What were they thinking?!

There will come a day in the not so distant future when people will look at a selfie stick and another dozen things we use, and think – What the actual hell is that?

For now, however, it’s our turn to look at past inventions and wonder if the people who created them – and, even worse, used them – were high, drunk, insane, or a mixture of all three.

Baby Cage: I recently stumbled upon an article that claimed to have some rarely seen photos from the 20th century. One of them was of a baby in a cage, suspended by two brackets, up on the umpteenth level of a block of apartments. ‘Surely this can’t be true!’ I thought. But it was. The baby cage was apparently invented to allow children who lived in apartments to get some fresh air.



Electric Tablecloth: How many times has one of your dinner guests spilt his drink? It’s never fun, particularly if it’s a glass of red wine on a white tablecloth. But imagine the repercussions of that drink being spilt on an electric tablecloth that allowed you to connect lamps directly into it! This was a reality in Edwardian England and a real health and safety hazard as you can imagine… Thankfully, it never caught on!

5 Inventions - Electric Tablecloth


One Wheel Motorcycle: Also known as a monowheel, this is one of those inventions that just doesn’t really make sense. Yes, it works; and yes, it looks cool. But was there really any need for it? Well… It hasn’t actually become extinct yet, with a number of them being used in fairs. I guess they’re cool. Boq!

5 Inventions - Monowheel


Dimple Machine: Among the many instruments of torture invented in the name of beauty in the mid-1800s and early 1900s was the dimple machine. Marketed with the tag line ‘Dimples are now made to order’, it was invented by Isabella Gilbert in New York. It was basically a steel rod that pressed your cheeks until you got holes, which, apparently, were dimples.



Electric Permanent Wave Machine: Invented by Karl Nessler at the turn of the last century, this machine used gas to steam hair into curls – but not before the hair was wrapped around metal rods and covered in alkaline paste and asbestos! It took six hours for the machine to work its magic, and before the product was revealed to the masses, Nessler had burnt his wife’s hair off… twice!

5 Inventions - Hair Machine


I know. What were they thinking, right? But, it does make you wonder which of our hyped ‘new’ inventions will make the list in a 100 years’ time, doesn’t it?

Were you surprised by any of the inventions mentioned above? Which modern ones do you think will make the list in a 100 years’ time?

Let us know in the comments section below!