it into your office and do work from there.
28. Radio Pram
People really loved their radios. I’ll just assume it was wartime, and they needed to know where the nearest bunker could be located at all times. For the safety of the baby, y’know.
29. Lying-down reading glasses
The age-old problem of how to read comfortably. Basically, divert your eyesight. Still doesn’t solve the problem of your fingers getting numb or sweaty – it’s always one or the other.
30. Camera with a revolver
To make the NRA’s mouth water. Again, I have to assume that somewhere, people were killing each other for sport, and this was the only way to stay safe. And get photo evidence of your kill in the bargain.
31. Suspended Baby Cage
And you thought Michael Jackson was bad. Look, he held his kid out a window, but at least he didn’t lock it up in a cage and suspend it there.
32. Tire brooms
Popped tires must have been a common problem, for someone to have come up with this makeshift solution. This looks more likely to work as part of a Canadian sport than to protect tires from debris.
33. Walk dogs while driving
If you care about your dogs health, but not your own, you can take all of them for a walk without standing up. There are so many things that could go wrong here, I’m glad there’s not an “after” picture.
34. Wooden Bathing suits
Really? Someone thought this was a good idea? Maybe they had a lot of wood lying around, and not much else. Maybe it was… you guessed it… wartime.
35. Faxed newspaper
Because the news was so important. This is the 1930s precursor to the Huffington Post. Could you do without it? I couldn’t.
36. Amphibious Bicycle
For land and water. I can’t see this guy going into water dressed like that, but maybe he was worried about flooding. This is the sort of bike you don’t need to lock up.
37. Bulletproof glass
This is still a thing, so no need to scoff. I wouldn’t like to be the man it’s tested on though. Even today, bulletproof glass isn’t perfect.
38. Car with pedestrian shovel
In case you hit a pedestrian, he would be safe. And he’d get a free ride. So it’s a win for everyone.
39. Early GPS
It’s a piece of paper that scrolls as you go. Clever, but I can’t imagine it’s much use if you make a wrong turn.
40. Electrically heated jacket
Made for police. I’m uncomfortable with an electrical blanket, so I can’t imagine wearing one of these without being sure of sudden death.
41. Ice Sailboat
In the 1600s, there were those that believed a new ice-age was coming. This boat was designed to sail on ice in addition to water.
42. One-wheeled motorcycle
Two wheels are for babies. Safety is never an issue with motorcycles. If you can’t take the risk, drive something with four wheels. At least that’s what the creator believed.
43. Breast washer
Some babies won’t drink from anything that’s not spotless. This French creation ensured that even the fussiest infant could eat.
44. Cigarette case
Another cigarette invention. As much as they loved smoking, they had far too much paraphernalia for their own good.
45. Feet Bikes
Like those roller shoes that kids used to wear. Except for adults. Crazy adults.
For scary writers who don’t want to see anyone ever.
47. Poker Face
The perfect answer to your total giveaway face. These are now illegal everywhere, as they are thought to bring horror movies to life.
48. Swim Mask
Yet another mask to give you nightmares. If you need this to swim, you’d better get your own pool.
Which is your favourite? Are there any more crazy inventions from the last few millennia we’ve missed?