Incredible Technologies From The Past That Just Look Odd Today

300 Year Old Library Tool that Enabled a Researcher to Have Seven Books Open at Once, yet Conveniently Nearby (Palafoxiana Library, Puebla)

Twenty years ago, you would have been the coolest kid on the block for carrying a Nokia 3310. But time flies and technological innovation accelerates along with it. Today, we live in a world ruled by touch screens, face recognition, and machine learning, so imagine what the technology was like a century ago, or two.

In order to find out, we’re taking you on a historical roller coaster to see what ancient technologies defined the future a hundred years ago. From motorized roller-skate salesmen in 1961, aka the proud ancestors of today’s hoverboards, to giant mechanical tricycles from 1896 and orgone accumulators of the ’50s, these are some of the most interesting retro-historical devices.

Some were truly incredible, others look kinda cool, and the rest… make you think “what on earth were they thinking?”

More: Reddit h/t: boredpanda

350 Year Old Pocket Watch Carved From A Single Colombian Emerald

In 1955, This Tiny Electric Narrow Gauge Train Was Installed In New York’s Holland Tunnel To Monitor Traffic Speed

A British Couple Sleeps Inside A “Morrison Shelter” Used As Protection From Collapsing Homes During The WWII ‘Blitz’ Bombing Raids… March 1941

Robo-Vac, A Self-Proppeled Vacuum Cleaner Part Of Whirlpool’s Miracle Kitchen Of The Future, A Display At The 1959 American National Exhibition In Moscow, 1959

The World’s Oldest Surviving Diving Suit: The Old Gentleman, From 1860

This Car Is A French ‘Delahaye 175s Roadster’, Introduced At The Paris Motor Show In 1949. Only One Was Ever Made. It Was Recently Sold At Auction For Around Five Million Dollars.

Philco Predicta Television From The Late 1950s

Motorola Vice President John F. Mitchell Showing Off The Dynatac Portable Radio Telephone In New York City In 1973

Kodak K-24 Camera, Used For Aerial Photography During Ww2 By The Americans

A Rail Zeppelin And A Steam Train Near The Railway Platform. Berlin, Germany, 1931

The Old “Telefontornet” Telephone Tower In Stockholm, Sweden, With Approximately 5,500 Telephone Lines C. 1890

Helen, An American Indian Telephone And Switchboard Operator, Montana, 1925

Motorized Roller-Skate Salesman In California, 1961

Soviet Peasants Listen To The Radio For The First Time, 1928

A Thin TV Screen (Only 4 Inches Thick) With An Automatic Timing Device To Record TV Programs For Later Viewing Is The Wave Of The Future As Shown At The Home Furnishings Market In Chicago, Illinois, On June 21, 1961

One-Wheel Motorcycle, Germany, 1925

The Open Side View Of An Old Calculator

FBI’s Fingerprint Files, 1944.

TV Glasses Decades Before Google Glass, 1960s

The Hindenburg Takes Shape, 1932

The First Public Demonstration Of A Computer Mouse, Graphical User Interface, Windowed Computing, Hypertext And Word Processing, 1968

Bikes For Your Feet

Jay Ohrberg’s ‘Double Wide’ Limousine. Built By The Man Who Also Created The ‘American Dream’ Superlimo

The ‘Isolator’ , By Hugo Gernsback: A Helmet For Insulating The Senses Against Distraction; From The Journal Science And Invention, Vol. 13, No. 3, July 1925

Orgone Accumulator, A Device Sold In The 1950s To Allow A Person Sitting Inside To Attract Orgone, A Massless ‘Healing Energy’. The Fda Noted That One Purchaser, A College Professor, Knew It Was “Phony” But Found It “Helpful Because His Wife Sat Quietly In It For Four Hours Every Day.”

1911: Chester Mcduffee And His Ads Diving Suit, Aluminum Alloy Weighing 485 Lbs/200 Kg

A Man With A Punt Gun, A Type Of Large Shotgun Used For Duck Hunting. It Could Kill Over 50 Birds At Once And Was Banned In The Late 1860s

A 5mb Hard Disk Drive Being Loaded Onto A Plane, In 1956

Using A Two-Horn Listening Device At Bolling Field In Washington, D.c., In 1921 Before The Invention Of Radar, To Listen For Distant Aircraft

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