Strange Inventions From The Past That We Want To Have In The Present

Every device that you currently use in your everyday life had to be invented by somebody. Some inventions catch on because they’re useful or because of excellent marketing campaigns, while other inventions fall by the wayside.

While we don’t use many of these inventions anymore, we might want to start bringing them back into fashion. Some of these old inventions look like they could be quite useful in a modern context. Wouldn’t you like a car that could push pedestrians out of the way?

Walk On Water

water shoes
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Have you ever wanted to walk on water? Way back in the day, M. W. Hulton invented these sea-shoes that had duck-foot propellers. Why did these ever go out of style?

A Cast Iron Cooking Rack

cooking rack
Photo Credit: pxHere
Photo Credit: pxHere

These cooking racks that sit over fire pits are still used in some Mennonite communities. We think this is an excellent outdoor stove (and it’s perfect for making delicious s’mores).

Goodbye Sporks, Hellow Splayds

splayds
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

If you thought sporks were useful, wait till you see these splayds. A spork is a combination of a spoon and a fork, but a splayd is a combination of a spoon, a fork, and a knife.

Hunting For Mushrooms

mushroom basket
Photo Credit: SeverelyModerate / Reddit
Photo Credit: SeverelyModerate / Reddit

This device lets mushroom foragers collect mushrooms with both hands. This basket is attached to a stake that sticks in the ground so you don’t have you carry it around with you.

A Reading Chair

reading chair
Photo Credit: vladgrinch / Reddit
Photo Credit: vladgrinch / Reddit

This chair has a spot for a book so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy reading hands-free. Sometimes books can be super heavy! We think this invention is an excellent idea.

Bring Back Sewing Boxes

box
Photo Credit: tieung173 / Imgur
Photo Credit: tieung173 / Imgur

Somehow, sewing boxes are the most magical boxes. They have so many little compartments and yet they can fold up to fit in the palm of your hand. We all need a sewing box in our lives.

A Vintage Pie-Warmer

pie warmer
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

This heater (or radiator, as we used to call them) has a pie warmer built into it. You don’t have to use this compartment for pie and pie only. You could warm whatever food you want in there.

An Automaton

doll
Photo Credit: Rama / Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Rama / Wikimedia Commons

This creepy-looking doll is what’s known as an automaton. Machines such as this one can actually write letters, draw pictures, or play music for you. They can only do pre-determined actions, though, so there’s no risk of these machines taking over.

A Mustache Guard

moustache
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Having a mustache takes hard work and commitment. You have to take great care not to get your mustache dirty while you’re enjoying a good meal. That’s where this mustache guard comes in.

A Revolver Camera

revolver camera
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

This is a camera that’s built into a revolver. It takes a picture every time you pull the trigger. This device is a great way to get pictures of people looking absolutely terrified.

Shave Multiple People At The Same Time

shaver
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Why shave one person when you could shave 12? If this machine looks dangerous and ineffective to you, that’s because it was. We have new technology now, though. Maybe we could make this concept work.

A Cigarette Holder For Two

cigarette
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

What’s more romantic than smoking a cigarette? Smoking a cigarette with your lady, of course. This device lets two people smoke the same cigarette. You shouldn’t be smoking, but if you have to smoke, smoke like this.

A Motorized Dog-Walker

car dogs
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want to take your dogs for a walk but you’re too lazy to go for a walk yourself, why not try this motorized dog-walker? Basically, you just attach a bunch of leashes to your car.

A Bald Brush

bald brush
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

What do you do if you have hair on the sides of your head but no hair on top? You should use this bald brush, of course. It shines the top of your head while brushing the sides.

A personal Flotation Device

floaties
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Before water wings were invented, people strapped pieces of tire to themselves to help them stay afloat. We think these devices look way cuter than water wings. They might also be more effective.

A People-Pusher

car
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

This device was installed on the fronts of cars to help push pedestrians out of the way. It was supposed to protect pedestrians, but maybe cars should just stay on the road where cars belong.

A One-Wheeled Motorcycle

motorcycle
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Why would you want a motorcycle with two wheels when you could have one with one wheel? You have to admit, this vehicle looks pretty cool. Why don’t these exist anymore?

A Dog Restrainer

dog restraint
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you have a wild, unruly dog who keeps jumping on your neighbors, try this dog restrainer. It works even better than a leash to keep your dog under control.

No More Flat Tires

tire
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

This person strapped some brooms in front of their tires to sweep away any debris. That way, anything that could potentially puncture the tire won’t have a chance to come into contact with the tire at all.

A Mug With A Mustache Guard

mug
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

We’ve seen a wearable mustache guard on this list already, but what about a mustache guard that’s built into a teacup? This looks like an even better idea than a wearable mustache guard.

Japanese Tea-Serving Dolls

japanese doll
Photo Credit: PHGCOM / Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: PHGCOM / Wikimedia Commons

Japan has had automated dolls for a long while. Dolls such as the one pictured above could walk around, bow, and serve tea to guests. This doll could do it all.

An Indoor Swing

swing
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

This is a traditional Indian “oonjal.” It’s a swing that people install inside their homes. Now you can get all the fun of swinging without having to go outside. It’s brilliant!

Make Your Own Syrup And Pancakes

stove
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Outdoor stoves like the one pictured here help you make syrup by cooking down tree sap. Then you can pop a pan on top of it and cook up some pancakes.

A Portable Writing Desk

desk
Photo Credit: oldcatriver / Imgur
Photo Credit: oldcatriver / Imgur

This portable writing desk allows you to break out a pencil and jot down a brilliant idea whenever one happens to strike you. It’s perfect for writers on the go.

An Amphibious Bike

bike
Photo Credit: National Archief / Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: National Archief / Wikimedia Commons

This bike lets you ride on land and in the water without getting up off your seat. Those white spheres are full of air, which makes the bike buoyant in the water.

Go Down To The Automat

automat
Photo Credit: Bernice Abbott / Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Bernice Abbott / Wikimedia Commons

An automat was like a vending machine, except instead of it being full of candy and chips, you could get anything from full sandwiches to hot pies. Let’s bring this back.

A Fold-Away Sink

sink
Photo Credit: Bureto / Imgur
Photo Credit: Bureto / Imgur

Back in the day, people were way better at making room features that folded up into the walls. This sink is totally collapsable. When you don’t need it, you can just fold it away.

Skate With Your Baby

baby holder
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Okay, so this invention might not fly today. None of these people are wearing helmets. In 1937, hockey player Jack Milford invented this device so he and his wife could carry their baby on ice.

Horses Can Power A Train

horse train
Photo Credit: Illustrated London News / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Illustrated London News / Getty Images

When trains were first invented, people tried using animal power to make them move. In this sketch, you can see how four horses on a treadmill and a set of gears were able to power a train.

The Chain Smoker

smoker
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Why smoke one cigarette when you can smoke 10? Yeah, you’ll get lung cancer faster this way, but doesn’t it look so much more efficient? Maybe this is one invention that doesn’t need to make a comeback.

A Turbo Head Massager

couple using turbo head massager
Photo Credit: Carlo Polito/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Carlo Polito/Getty Images

Massage your headaches away at the end of a long day thanks to the air turbo head massaging machine. You’ll want to purchase one for every member of the household, so you never have to share.

A Vending Machine For Warm Pies

pies dispenser in manhattan
Photo Credit: Berenice Abbott via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Berenice Abbott via Wikimedia Commons

While not every aspect of 1936 is something we would want to bring to the future, a vending machine that dispenses warm pies is definitely something we would like to bring in to the 21st century.

The Extendable Caravan

extendable caravan from 1934
Photo Credit: Reddit / graneflatsis
Photo Credit: Reddit / graneflatsis

You never know when you’re going to come across a hitchhiker in need of a ride, or perhaps the whole Patridge family looking for a ride. Thanks to the extendable caravan, you’ve always got extra room.

Bedtime Reading Glasses

bed time reading glasses for lying down
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Never have to strain your neck in bed again while trying to read before you sleep thanks to these tilted reading glasses. They do the bending for you, and you can lay flat.

Provide The Soundtrack To Your Life

hat with built in radio
Photo Credit: Reddit / Augustine0615
Photo Credit: Reddit / Augustine0615

Rather than having to take up precious table space or floor space, you could purchase this hat that comes equipped with its own radio system, so you never have to be without your evening programs.

Whatever Floats Your Boat

800px-Man_operating_water_tricycle,_ca._1900
Photo Credit: Bain News Service via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Bain News Service via Wikimedia Commons

In this case, pedals are the thing that floats your boat when it comes to this part bicycle part boat invention. It’s not exactly a necessity for your waterfront adventures, but it would certainly add to it.

A Different Kind Of A Snowcone

montreal snow cone 1939
Photo Credit: Imgur / Cobbsalad33
Photo Credit: Imgur / Cobbsalad33

Rather than a snow cone to cool you down on a hot summer day, these women in Montreal in 1939 used plastic shields in the shape of cones to protect themselves from snowstorms.

The Radio Pram

baby pram with radio
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Soothe your baby straight to sleep with this baby pram that has a built in radio. You can be close by, listen to your music, and drown out their cries.

Your Bridge Over Troubled Water

folding bridge for emergencies
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

For all those moments where you come across an unexpected river that you need to cross, this emergency fold up bridge is ready to help you cross whatever body of water you encounter.

A Piano For The Bedridden

piano for the bedridden
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

While it was meant as an invention for those who were bedridden to be able to play the piano, it would also be a great tool for musicians trying to work from home that don’t want to get out of bed.