Looking back, have you ever wondered what the first version of a 125MB memory storage looked like, or a vacuum cleaner? What these technology looked like 1000 years ago are so hard to believe! These originals may look unsophisticated, funny or awkward, but they paved the way for future technologies to come.
- Baby StrollerThe first baby carriage was invented in 1733 by William Kent. It was designed to be pulled by a goat, dog, or miniature horse. In the 19th century, Charles Burton created the first recognizable pram with a three-wheel push design called the ‘perambulator.’ Strollers quickly became a trendy, heavily ornate, luxury item that was custom-made for wealthy aristocrats.
2. Vacuum Cleaner
One of the first vacuum cleaners, introduced by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1901, was called Puffing Billy. Its was powered by an oil engine and required a horse-drawn carriage for transportation. In 1906, Siemens started selling their so-called dedusting pumps that had one-horsepower motors and weighed 300 kilos.
Modern vacuum cleaners are intelligent robot cleaners, which can be controlled with a smartphone.
3. Bathing Suit
Can’t believe your eyes?
Although, as shown on the ancient frescos, women in Greek and Roman bathhouses wore bikini-like suits, ladies in the 18th and 19th centuries in England wore bathing ankle-length full-sleeve gowns as well as stockings for swimming to remain modest and keep their skin white.
Nowadays the swimsuits are not only dramatically smaller, but also more functional. In 2006 New York designer Andrew Schneider introduced a Solar bikini with attached photovoltaic strips. This bikini is supposedly able to charge your phone when you are done swimming.
The world’s largest mammoth camera in the picture above was built in 1900. The camera weighed 900 lbs, required 15 men to load it to the van, and made the largest plates at the time. It was designed to make a picture of an equally large train.
Nowadays, scientists strive to be able to transfer any surface in a high resolution camera. For instance, scientists from Columbia University are exploring the idea of imaging using a thin, large, flexible sheet.
5. MotorcyclesIn the 19th century, scientists and inventors realized that two recent inventions, bicycles and steam engines, could be combined together. In 1867, American inventor Sylvester Howard Roper introduced a two-cylinder, steam-powered velocipede. Later, in 1885, the steam engine was changed to gas engine. Nowadays, over 200 million motorcycles are in use all around the world.
6. MicrophonesThe microphone in the left picture was invented by Emile Berliner in 1876 using a telephone voice transmitter. The microphone was composed of two electrical contacts separated by a thin layer of carbon. One contact was attached to a diaphragm that vibrated when struck by a sound wave. Carbon microphones similar to the ones used now were invented in 1878 and later developed in 1920s.
7. SkypeAlmost everyone uses Skype today for cheap video calls. Establishing connections between phone and TV was a long-lasting field of research by Bell Labs. Picturephone debuted as a major attraction at the New York World’s Fair in 1956. Selected visitors could make video calls from one booth to the other and even to a similar booth at Disneyland.
8. VR glassesThe prototype of the modern virtual reality glasses was made as early as 1963 by Hugo Gernsback. These “teleyeglasses” weighed about 140 grams and were built around small cathode-ray tubes that ran on low-voltage current from tiny batteries. The glasses had a separate screen for each eye and could display stereoscopic images. Unfortunately, this invention never went to production.
Still cannot get over your surprise? Well, brace up! In a matter of years, when i’m 100 years or dead, someone somewhere would think an iPhone X design looks archaic.