10 Really Dumb Old Inventions And Their Modern Counterparts

Hookay. So, you think that this M3 sub-machine gun—with a shoot-first-and-ask-later curved barrel—is a really stupid, really dumb invention, right? I don't blame you. But, trust me, you don't know what really stupid, really dumb inventions are. Yet.

I just saw a selection of 30 dumb inventions in Life, and I couldn't resist picking my favourite 10. These things are so damn stupid they became obsolete before even becoming real products. It was hard to choose. After all, how could I leave out Scientology nutcase L. Ron Hubbard and his Hubbard Electrometer, which in 1968, made him reach the conclusion that tomatoes "scream when sliced"? See? Really hard.

Then I thought that these all looked weirdly familiar. I searched in Gizmodo, and instantly found their modern counterparts. Some of them make sense now, with current technology. Others, as you will see in the gallery, seem equally goofy. All of them, however, we can live without. Enjoy:

Just look at this metal wing angel. His name was Leo Valentin, and he probably read too much Buck Rogers. He became a real angel after his Birdman Suit failed in a jump from an aeroplane in 1956. Fusion Man Yves Rossy actually got it right in 2007.

The good thing about the 1966 external turkey roaster was that you could cook a turkey and anyone around at the same time. They weren't too crazy: Some people used infra-red lamps to cook pizza in this instant pizza vending machine. It probably tastes the same.

In 1961, Goodyear thought illuminated tyres—made of synthetic rubber and plain bulbs—were going to be all the rage. It wasn't until the 21st century when some other idiots had the same naff idea.

Back in 1963, some crazy Japanese inventor thought that a pulsating breast, with a built-in heartbeat, will make young children sleep. Even if it had no body attached to it. In 2008, a crazy German inventor thought that a pulsating body would make everyone sleep and feel loved. Even if it had no breasts. Someone is really missing the point.

This robot could pick up the phone but not answer it. Apparently, Claus Scholz of Vienna didn't get the concept of the answering machine quite right. As much as Anna Jane Grossman likes her real answering machine, I'm sure she won't miss this one.

Also in 1963, another Japanese inventor thought that his Cat-Mew machine—capable of meowing and lighting its eyes every 10 minutes—was the answer to mice plagues. They need three million of these in Bangladesh. Nowadays, electric cats are equally harmless.

The M3. A deadly sub-machine gun designed to fire around corners with its curved barrel, without even aiming. It's not 1953 anymore, so some smart minds kept the deadly sub-machine part, and came up with a solution to actually aim and fire around corners.

In 1970 someone thought a shower hood was great. You know, so you can get out of bed and get a shower without having to get rid of your makeup and dirty smoky hair from yesterday's night out. Nowadays, you only get to do something like this if you have no hair at all.

This is the laryngaphone. Invented in 1929, it was designed to cancel the ambient noise and make you sound like Darth Vader: instead of using a microphone, a mechanism transmitted the vibrations from the vocal chords. Now, vibration-conducting headsets won't make you sound like Darth Vader. They will just make you look like a douche.

Who could be so stupid as to put a live weapon in the hands of a robot? Apparently, in 1960, they thought it was a-OK. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, there are plenty of equally stupid people.

Clearly, humans are the only animals that trip twice over the same stone.