The development of technology has been the single driver that has made the human race what it is today. Without computing, antibiotics and a million other clever inventions, we’d be living in a dark age.

We owe a tremendous debt to the men and women who have created these spectacular advances for mankind. This article is not about those people.

It’s about the also-rans. The people who invented things so completely ridiculous that in retrospect, all we can ask is “why?” You’ll enjoy these inventions and at the same time, you’ll be glad that they’re not what we rely on in real life. Be sure to check out slide number 5 for something really strange.

10. The In Car Coffee Maker

There are a lot of good reasons that we don’t generally hold a kettle over our lap when we make coffee. There are even better reasons that we don’t do this while we’re driving. This may have seemed like a good idea but it was, in fact, a recipe for third-degree burns.

9. Spray On Tan

The “tan in a can” concept has been quite successful over the years. The reason for that success? You can do it at home and in private rather than in public in front of all your neighbors. We imagine this was hard to design but perhaps the designer should have spoken to a few women before starting the project?

8. Shocking Images

The camera that looks like a revolver? The idea was that you pointed “the gun” at someone and then when you squeezed the trigger, it would take their picture. Can you imagine trying that in your local bank’s branch? We suspect that the photo wouldn’t be the only thing that got shot.

Think that one’s peculiar? Check out number six.

7. Not The Umbrella Killer

Sure, carrying an umbrella can be a little awkward but it’s got to be less awkward than wearing one of these snow preventing face masks. They certainly are unusual but they appear to be highly impractical too. Who knows maybe one day fashion will resurrect these masks? Stranger things have happened.

6. The Baby Cage

Yes, this is exactly what it looks like – a cage that hung outside an apartment window for your child to be in. The idea was that, back in the 1930s, a shortage of apartment space meant babies were often too hot or too cold inside. This cage allowed them to be outside without the parent going outside.

5. Flying Along

Oh life, we can’t even imagine the idea of using rocket propelled roller skates. If there’s a recipe for self-destruction, this is surely it. Don’t forget that you’d have to veer in and out of traffic on these things too. We’re very much relieved these fell by history’s wayside.

Incredible right? You won’t believe number 2, either.

4. Just Plain Strange

This bizarre looking contraption is a neck brush. That’s right, it’s a brush and you strapped it around a child’s neck (they didn’t make an adult sized version) and then rotated it to clean the neck. We’re not sure how this was better than the traditional “soap and water.”

3. A Touch Wooden

When you run out of ideas for fabrics, apparently the right substitute is wood. Seriously, these fetching ladies swimming costumes are made from wood. We would think that the drag factor alone made these dangerous and unworkable but maybe not? Maybe the wood helps with buoyancy and it’s just splinters that were the issue?

2. Rotating Heaven

We think that today this kind of device would be labeled “proof of concept” and then the marketing team would move swiftly on. Sure, it’s clever to mount a record upside down and play it, but why on earth would anyone want to? You’d need a ladder to change tunes.

1. Scalp Care

We’re not sure how lazy you would have to be to think that you would need to save time, as a balding person, on combing your hair. This marvelous device was designed to both polish your scalp and comb your hair at the same time. It was not well received commercially.

So, there we have it. Some of the oddest inventions of the last century or so. Can you imagine a world where rocket powered roller skates would have seemed like a sensible plan?

We kind of like them though, there’s something to be said by the brave optimism of the inventor that comes shining through in these products. They may not be brilliant but they’re all works of love.

Which one was your favorite? Why not let us know in the comments below? Also, if you enjoyed this article why not share it on social media so your friends can enjoy it too?