Millions of inventions have shaped our world but not all of them are noteworthy. In fact, some of them are downright stupid. Take umbrella shoes for instance. You know, to keep the water off your shoes. And as for the rest of these, well, you’ll have to make up your mind about them.
The Rolling American Bridge
Instead of a typical bridge, the Victorians thought that a “rolling bridge” would be better. Rails were used to support a large rolling platform which could move from one side to the other. They thought this was simpler and better than a traditional bridge. It was used very little as it wasn’t practical at all. Especially seeing as continuous, regular bridges have been used for centuries and still are, because they serve the purpose they need to in the best way possible.
Portable Chin Rest
If your chin is tired, rest it in a headrest. Well, a chin rest. This invention mimics a noose and has got to be one of the worst inventions ever. Can you imagine, standing on a bus, with all its stops and starts and turns and having something securing your chin (around your neck?) Besides choking, you could easily bruise your neck skin, damage your throat or worse. Terrible idea.
There have been so many wartime inventions that this one really shouldn’t be a huge surprise. But, it’s creepy and terrible, too. The premise was that the rats, when spotted, would be thrown into the fire and because they were filled with explosives, there would be a huge explosion that ensued. It didn’t work out this way though because a container of dead rats was intercepted by the Germans before they could be used in the way intended. As a result, the German military schools took to exhibiting the rats prompting a hunt for “hundreds of rats that the enemy believed were distributed on the continent.” This caused much more trouble to the Germans than if the rats had been used like they thought so in the end, it was a win-win.
Edison’s Talking Dolls
For many of us, talking dolls are a reminder of childhood. But for children growing up in 1890, Edison’s talking dolls were the first of their kind. Edison made an internal mechanism that played one of several different wax cylinders pre-recorded with children’s music, prayers and nursery rhymes. You had to come from a rich family to have experienced this doll though. The cost was $10-$20 in 1890, making it a staggering $526.00 toy by today’s costs. The dolls sounded creepy though and it was only six weeks into production when they pulled the dolls off shelves as they were deemed too scary.
Automatic Smoking Machine
It seems that smoking is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s society, but as a part of the Victorian Era, smoking was commonplace. Pipe tobacco was found in nearly every home and because of its popularity, bars and pubs were smoke-filled, too. So much so that places wanted this smoke-clouded atmosphere whether it was people filling their place with smoke, or not. And thus, the automatic smoking machine was born. The machine would “smoke cigars” therefore filling the room, bar or pub with the sought-after odor, smoky cloud and the atmosphere of the times.
Head Mounted Toilet Paper Dispenser
Do you have a cold, allergies, or maybe just a runny nose? Than this is for you. This head dress of sorts will keep toilet paper at a close pull away, no matter how often you need it. A paper towel roll holder is secured to the top of your head and fastened in place with a hand chin strap. If you can stand having a constant strap on your neck and don’t mind the bathroom look that comes with this outrageous invention, then you will love the close and personal option of toilet paper, ready when you are.
Before the days of “sticker” stamps with adhesives, you had to lick your stamps. If you don’t remember the taste, think of chapstick with no flavor, yet a flavor that you couldn’t stop tasting for hours after said lick, and that’s the experience that was licking a postage stamp. And if it was thank yous, birthday or wedding invites or things like Christmas cards, forget it. But wait! A stamp licker was just what you needed. There were multiple forms of this device all with the same purpose, to wet a stamp without using your tongue. The device moistened the glue on the back of the stamp and because written documents were so prevalent in these times, this albeit strange contraption, certainly had its place within typical households of the time.
These inventions are so strange, it’d be hard to picture seeing one in real life these days. Then again, you never know what you’ll see walking down the street these days.