Necessity is often considered the mother of invention. Yet, as with many parents, sometimes they produce children who don’t seem quite right. But with necessity, it’s more often than not. While we have moments like the Wright Brothers 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, you have lots products you can only see in drug stores and infomercials. Nevertheless, inventions are supposed to be technological breakthroughs that make our lives easier. Unfortunately, this post doesn’t showcase these achievements. Instead, it covers the many contraptions that the world has rejected after a certain amount of time and forget about them. Some may have seemed like good ideas at the time only to go horribly wrong. As with others, we’re not sure what the rationale behind them was. But they kind of look ridiculous nonetheless. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I present to you a treasure trove of crazy inventions from the past you might want or see. Or might not depending on what time you came from.
- Don’t worry, this body armor will protect you.
I guess the tin hunter costume didn’t quite make it for the Wizard of Oz. Also leaves arms exposed.
2. A wheeled watchtower always helps you spot the enemy coming from anywhere.
Though it requires strings and stakes to keep it balanced when kept in a stationary state. Also, looks as ridiculous as it is dangerous.
3. With these we can see and hear everything.
Because there’s nothing to let people know you’re snooping on them like goggles attached with megaphones. Also, makes people look like complete idiots.
4. This contraption gives you a whole new meaning to the word, “helmet hair.”
I think this might’ve been for perms. Yet, it sure seems like what you see straight out from a Star Trek Enterprise hair salon.
5. In the 19th century, you can take a ride in a rich guy’s 6-wheeler.
And I see they have the driver in the front like they would in a coach. Because he’s a commoner. Wonder how this car makes turns.
6. Now you can take take your baby to the park and listen to music at the same time.
The radio attached was supposed to keep baby occupied. At least until mommy’s favorite radio soap opera comes on.
7. With these goggles, you can watch TV from anywhere.
Too bad it blocks your face from the world and looks pretty dumb. But you still have to use antennas for a signal.
8. This brush will give any bald man a nice shiny chrome dome.
Then again, I know some bald men who just shave off their hair and show their scalp off proud. No need for a brush and polisher like this.
9. Keep your baby safe during a gas attack with a gas powered baby carriage.
While keeping baby safe and sound, it gives an impressing of constantly being under siege by chemical weapons. Also, kind of resembles a little fallout capsule.
10. These cone masks will help you see through a snowstorm while you’re out.
These look more like cone bags you put on your face. But then again, these were built for function, not effect.
11. With this trailer, you can make room for everybody.
So how do you extend it? What’s it’s limited capacity? How much would it cost?
12. With an amphibious bike, you can travel on both land and water.
Helps if it has floaties as well as floatie wheels to keep you buoyant. But sure doesn’t protect you from getting your clothes wet.
13. Ever tried to scrub yourself in hard to reach places and see what you look like? We have just the solution for you.
Man, how did anyone stay clean without this? Also, how does this work in the shower?
14. Ever wanted to read before bed but don’t want to sit up? These reading glasses are just for you.
Not sure how they work. But they sure make anyone look like a space alien.
15. Keep yourself warm this winter by wearing a jacket with electric heating.
Sure it might do the trick. However, it might pose a fire hazard should something go wrong.
16. Now you can avoid hitting pedestrians by catching them with this metal net.
However, it might run the risk of pushing pedestrians to where they might not want to go. Also, not the safest thing in the world.
17. Nothing amuses guests more than taking their picture with a gun.
Yet, I’m sure you’ll get no smiles using it. But it’s a safer gun does make safer to play Russian roulette with.
18. A flying platform will always take you to high places.
Yes, it seems quite futuristic indeed. But keep in mind the guy’s wearing equipment to protect himself from injury. Let that sink in.
19. Don’t forget to protect your horse from gas attacks.
Yes, this is a gas mask for horses. Well, it was WWI so what do you expect?
20. Why should 8 hours of sleep get in the way of your chainsmoking habit?
Yes, there are a lot of stuff on here related to smoking. Because most of them are from before 1970.
21. Featuring one of the first eco-friendly cars of its time, the pooch mobile.
Now you can save on gas and give Fido hours of exercise. Though you might sometimes have to stop every time he needs to relieve himself.
22. Nothing says speed like a jet-fuel powered motorcycle.
Uh, isn’t jet fuel more flammable than gasoline? Besides, I don’t think this guy is taking any safety precautions.
23. Why keep multiple bikes when you can have one for the whole family.
Even includes a sewing machine for mom to work on. Only seats 4.
24. Help little Susie take her first steps with this baby walker.
Seems a bit extreme to get your kid to walk this way. Besides, my sister and I started walking at 9 months with little prompting.
25. Everything is always squared with these bikes.
So how do square wheels get you anywhere? I mean most wheels are round for a reason.
26. Get the latest bits about yourself by wearing the psychograph.
The psychograph was made to advance the study of phrenology. Well, it was a 19th century pseudoscience. That gives you plenty to know about why we no longer use this.
27. Why smoke one cigarette at a time when you can smoke a whole pack all at once.
Because if one cigarette alone won’t kill you, a whole pack lit at the same time surely will. Go ahead increase your risk for lung cancer.
28. Is this woman getting a perm at the salon or having her brain infiltrated by aliens?
Actually, she’s just getting a perm at the beauty parlor. But yes, I know what you’re thinking.
29. Eating peas is a breeze with a peastick.
But this lets you eat peas one at a time. And there’s a device which could let you eat 6 of them all at once. It’s called a fork.
30. Why should parents debate about carrying the baby when you have this?
Because this baby carrier wouldn’t meet any child safety requirements. Besides, why take your baby ice skating when you can call a babysitter?
31. A fork with a crank can always help you eat spaghetti.
Yet, this takes 2 hands to operate. There is another device that lets you eat spaghetti with one hand. It’s called a fork.
32. With these earphones, you can eavesdrop any conversation without anyone knowing.
Too bad this is so bulky that you won’t be fooling anyone. Also it will make you look like a total idiot.
33. With a holder like this, you can share a cigarette with ease.
Because there’s no cigarette holder that says “till death do you part to lung cancer” like this one. Also, the movies seem to make sharing a cigarette look cooler without one.
34. Drying your hair should always be an out of this world experience.
Again, this is beauty salon equipment. Not space alien technology. Know the difference.
35. With this hat, you can keep all your toiletries in one place.
Only has room for comb, brush, and toothpaste. But it’s quite stylish and nifty just the same.
36. This little restrainer will keep rover out of the bushes.
After all, there’s no device that suggest you’d might want to serve him with a salad. Yes, I can see why that didn’t see the light of day.
37. A reduce-o-matic helps you lose weight while you sit down and relax.
Sorry, but this kind of weight loss product will only slim down your wallet. Also will make you look like an idiot.
38. Every wallet should always contain some cash and a pistol.
Too bad the pistol is only small enough for a bullet. So you’d have to make the shot really count.
39. With this tea maker, tea will be ready in no time at all.
This is an antique tea maker from the Victorian days. It’s supposed to heat it before pouring it in the pot. Wonder how many accidents it caused.
40. Keep baby out in the fresh air and out of harms way with a baby cage.
This was for babies in small apartments. I know it looks pretty crazy. But yes, sometimes old-timey childcare practices fall out of favor.
41. With this blow dryer, you’ll definitely be blown away.
Seems like the hairdryer has a pretty interesting history. But still, this would be great if you’ve spent the day out in the rain.
42. Need relief for a hangover? This mask should help.
However, make sure you keep it in the freezer with ice overnight. Still, this is kind of crazy.
43. Now I’ve never seen a pair of binoculars like this.
I guess this must’ve come from the 1950s. Still, I wonder if it has any sensors on it. Or is it just an ordinary pair of binoculars?
44. You know they have bidets to wash your butt? Here’s something to wash your breasts.
Uh, it’s actually not that hard to wash your breasts. You can easily get your boobs clean with a washcloth in the shower.
45. Ward off mice and rats with this cat mew machine.
It says meow a lot so the mice wouldn’t come anywhere near your home. Though to be fair, you’d probably break it for being annoying.
46. Now you can see where you need to go with this scrolling map.
Think of it as an old-fashioned GPS. Because that’s what it is. However, it might not be able to recalculate so you might have a hard time with it.
47. Now you can smoke in the rain with a cigar protector.
Because why should a wet day reduce your chances for lung cancer? Also includes an umbrella.
48. Shoot in those hard to reach places with an M-3 curved barrel submachine gun.
Not sure why anyone would use these if they weren’t criminals. I know it looks as lethal as it is pointless.
49. Attaching brooms to your car makes tire tracks a thing of the past.
Actually this was meant to protect against flat tires. Not sure if it did the job or all cars would have it.
50. Protect your baby from kidnappers with this black light detector.
No, I’m not sure how a black light guards baby. Besides, black light is more associated with raves and such.
51. A dimple maker always makes your cheeks perk up.
That looks very painful. But yes, even today some women go through pain to achieve beauty perfection.
52. With this icebike, slippery roads are a thing of the past.
Still, the wheels are quite spiky. So having a car run into one will result in a flat tire.
53. A glamor bonnet provides a vacuum to aid complexion.
For some reason, that woman seems like she’s in a hostage situation than a beauty salon. Also, the ad had to go out of its way to say it’s not a deep sea diving helmet.
54. A smog helmet will protect you from harmful pollution in the park.
Though instilling pollution regulations and the EPA really deterred smog attacks in the US. Still, might be great if you live in China.
55. An external turkey roaster can always cook to perfection.
Seems like this chicken is getting a starlet beauty treatment. Besides, there’s another device that can cook turkeys just the same. It’s called an oven.
56. A steam powered buss will take you where you need to go.
Sure it doesn’t look that big. But at least it’s faster than traveling by horse.
57. Now you can watch your favorite shows on the go with this mini TV.
Yes, they had TVs that small back in the day. But I’m sure the reception on them was terrible.
58. A portable sauna gives you the same treatment within your home.
Though you’d have to spend a lot of time in a large sack. But at least you can read in the process.
59. A fire box trap can always catch pranksters attempting to cause trouble.
I know we don’t like people pulling fire alarms for no good reason. Still, not sure if it will deter anyone since its attachment is quite flimsy.
60. Why should bedridden people not be able to play the piano?
Yes, they actually had one of these. But at least you can fold it in when you’re done with it.
61. A turntable and projector set makes for a real entertainment center.
Well, I guess it’s handy to play music and movies in one place. But I don’t think many people could afford a projector then.
62. A one-wheeled motorcycle will always take you down the road.
I don’t know about you. But this looks like a major accident waiting to happen. Even worse that the guy isn’t wearing a helmet.
63. With illuminated tires, you can always find your car.
Though these tires have light bulbs in them and are plugged to something. Still, perhaps we can pull it off with glow sticks or solar panels t0day.
64. A flying bike may help you get off the ground.
For one, I don’t think this bike flies. Second, I’m sure the last guy who rode it ended up in a terrible accident.
65. A ciggy umbrella lets you smoke in the rain.
So you can expose yourself and others to cancer in all kinds of weather. And looking like a moron, too.
66. You can have all kinds of family fun during a nuclear holocaust in an economy sized fallout shelter.
However, you might have to assemble it yourself, first. Also, may not protect you against radiation exposure.
67. A car sled should always be equipped with a jet engine.
This is from Russia, by the way. Not sure if this actually flew. But at least you can get a laugh out of it.
68. Nothing makes riding the waves fun than riding a motorized surfboard.
Yet, for some reason, this is more of a motorized raft on a river. Not sure how it could ride tidal waves.
69. Now cleaning your neck has become so much easier.
Nevertheless, this neck cleaner more or less resembles a torturing device. Besides, you can easily clean your neck with a wash cloth in the shower.
70. Tesla’s oscillator will be a marvel to future generations.
This was an electric generator meant to replace reciprocating steam engines. But that was superseded by more efficient steam turbines. Other than that, I’m not sure what else.
71. This radio hat will let you listen to music while on the go.
Of course, it might cause a lot of noise since it doesn’t come with headphones. Also makes you look ridiculous.
72. A parachute jacket will be a lasting marvel to aviation.
We should keep in mind that the inventor died while testing this device jumping off the Eiffel Tower. It should give us the idea of its effectiveness.
73. A pipe for 2 always has enough tobacco to go around.
Still, I’m not sure if you’d want to smoke like this. There are more awesome ways one can get lung cancer.
74. You can always get the grass cut with a power mower deluxe.
Well, at least you don’t have to worry about grass getting all over you during the riding portion. Still, kind of resembles a spacecraft.
75. You can always get a great shot with a punt gun.
Too bad it’s so big that you have to ask a friend to hold it for you. So not that great isn’t it?
76. A shower hood can always keep your makeup from smearing.
Uh, isn’t getting your makeup in the sower kind of the whole point? Besides, I don’t think it does its job.
77. The Isolator can always help you concentrate on what you’re doing.
Sure it kind of resembles a diving helmet with an oxygen tank. But that’s beside the point.
78. The beauty micrometer always makes sure your face looks right.
But for God’s sake, please don’t put me in that! I’m sure it’s a torturing device for a face.
79. If you can ride on a bike, why not skate with two?
That doesn’t look safe at all, especially if he falls. Still, has kind of steampunk feel to it.
80. This hairdryer comes with its own cap.
Yes, it’s another hairdryer. I know it looks pretty ridiculous. But sometimes even nice products like hairdryers start out that way.
81. Why stick with bulky life jackets when you can use these swim aids.
I bet these are made from old bike tires. Besides, I think these might be harder to put on than life vests.
82. Motorized roller skates can get you there with great speed.
Nevertheless, these were notoriously dangerous for obvious reasons. And that’s why they’re not around anymore.
83. Nothing massages your scalp like this electric vibrator.
The picture file calls this the “scalp molester.” Nevertheless, I’m not sure if I’d want that massaging my head.
84. A solar bath apparatus can always relieve headaches.
No, I don’t think so, especially with a migraine headache. Not sure why people thought that back then.
85. Back in the 1950s, you can get a spray tan from a machine.
As to why you’d want to look like an Oompah Loopah, I have no idea. Still, not sure how it compares to a tanning booth.
86. Bet you never laid your eyes on Edison’s electric pen.
Yet, it’s attached to so much equipment. So you can understand why this invention never got off the ground.
87. Now you can watch your favorite shows with this portable TV from 1967.
Sure it might make you look like you have your head stuck in a pipe. But sometimes it doesn’t matter when watching your favorite sports team.
88. Listen to your favorite records with an upside down phon0graph.
Not sure how the record could stay in place like that. Also, why?
89. Soup too hot? Attach a small fan to your spoon.
I know this looks silly and pointless. But that’s modern dining technology for you.
90. Wooden bathing suits were once the next new thing of the summer.
Because nothing characterizes 1920s swimwear like barrel chic. You can see why we don’t have them now.
91. With this machine, the blind can find their way through the magic of sound.
Yet, the contraption is a bit bulky. Besides, blind people already have something to help them get around through sound. It’s called a cane.
92. Why put on new skates when you can just clip on the blades?
Okay, that seems rather reasonable. But what if the blade snaps off and you trip and fall.
93. Why go through flipping newspaper pages when you can have yours faxed?
Because a folded newspaper with sections is much better to store than one rolled out. It’s very simple really.
94. Give your dogs exercise by tying them to a wooden beam on your car.
Note to pet owners, please don’t do this. Seriously, it’s cruelty to animals and could kill them.
95. Now you can call someone and see who you’re talking to.
Funny, how we use Skype with the Internet if we want to see who we’re talking to. But this is pretty neat.
96. The sun bath helmet protects you from UV rays.
Uh, did the inventor know that UV rays can absorb? Probably not. Also, only protects the face.
97. An aerocycle can take you anywhere you want to go.
Looks really dangerous if you ask me. Wouldn’t want to go on it.
98. Now you can have your cup of coffee while you’re on the move.
Sure people think a coffee maker in their car is convenient. But come on, it’s probably not the safest thing to have. Or every car would’ve had one.
99. An all-terrain vehicle must have lots of spare tires.
Then again, some of those may not be spare tires. But yes, it’s a bit bulky compared to newer models.
100. Stimulate human speech through pumping with the Euphonia.
I’m sure it didn’t work that well. Also, looks incredibly creepy, especially with the doll head.