Skip To Content

    23 Terribly Bad Inventions From History

    History is just one long timeline of fails.

    1. When someone thought babies were better off hanging from their apartment windows.

    Reg Speller / Getty Images

    2. Or hanging off anything really...

    L. C. Buckley / Getty Images

    3. Really, anything...

    Keystone-france / Getty Images

    4. Or when someone decided that auto polo should totally be America's new pastime.

    5. When safe driving took a backseat to a hot cup of joe.

    Albert Riethausen / AP

    6. And hitchhikers took the front seat with friendly drivers.

    Mary Evans Picture Library / CATERS NEWS

    Drivers were way friendlier in 1924!

    7. When kids were allowed a nice cigar on their front porch.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    8. And could chew on lead-painted pencils to their heart's content.

    Ralph Morse / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty

    9. Back when chain-smoking was taken literally.

    Jacobsen / Getty Images

    10. And wooden bathing suits were totally a thing.

    11. As was having a cute pet cheetah!

    Fox Photos / Getty Images

    12. When mind reading was just a matter of strapping on a helmet.

    Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

    The Lavery Electric Automatic Phrenometer was a machine from 1907 that was supposed to measure brain activity.

    13. And there was only a slight risk of electrocution at the salon.

    Miller / Getty Images

    14. When you could soak up some UV rays in the comfort of your bedroom.

    Keystone-france

    15. And the closest shave was by the hands of a robot.

    Ron Case / Getty Images

    16. When strapping on a pair of wings was totally the best way to fly...

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images
    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    Otto Lilienthal, a German inventor and aeronautical engineer, tests out his glider in 1891. After making more than 2,000 flights, he was killed when his glider crashed in 1896.

    17. Or seven for that matter...

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    18. Or 26.

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    19. Back when atomic-powered cars were the most energy-efficient form of transportation.

    Fpg / Getty Images

    The Nucleon was an atomic car conceived by Ford in 1958.

    20. Well, besides rocket-propelled bicycles.

    Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

    21. And bicycles built for 10, of course.

    Keystone-france

    22. When these brand-new asbestos suits were the future of fire safety.

    William Vanderson / Getty Images

    23. And this infrared turkey cooker was a surefire way to celebrate Thanksgiving with a bang!

    Reg Speller / Getty Images

    Ah, the good ol' days!

    Nostalgia Trip

    Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

    Newsletter signup form