30 Weird Technologies From The Past That Were Actually Dope Back Then

30 Weird Technologies From The Past That Were Actually Dope Back Then

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There was a time when carrying a huge block of brick called a ‘cellphone’ would be considered awesome. Briefly after that, people aimed for smaller GSM phones with these cool minigames that we spent countless hours on. Yes, ‘Snake’ was possibly the world’s best game ever invented. They can’t compare to our ultra-fast Galaxy Fold or iPhones, but the memories and history are valuable.

The same can be said for these machines and equipment. But back in the days, things were made considerably huge and seemed very alien to us all. There will be some that come across as really weird and nonsensical, but don’t forget – we’ve gone back to using 6″ phones after designers painstakingly worked hard to make mobile phones as small as possible!

These are shared on Reddit by people who learned interesting historical facts or came across a mechanism they’ve never seen. Scroll on and see if you’ve seen any of them!

“In 1955, this tiny electric narrow gauge train was installed in New York’s Holland tunnel to monitor traffic speed.”


Pedal skates made and patented by Charles E. Nordling. This is Charles himself c. 1910.

The Atlantic

“This British couple is sleeping inside a ‘Morrison shelter’ as protection from collapsing homes during the WWII ‘Blitz’ bombing raids. (March, 1941)”


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

Nationaal Archief

“A 5mb hard disk drive being loaded onto a plane, 1956.”


“Motorola Vice President John F. Mitchell showing off the DynaTAC portable radiotelephone in New York City in 1973.”


“The Philco Predicta TV from the late 1950s.”


“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.”


“Motorized roller-skate salesman in California, 1961.”


“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.”


“A Native American telephone and switchboard operator in Montana, 1925.”


“Soviet peasants listen to the radio for the first time, 1928.”


“The old “Telefontornet” telephone tower in Stockholm, Sweden, with approximately 5,500 telephone lines c. 1890.”


“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.”


“Jay Ohrberg’s ‘double wide’ limousine. Built by the man who also created the ‘American Dream’ superlimo.”


“The open side view of an old calculator.”


“The world’s oldest surviving diving suit: The Old Gentleman, from 1860.”


“Robo-Vac, a self-propelled vacuum cleaner part of Whirlpool’s Miracle Kitchen of the Future, a display at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, 1959.”


“A 300-year-old library tool that allowed researchers to open seven books at once in Palafoxiana Library, Puebla.”


“A 350-year-old pocket watch carved from a single Colombian emerald.”


“The Hindenburg takes shape, 1932.”


“The first public demonstration of a computer mouse, graphical user interface, windowed computing, hypertext and word processing, 1968.”


“The ‘Isolator’, by Hugo Gernsback: a helmet for insulating the senses against distraction, July 1925.”


“FBI’s fingerprint files, 1944.”


“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.”


“1911: Chester McDuffee and his ADS diving suit, aluminum alloy weighing 485 lbs/200 kg.”


“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.”


“Hugo Gernsback and his television goggles, invented in 1963.”


“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.'”