Category: invention

Can it be done? These vintage ideas from the 1930s that seem to…

Can it be done? These vintage ideas from the 1930s that seem to have been implemented today.

A Huge Cache Of 1700s-Era Rockets Found In Ind…

More than a 1,000 were discovered, unexploded, from an abandoned well at a fort in the Karnataka state in southern India. They ranged in size from 12 to 14 inches long. And they were all filled with potassium nitrate, charcoal, and magnesium powder. From their make and their contents, archaeologists identified the rockets as Mysore rockets, the first iron-cased rockets to be used successfully in military combat.

The rockets are believed to have belonged to the Muslim warrior king Tipu Sultan, who ruled over Karnataka’s Shivamogga district at the time. He was also a resolute opponent of the British East India Company. He fought four wars against the British company, ultimately dying in the fourth.

How the original selfie stick was invented in the 1980s.

How the original selfie stick was invented in the 1980s.

The ABC mono-cycle, 1925.

The ABC mono-cycle, 1925.

12 retro kitchens of the future

12 retro kitchens of the future

Brooks Walker’s fifth wheel: This 1950s car had an extra…

Brooks Walker’s fifth wheel: This 1950s car had an extra wheel to help with parking.

Cooking smart with smart kitchens: Imagining an American kitchen…

Cooking smart with smart kitchens: Imagining an American kitchen of tomorrow in the 1940s.

The “Power Mower of the Future” in 1957.Here’s the future of…

The “Power Mower of the Future” in 1957.

Here’s the future of lawn mowing equipment with a beautiful bubbled model that sported its own air conditioning. The lawnmower has a five foot diameter plastic sphere in which the rider sits on an air foam cushioned seat. It has its own electric generating system for operating running lights, a radio telephone, air conditioning and even a cooling system to provide a chilled drink on a hot day. It can be used for many purposes. It can mow the lawn, weed it, feed it, seed it, spray for insects, plow snow and haul equipment. It can even be used as a golf cart.

Just think – with the complete enclosure there would be no stray balls to worry about, and why don’t we have this today? 

In 1916, a Manhattan chauffeur George Boyden p…

In 1916, a Manhattan chauffeur George Boyden patented a new way to navigate. Installing a phonograph in the car, which would play audio recordings through a megaphone in front of the steering column. “The talking machine at the proper times will announce the directions whereby the driver will be enabled to follow a predetermined route.”

So that the phonograph knows exactly where the car is, it was to be connected to the car’s wheels. It would announce instructions only after the car has traveled certain predetermined distances. “For example, if it is desired to make a record to guide the driver from Chevy Chase to the Treasury Department [in Washington, DC], the record among other things would contain the directions ‘U street turn to the left,’ and knowing the distance between Chevy Chase and the corner of 18th and U, for example, [a record of this distance would be registered with the mechanism] and the desired direction spoken into the machine. From a cylinder prepared in this manner a matrix would be made for the production of permanent records.”

Boyden called his invention a “Chart for Vehicles.”

Toothpaste Has Always Been Minty — Literally …

It’s toothpaste! Though a modern person likely would not recognize it. Ancient Egyptian toothpaste was made of rock salt, pepper, mint, and dried iris flowers. 

So here’s a bonus fun fact: toothpastes have been minty since there was toothpaste to be minty.