Like us on FB for more awesome posts!
Don't show this - I already like Bored Panda

18 Cool Inventions From the Past

The time between the wars – the Great War and WW2 was one of great loss and uncertainty, but also one of invention, creativity and new ideas. The horrors of WWI shattered enlightenment belief that progress would continue and reason would prevail. New ideas and patterns of life developed in the 1920′s and in the way that people looked at the world [1].

The fast pace of technology change in the 20′s brought us the lie detector, traffic signal, bubble gum and Penicillin. An all-electronic moving-image television system somewhat similar to that used today was invented and demonstrated in 1929 [2].

The 30′s were not less invention-intensive bringing us the jet engine, helicopter, tea bags, sticky tape, ballpoint pen and the first photocopier [3].

However, somewhere between these great world-changing inventions there were some fun and sometimes even hilarious inventions the world has forgotten. BoredPanda proudly presents these Cool Inventions From the Past – enjoy, comment and don’t forget to subscribe!

Bike Tyre Used As Swimming Aid (Germany, 1925)

A group of youngsters tied a bike tyre around the body as a swimming aid.

One Wheel Motorcycle (1931)

One wheel motorcycle (invented by Italian M. Goventosa de Udine). Maximum speed: 150 kilometers per hour ( 93 Mph).

Amphibious Bike ‘Cyclomer’ (Paris, 1932)

The Cyclomer, a bicycle on land and water can ride with a load of 120 pounds.

All Terrain Car (England, 1936)

All terrain car able to descend slopes up to 65 degrees.

Radio Pram (USA, 1921)

Pram provided with a radio, including antenna and loudspeaker, to keep the baby quiet.

Radio hat (USA, 1931)

Portable radio in a straw hat, made by an American inventor.

Bulletproof Glass (New York, 1931)

Bulletproof glass, demonstration by the best rifle man of the New York police, 1931.

Extensible Caravan (France, 1934)

Extensible caravan, built by a French engineer.

Piano For The Bedridden (UK, 1935)

Piano especially designed for people who are confined to bed.

Glasses For Reading In Bed (England, 1936)

Hamblin glasses. A pair of spectacles especially designed for reading in bed.

Electrically Heated Jacket (USA, 1932)

Electrically heated vest, developed for the traffic police in the United States. The power is supplied by electric contacts in the street.

Car With Shovel For Pedestrians (Paris, 1924)

Kind of shovel on a car. Purpose: reducing the number of casualties among pedestrians.

Early GPS (1932)

Sort of TomTom, early tripmaster. Works using rolling key map. The map passes the screen in a tempo that depends on the speed of the car.

Folding Emergency Bridge (Netherlands, 1926)

Folding bridge for emergencies, invented by L. Deth can easily be transported on a handcart.

Faxed Newspaper (1938)

In 1938 the first wireless newspaper was sent from WOR radiostation in New York. Photo shows children reading the children’s page of a Missouri paper.

Face Protection From Snowstorms (Canada, 1939)

Used to protect ones face from snowstorms. Canada, Montreal, 1939.

Gas War Resistant Pram (England, Hextable, 1938)

Revolver Camera (New York, 1938)

Colt 38 carrying a small camera that automatically takes a picture when you pull the trigger. At the left: six pictures taken by the camera.

Canada, Montreal, 1939

Like us on FB:

Subscribe to Boredpanda's newsletter.

3.000.000+ monthly readers


What's hot on Bored Panda

What do you think?

  • HonoluluJoe

    very cool!
    and also very odd haha
    I can see some of these would definitely make sense still in today’s society :D

  • Ahtibat

    Lots of these would still be kewl today!

  • SeanBobWalshPants

    It looks like the guy wearing the radio hat is shmokin a serious cone! ( ))

  • Boris

    some are weird but wow!! they are all cool!!! :)

  • karin

    awesome !! many of the inventions still usable :)

  • Fay

    wow, I want that one-wheeled motorbike so much! that’s incredible!

  • tom

    how do u turn a corner on that extensible caravan??

  • matt

    that camera revolver was by far the best invention ive ever seen. you could get some outrageous pictures…

  • CharlieSmite

    Most of these are really inventive.

    The police revolve with the camera should be used today. We could up the technology a bit and have a video camera that started recording once the revolver was drawn as a picture without context might not tell the whole story.

  • Mr.Loto

    Very interesting, already in the 30′s were ahead!

  • Steve

    @Tom, you wouldn’t tow the caravan with it extended! You’d tow it all contracted and short and then just extend it when you set out camp.

  • Keswickian

    The gun camera was used for weapons training, rather than using live ammo, the photo could be used to identify what the bullet would have hit.
    Also, the cops today should not have cameras on their guns, who would want a live weapon pointed at them?

  • Dadaist

    Aren’t all inventions from the past?

    • wessexbloke

      Seems to be in your reality…
      Mine too, now I come to think about it.

  • play for free

    Some of the ideas where interesting

  • jeff

    i’m pretty sure there’s a small company in australia right now that makes one wheeled motorcycles like the one shown

  • Morlan

    A Video Camera on a gun would be a horrible idea, it would be moving so much you wouldnt be able to tell what you are looking at thru most of the video.

  • bec

    it would be way cooler if the images were there-too many broken links here

  • D.

    We need the camera pointing AT the cop with the gun: who do you think is likely to be the criminal when cops want to hurt people?

  • Paul Acoin

    Childhood of Today’s Innovative things

  • Rich Shull

    One very big one ,missing from here, was the Computer. Alan Turing 1912-1954 was father of the computer and his Bombie forunner of the computer helped the allies win WWII by breaking German war cyphers. Alan’s work was hidden as secert service work since he was an odd strange gay kid. He took his own life in a Gay sucicide and only today is realized for the computer and the math guru he was. Ironically his odd life was Autism before Rain Man and the hopeless and helpless version of Autism we know today. Figured out autism is both MR/DD and Einstein and a form of human thought that has never been in a text book before.

  • Justfew

    great stuff, some of which we could still do with today or modernised …Whomever collect this, thanks.

  • il010471

    very nice !!!

  • Crazy Idea Factory

    Great list of inventions, some very relevant to items we use everyday. The one wheeled motorcylce looks like a lot of fun, I don’t understand why it didn’t catch on.

    • Mckenzieulmer

      it did we still have them today

  • acidic

    These are really cool! I want the camera-gun, hahaha!

  • Justin

    why would anybody buy a retractable bridge from a guy named L. Deth!? I’ll walk around.

  • John M. Hoyt

    Awesome collection.. Yeah, I like the revolver camera too…. hahaha

  • Bryce

    That piano looks as though it might be capable of giving itself a more permanent use amongst the temporarily bedridden READ: precarious.

  • Cassie

    I want a pair of those reading glasses.

  • Hermitbiker

    …. amazingly funny inventions from long ago !!

  • MasacruAlex

    That’s just amazing stuff, when I’ve seen most of em’ I was like : Why I don’t see such things today ? Like the read glasses thing.. that should be in every stuff shop. Not that I read books but for readers :D, The gps is interesting, gun camera as well.

    I wonder why nobody has a camera on the revolver anymore lol (TAEK PICS)

  • JPorter

    The “gps” photos you posted were nowhere near as frivolous as most of the other “inventions” you have listed. The rolling map device shown in your photos was designed for Rally (the motorsport), to show the co-driver the upcoming turns, obstacles, and any applicable pace notes. The map was tied to the car’s odometer so that it automatically advanced with the motion of the car. That type of system was common for road rallies from the ’20s through the 1950s, after which Rally became much more performance-oriented with maximum speed “special stages” rather than the previous average-time city-to-city stages. In modern TSD Rally there are electronic “rally computer” systems used for the same purpose, though primarily for odometer-keyed timing rather than actual navigation.

    Similar “rolling map” systems are still used very commonly today on motorcycles (in non-competition contexts) though they don’t typically include the auto-advance.

  • NYRoadRage

    A pair of the reading glasses can be seen in the Jack Nicholson / Morgan Freeman movie “The Bucket List”. Jack’s character uses them to watch TV in the hospital.

  • leatherbags

    Actually they are cool inventions!

  • Praveen

    I like all the inventions, but my favorite is glasses for reading on bed

    • billy

      the inventions are all gay


        Please clarify more on why all these inventions are useless. If you can not provide any sufficient evidence to back up your opinion then please get off the internet.

        • Carlos

          Nobody said gays were useless.

      • rishi

        you may find them funny, but you must understand that only by doing 1000 bad inventions does we invent one good invention. Failed inventions contributes much to technological development as much as the successful ones.

  • muman

    the motorcycle has been actually remade by someone.. thank you for telling us that it was a stolen concept. :)

  • Fulano

    This one would make very good shots.

  • David Jeffries

    The floating panel in the middle of your page sucks it makes your whole page shitty. What a wate to put that much time into an interesting page and then shit it up with that freaking moving menu…your web designer is a masrubating retard.

  • Pingback: 20 Odd Vintage Products You Won’t Find Today | Bored Panda

  • Stephen @

    What a great collection of photos. Some of those make you scratch your head. I would not want to be the test subject for the bullet proof glass.

  • Pingback: Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2010 | Bored Panda

  • Aloving07

    These are soooooo cool.
    But the first one… Kinda werid …
    Anyway thanks for sharing
    (From Amanda101)

  • Константин Докучаев

    Неожиданные изобретения, а некоторые полезные и до сих пор существуют

  • Ashnex

    Truly amazing gurrll

  • Peterspectre

    I don’t really understand the snow mask things

  • Loltastic

    10 years ago a kid suggested in class that they attach cameras to soldiers’ guns and it snaps a shot everytime they pull the trigger, and then i see the very same thing here. Weird.

  • Tshiamo Padi


  • anonymouus


  • Guest

    this is awesome

  • zackary jones

    thats exactly wat i thought

Author:   Date posted: Jun 18th, 2010
Tagged as: , , , , ,