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Falling with style

It’s a shame that some inventions never caught on. Imagine how stylish flying would have been if the Hoop-Skirt parachute idea, described in the January 1911 edition of Popular Mechanics, had caught on. It’s possible that the manly men at the time balked at the idea of being seen in something that could at any time resemble a skirt. It’s also possible that the idea didn’t really work and they would simply plummet to their death… leaving a good-looking corpse.

Fiske Reading Machine

Portable library, 1920s style

Another idea in the early 20th century was the first book killer. Long before gadgets like computer tablets, inventors already had their sights set on fixing the problem of carrying around cumbersome books. The June 1922 edition of Scientific American shows one solution. The Fiske Reading Machine printed books in tiny print and provided a modified magnifying glass that you could hold up to your eye to read. One can only imagine how this would work on a bumpy carriage ride.

It’s easy to laugh at these things now, but you never know how the next great thing will appear. It might seem like the famous Inside the Egg Egg Scrambler by Ronco. It might end up being sliced bread.

Think that egg scrambler idea is dead? You haven’t been watching Kickstarter. People will do just anything to avoid cleaning that fork and bowl!

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