35 Unique Devices You Probably Didn’t Know About

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26Icebox

The icebox was a gadget that was widely used before refrigerators to keep things fresh/cold. It's literally a box with ice in it. People had jobs collecting large blocks of ice to supply the icebox.


27. The Orgone Accumulator was 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."


28. Some modern appliances have something called "Sabbath Mode" which makes subtle changes to the way they operate (fridges, ovens, etc) - basically allowing people who observe not using machines and whatnot the ability to "cheat" and still use them.


29. In 1974, there was a single man flying machine called "Williams WASP X-Jet." It had no wings and no propellers. It could fly up to 60 MPH, had a service ceiling of 10,000 feet, and could fly for nearly 45 minutes.


30. In 1965, a patent was filed for a "birthing apparatus" which would spin pregnant women around at as much as 7G until their baby was flung out from the centrifugal force.


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31SmartScope

Carl Haber created a machine named SmartScope that can read the surface of very old audio recordings and reproduce them without anything having to touch them; using the same type of technology that was used to see the Higgs boson particle.


32. A man named Arunachalam Muruganantham in India created and patented a machine that could manufacture low-cost sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads and provided the machines to self-help groups run by women all over India.


33. In the 1930's, Helene Adelaide Shelby invented an apparatus (Confession device) for obtaining criminal confessions, which consisted of putting the criminal in a dark chamber, and confronting them with a human skeleton with glowing red eyes, which contained a camera and microphone


34. The CIA issued rectal tool kits for spies. This imaginative gadget was designed to get operatives out of difficult situations.


35. Thanks to a genetic algorithm, Dr. Adrian Thompson produced a prototype voice-recognition circuit distinguishing and responding to “stop” and “go” using only 37 logic gates. 5 of them weren’t connected to the rest of the network, yet if they were removed, the device stopped working.

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