Boston Public Library
Teens

Dumb Inventions of the Past 100 Years

by Anna

Dumb inventions, as posted by Life Magazine (www.life.com). When we look back through history, and at the inventors who were trying to change the world, we have to stop and think: “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!?!?!”

Anti-Bandit Bag, 1963

Inventor John H T Rinfret demonstrates his anti-bandit bag. To foil thieves the chain is pulled and the bottom of the case falls out so the contents are scattered over the floor. That’ll stop those thieves from getting at the contents of your bag! No, wait. It won’t.
 
Baby Cage, 1937
A nanny supervising a baby suspended in a wire cage attached to the outside of a high tenement block window. The cages were distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club in London who have no gardens, or qualms about putting a child in a box dangling over a busy street.
 
Phone Answering Robot, 1964
A robot designed by Claus Scholz of Vienna answers the phone, though it cannot speak. Halfway there, Claus.

 

Curved Barrel Machine Gun, 1953

The 20th century saw many astounding technological innovations. The automobile revolutionized the way people live and work, the internet changed the way people think about information, and the U.S. of A put a man on the moon. But some technological advances that came in the earlier part of the 20th centry weren’t exactly meant for the history books. Because they were stupid. Take, for example, this M3 sub-machine gun with a curved barrel for shooting around corners. It’s the perfect gun for the “shoot first, look where you’re shooting later” kind of guy.
 
Birdman Suit, 1955
Birdman Leo Valentin demonstrates his method of flying from a special harness. Valentin died when his invention failed him after jumping out of an airplane in 1956.
 
Illuminated Tires, 1961
A woman adjusts her stocking by the light of the Goodyear’s illuminated tires. The tire is made from a single piece of synthetic rubber and is brightly lit by bulbs mounted inside the wheel rim.
 
Finnish Portable Sauna, 1962
 
 
 
 
 
Sea Shoes, 1962
Inventor M W Hulton demonstrates his sea-shoes and duckfoot propellers on the Grand Union Canal, England.
 
 
Shower Hood, 1970
For the woman who likes to put makeup on her dirty face.
 
 
 
 
T.V. Glasses, 1963
Inventor Hugo Gernsback with his T.V. Glasses.
 
 
 
 
 Baby Holder, 1937
Jack Milford, player with the Wembley Monarchs ice hockey team, has invented a carrying device so that his baby can join his wife and himself on the ice. Because who wouldn’t want to take something as fragile as a baby onto a rock-hard surface with very little friction?
 
Motorized Surfboard, 1948
Hollywood inventor Joe Gilpin riding his motorized surfboard.
 
 
 
 
And, because the world had no idea how bad smoking was for you in the 50′s, a few inventors tried to make it easier and more fun to suck down nicotene. Check out these wacky inventions!
 

Cigarette Pack Holder, 1955

Want to smoke the whole pack at once? Here you go.

Rainy Day Cigarette Holder, 1954

President of Zeus Corp., Robert L. Stern, smoking a cigarette from his self-designed rainy day cigarette holder. Yes, that’s an umbrella for your cigarette.
 
 
Cigarette Holder Built For Two, 1955
Just incase you want to share that smoke with your sweatheart but don’t want to swap spit while you do it, this is the gaget for you!

 

These are just some of the awesomely stupid inventions people have come up with in the last 100 years. To see the rest go to Life Magazine’s website at www.life.com.

Personally, I think the illuminated wheels, while not really useful, are pretty cool looking!

And, of course, there are still people inventing and building some of these inventions today! Check out this website for the MonoJet, “The only true motorized surfboard”: http://www.monojet.com/product2.html 

What do you guys think? In your Book Of Wacky, how wacky would you say these are?

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