10 Crazy Inventions People Thought Were Great Idea – Part 2
Each of us has an uncle or cousin who constantly made crazy things. It’s hard to believe, but those nutty cousins have actually been around for a long, long time. Here are 10 crazy inventions that once seemed brilliant, and turned out to be completely useless.
1. The Blizzard Cones
The Blizzard Cones were developed in Montreal in 1939. The cones were strapped onto a woman’s head to protect her makeup from rain and snow.
2. Food Cooker Heated by Car’s Exhaust
I guess that some of you tried to reheat food on atop a hot engine block. The idea of using the heat generated during driving is almost as old as cars. In June 1930, Modern Mechanix magazine featured an advertising of a pressure cooker that can be hooked directly to the exhaust pipe. The idea was simple. Hot gases from the exhaust pipe were heating the cooker wqith a meal inside. According to the inventor, an hour’s drive was “sufficient to thoroughly cook meats and vegetables.”
3. The Dimple-Maker
What could be more charming than a girl with dimples. Unfortunately, not all women have them. In 1923, Evangeline Gilbert from Rochester, New York, patented the Dimple-Maker. The device fits over the ears and chin. Two special knobs screwed deeply and painfully into the cheeks creating nice dimples. Soon, the American Medical Association found that this crazy invention does not create dimples and might cause cancer.
4. The Plow Gun
During the Civil War, two New Yorkers named Fancher and French patent a metal plow with a gun mounted on the front. The patent didn’t specify the caliber or the length of a gun. The Plow Gun could only point straight ahead. In other words, the farmer would need to unhook the horse to avoid shooting the animal in the butt. Then he would need to load the gun, hoping that his attackers continued to stand still in front of the plow, and then shoot.
5. The Highway Hi-Fi
Before satellite radio, CDs, cassettes, or even 8-track tapes, poor drivers were forced to listen to whatever was on the local radio station during long journeys. That’s until some folks at Chrysler came up with the dashboard phonograph for your car. Before the introduction of this invention in 1956 they had to do some work. LPs were too large, and the smaller 45 rpm records played only one song on each side. Columbia Records ultimately came to the rescue, introducing 42 special discs, which were the size of 45s but in the 16 2/3 rpm ultra-microgroove format. Their discs provided an hour of music on each side. But you could only listen to Columbia Records artists.
But the major worry was that the Hi-Fi would have to face some literal bumps in the road. The tone arm was weighted to reduce skipping, but a pothole would inevitably dislodge it in the end, gouging the vinyl and ruining the needle. Chrysler discontinued the system after just a year.
6. A Double-Ended Pipe
The ’40s and ’50s were a great time to tobacco companies and smokers. Smoking was some sort of way of life. Almost every social gathering included smoking together. In 1955, some people created a Double-Ended Pipe. A pair of tubes attached to a single cigarette allowed couples cuddle while they smoke a cigarette at the same time.
7. The Newark Steam Man
What you see above is a true invention patented from 1868. The inventors wanted to replace horses with the Steam Man and revolutionize transportation. The device, built by two Newark mechanics, weighed 230 kilograms (500 lb) and stood nearly 2.5 meters (8 ft) tall. They called it “Daniel Lambert” after a famous obese Brit. The Steam Man had a boiler and a 3 horsepower engine in his chest cavity. When you needed to refuel, you simply opened up his jacket and shoveled coal in. His stovepipe hat was a chimney, and he had gauges mounted on his back. Steam Man turned out to be a failure. The construction of the device was more expensive than buying a horse.
8. A Hands-Free Hat-Tipper
These days, we think of hands-free inventions as safety devices for drivers. But way back in 1896, they demonstrated laziness. James Boyle invented a hat that lifted and tipped itself forward in a polite salute, when gentleman politely bowed his head forward to greet someone.
9. The GoofyBike
The GoofyBike was patented in October 1939. The photos below shows the inventor, Charles Steinlauf, pedaling at the top of the bicycle. His son helps him in the back seat, while his wife operates the sewing machine. Their daughter sits at the front and does nothing.
10. The Helmet Gun
Here’s another example of mounting weapons on strange things. In 1916, Albert Pratt has patented a helmet with a gun protruding from its crown. The gun’s trigger was attached to a balloon or bladder, allowing the marksman to fire the gun by blowing into a tube, bringing a whole new meaning to blowing someone away. The biggest complaint from those who tested his gun was that the recoil and the noise gave them a headache and made them dizzy.