Inventions

Life imprisonment in Mongolia (1914)

November 9, 2012

“Political offenders in parts of Mongolia are punished by lifetime immolation in coffinlike boxes stored away in dark dungeons. These boxes are only large enough to contain a man. There is but one aperture, and that no larger than his head. His hands are manacled, and twice a day attendants bring food and drink which [...]

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Spy pigeon (1914)

November 9, 2012

An heir to pigeon post and predecessor of modern drones — a pigeon photographer. “As the bird flies the camera operates, making numerous exposures which record details of the territory beneath.“

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Original wiper (1914)

November 9, 2012

“To prevent the obstruction of the motorman’s vision by rain drops, sleet or snow accumulating on the windows of car vestibules, a device which keeps the exterior of a pane of glass clean has been invented.”

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Facial mask for removing and preventing wrinkles (1909)

October 13, 2012

A device which is designed to remove lines and wrinkles around the mouth, nose and eyes, to improve the shape of the nose, and to prevent the cheeks from becoming flabby and dropping so as to cause a double chin to form. Looks so good. Why take it off at all, I wonder?

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Iron Frame Finisher Card Machine

June 12, 2012

I have no idea what this is. Iron frame finisher card machine? Maybe. Still don’t know what that means. But this is beautiful! From “One hundred years’ progress of the United States,” published in 1871.

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Punishment wheel

May 23, 2012

This Punishment Wheel was patented in the late 1980s (peak of popularity for the Wheel of Fortune?). An easy way to take the guesswork out of parenting! The only flaw is that “Parent’s Choice” remains as one of the available possibilities. It is nice to see that the punishments are quite humane: Time Out, No [...]

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Early lawn sprinkler design

April 28, 2012

Pretty simple idea, but leave it to the Victorians to come up with a fancy explanation for everything: The object of the present invention is to effect the instantaneous irrigation of every part of the lawn, at any time desired, without the interposition of a special attentant, such irrigation being effected by simply turning the [...]

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Steam engine (circa 1850s)

April 25, 2012

This vertical steam engine was designed by M.M. Hermann-Lachapelle. It is incredibly beautiful, but the beauty is entirely driven by necessity and form factor.

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Printer-bicycle

March 30, 2012

“Your ad could be here!” This curious bicycle was designed as a means of printing advertising messages on the streets of Paris. I suppose that if the ink can be washed away, this should pause no problem. Or maybe use chalk instead?

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Eiffel tower-inspired bicycle

March 30, 2012

It is a well-known fact that the Eiffel tower having been built only as a temporary structure became so beloved that it remains in place until now. This 1894 picture is a proof of the tower’s popularity at the time. A bicycle crealy inspired by the greatest landmark on the left bank!

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