15+ Curiously Strange Gadgets From the Past That Our Ancestors Were Keen on Using

Albert Einstein once said, "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." And believe it or not, the human mind has invented a great deal of totally weird gadgets that are absurd at first... and continued to remain that way. Is there any hope for them in today's day and age?

At Bright Side, we've done our research and found a number of forward thinking inventions and gadgets from the past. Interestingly enough, some of them would have found a purpose even today!

Don't miss our bonus invention at the end of the article as we dive into the ancient world!

1. Illuminated tires

Here, we see a woman adjusting her stocking by the light of some Goodyear illuminated tires. This cool invention is from 1961.

2. The Buick Flamingo

Here's another item back from 1961. We have to admit, this car looks pretty amazing with its rotating passenger seat. But where are the safety belts?

3. Hair dryer

Just push the button and wait until your hair gets soft and fluffy. This one is from 1962.

4. Roller skates

Pedal roller skates look like Segways for your feet. Here's an older model from 1910.

5. The Cat-Mew machine

If you are about to give up on mousetraps, you should consider of buying this machine. It says "mew", makes different cat noises and keeps the mice away. This is an invention from 1963.

6. Plastic face protection

From 1939 on, women no longer worried about their makeup during rain or snowstorms. Now your look can stay totally safe!

7. The spinning hat emergency toilet paper roll

Desperate times call for desperate measures - especially when you're sick. SOS tissues to take with you on-the-go is the perfect solution! What a sweet vintage Japanese invention!

8. A back brush

Just look into a rear-view mirror and you will know where to use the brush! This is an invention from 1947.

9. Baby holder

This carrying device was invented in the 1930s to give housewives some free time. Can't afford a nanny? Get a baby holder!

10. The Hubbard Electrometer

The famous L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, invented the Hubbard Electrometer in 1968 to find out if tomatoes could feel pain. His conclusion was that tomatoes would "scream when being sliced".

11. Full-face swimming mask

This mask from 1925 seems convenient, it surely keeps your makeup in place. Why don't such masks exist nowadays?

12. Poker mask

Have you ever heard of keeping a pokerface? We'd be wearing this to our poker games back in 1932.

13. Bald-head polisher

This brush was invented in the 1950s to fit a bald head's contour complete with bristles for brushing hair. The brush's gentle massage was a nice bonus.

14. See-through boat

This boat was designed to see everything below the water. This was for extremely curious people only.

15. Radio hat

He looks like he's concentrating - either on the newspaper he's reading, or the news from 1931 that he is listening to on his head...

16. Beating breasts

These Japanese artificial breasts with a built-in heartbeat were meant to calm down small children in the 1960s.


This picture is obviously a joke. But you'll probably be surprised to know that we are now still using stuff they already had in ancient Egypt, like paper, ink, calendars, clocks, ships, irrigation systems, glass and even a game resembling bowling.

Which of these old inventions would you choose to try yourself? Perhaps you have your own little inventions you'd like to share. Tell us in the comments!

Illustrated by Sergey Raskovalov for Bright Side
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