It goes without saying that technology has never ever been as advanced as it is now. It has come a very long way, even in the past few decades. And while you could just take my word for it, there is no better way to show this growth and progression than to look at some of the weirdest inventions from the 20th century. While these inventions will look very weird and strange now, some were actually very popular among consumers when they were first released. Click through to see 12 of the downright weirdest inventions from the past (number 5 is especially strange).
#12 Car Coffee Maker
People love their coffee, and they did in the past as well. In fact, they even invented a way for you to actually make coffee in your car. Thankfully, we now have drive-thrus for that. Check out the number 8 entry for something else that people thought was a practical idea at the time.
#11 The Brush and Shine
Are you a person with a bald head on top but a little bit of hair on the sides, this is perfect for you. This product allowed people to not only polish the top of their heads but also to brush the little bit of hair that you have left. Really no one felt the need for this product and it flopped.
#10 Upside-Down Phonograph
This one is just strange. A right-side-up phonograph was perfectly fine and was very popular with consumers. But for some reason, someone decided to invent an upside-down one, just to invent one, we guess. This really had no use except for looking different and unique, and functioned pretty much the same as a normal phonograph.
#9 Wooden Bathing Suits
When you think of one of the last materials to be used for bathing suits, you would probably think of wood. But lo and behold, there actually used to be wooden bathing suits that were made and sold. The reason these were made is because wood floats, but the idea failed horrifically.
#8 Spray Tanned Vending Machine
In the quest for a good, nice-looking tan, some folks go the spray-tan route. Those same people usually don’t do it in public. But back in the day, a company invented a self-serve spray tanning station. It basically looked like a gas pump for your skin, and people who used it likely ruined all the clothes they were wearing that day.
#7 Revolver Camera
This was a very strange one, and probably scared anyone it was pointed at. Every time you pulled the trigger, the revolver took a picture. While it never really caught on, it was kind of a cool and unique idea, albeit one that you’d never really be able to use in public.
#6 Snowstorm Mask
This simply looks ridiculous on anyone wearing it. This was basically a replacement for an umbrella, but for the winter. This is perhaps one of the dumbest things ever invented. Designed as a way to keep your face and head shielded from all the elements, we’re thinking a normal hood would have been fine. The next slide takes the cake as one of the strangest on the list.
#5 Baby Cage
Just from the picture, you can see what a terrible idea this was. In the 1930s, parents in the city felt that their children were not getting enough air, so someone had the bright idea to invent a cage that would hang outside their window and allow children some fresh air. Obviously, this was an awful idea.
When you were a kid, you always wanted a jet pack, right? The next slide wasn’t quite that, but it was pretty close.
#4 Gas Powered Rollerskates
These things probably weren’t safe but looked pretty fun to try out. But the whole idea of roller skates is to get some exercise, and this defeats the purpose altogether. Additionally, these may not have even been legal to use. While some things on this list were a success, the next one wasn’t.
#3 The Neck Brush
As you can see by the face on this little boy, he wasn’t a big fan of the idea either. Cleaning a child’s neck has never really been an issue, but that didn’t stop one mother from asking a company to create a “neck brush” that could be used to do the job a bit more easily. Obviously, it didn’t catch on.
#2 Remote Controlled Lawn Mower
Seems like it’d be a good idea even today, until you realize you’re actually driving a machine that can kill or injure people with a remote controller. Plus, the fact you can’t see in front of the machine could easily allow it to pick up something that would damage it. Don’t be lazy. Get out there and get a riding mower or a manual one!
#1 Glasses For Reading in Bed
Lots of people read in bed, and most of them just sit up to do so. But if you want to remain flat on your back and still be able to read, these glasses might be for you. These glasses re-direct your vision automatically so you can enjoy your book in a comfy, laying position.
As you can see, these inventions seem extremely strange now. We may have a hard time realizing why things like this have ever existed, but they did. And not only did they exist, many were popular among consumers. When we see things like this, we can truly get a sense of how far technology has come, even in only a few decades. There is a good chance that people of the future will see the inventions and technology we have now and scoff at how primitive they are as well. That is simply the progression of things, but it is still interesting to look back and see what weird and strange things used to be popular.