10 Historical weird inventions that should be left in the past
With every year that passes by, homo sapiens become more innovative, more astonishing and more full of freaking outrageous ideas. I'm not kidding; 2017's bizarre offerings include the Baby Stroller and Scooter Hybrid, the Anti-Pervert Hairy Stockings and the Baby Mop. I can't say I'd buy any of them but, hey, that's just me I guess. Fast forward to 20 years down the line and perhaps I won't be able to imagine a clean floor without sending my newborn out to do the work.
However, the truth is that no matter how many weird inventions we make, it's wholly unlikely that we'll be able to top the idiosyncratic creations of the bygone age. Ready yourself for exploding bikes, wash-away fat soap and baby cages. Kids, it's going to be a wild ride...
The poker face mask
Are you always the poker player who gives away their hand when people look at their face? Well, look no further. I have got the perfect invention for you. Meet the linen face mask, the 1930s disguise that covers up your expressions. You'll honestly never lose a game of poker again.
The exploding bike
German engineer Richter thought he was onto something when he created his rocket bicycle, which had 12 rockets mounted on the back wheel enabling him to reach a speed of 90kph. Pretty smart for the 1930s, right? Wrong! Predictably, it proved to be an incredibly dangerous weird invention, with the bicycle exploding! Luckily, Richter was thrown off but not seriously hurt.
The soap that washed away weight
All people who adore pizza (so everyone really) wish that there was a way of eating it without those pesky calories ruining things. But what we didn't realise was that the cure for this was invented years ago. Shown on this 1920s advert from a Central London store, the Wash Away Fat soap means that users can "wash away fat and years of age". Honestly, La-Mar reducing Soap acted "like magic in reducing double chin and ungainly ankle". Or did it?
The baby cage that hung out of buildings
In the 1930s, people in London had the fun idea to let their babies play in cages attached to windows. After all, what better way to ensure your child gets enough fresh air and sunshine than hanging him or her out of a high tenement block window? According to reports, Eleanor Roosevelt herself - who stated that she “knew absolutely nothing about handling or feeding a baby” - bought a chicken-wire cage after the birth of her baby daughter Anna. She later hung it out the window of her New York City apartment and popped her young one inside for her naps — until a concerned neighbor threatened to report her to the authorities.
The hair curling machine
Although it looks like this lady the subject of intense scientific experiments, instead she is just getting her hair curled. This was the weird 1930s invention that promised permenant waves that would never again be ruined in the rain. This photo from 1935 shows a woman at a hairdressing exhibition sitting with long wires attached to curlers on her head as she demonstrates the odd craze.
This walk while you sit device
Sitting is the new walking, so I hear, and it turns out people in the 1930s knew this long before we did. Mister Walter Nilsson developed this peculiar construction in the 1930s where you can walk along the street while you sit. Completely bizarre, but I know that the lazy ones of us would simply adore it nowadays. For some reason it never quite took off back in the 1930s...
The dimple maker
Have you ever eyed up another's dimples and had a case of the green-eyed monster? There was an easy fix back in the day - the dimple maker, the device that pressed holes into your face if you wore it for an extended period of time. Here, a young woman demonstrates a dimple machine at the Inventor's Congress in Chicago. Do you think she got that perfect smile in the end? Weirdly, the want for dimples is not something that has gone away, with the number of people getting special surgery to get them on the increase.
What single act bonds men together more than sharing a few beers and watching a football game? I'm glad you asked, because I have the answer right here. The mass shaving was a 19th century invention which made it possible to shave a dozen men at the same time. Here it is shown on an untransmitted 1960s pilot show for a proposed television series called Brainwaves. Is it me, or do the guys taking part look terrified?
The toilet mask
The toilet mask, or the face glove as some may have called it, was the Victorian appliance that promised to make a woman's skin "silky soft, smoother and brighter". Worn overnight for three times a week, this bizarre invention applied "unguents or other medical preparations to the skin of the face for the palliation or cure of cutaneous eruptions, blotches, pimples or other similar complexional defects”. Are you buying it?
A bike for the whole family
Charles Steinlauf's bike for the whole family wasn't a device that you wanted to ride. The four-position bicycle gave a family the opportunity to travel as a unit, but was no doubt subject to some heavy mockery even back then. To make things worse, the invention also contained a built-in sewing machine for the mother...
So, from looking over these weird inventions from yesteryear, are you now happy or sad that you didn't live in that era? Have to admit, as outlandish as they are, I'm a little sad I wasn't alive to see them. If you're looking for some actual worthwhile creations, look no further than these 10 things you had no idea were invented by women.