50 Inventions That Are Way Older Than You Think




Earliest proposed dates for the origin of cheesemaking range from around 8000 B.C. when sheep were first domesticated. Since animal skins and inflated internal organs provided storage vessels for milk, it is probable that the process of cheese making was discovered accidentally by storing milk in a container made from the stomach of an animal, resulting in the milk being turned to curd and whey by the rennet from the stomach.

32Music Streaming

Music Streaming

Music streaming was invented in 1897 in New York. It was called the Telharmonium and took up the entire basement of the Broadway building it was located in. It was 220 feet long and it used different sized/cogged gears spinning beneath a pickup (magnetic coil) to create different tones. These different gears and pickups were connected to an organ on the main floor of the building. Key presses would activate the corresponding tone to play from the Telharmonium and it had pedals and such to shape the sound. It delivered this music via the telephone, and subscribers could have the operator connect them.

33Fidget spinner

Fidget spinner

Fidget Spinners have been around since 1993, but it wasn't until 2017 when they became a craze, partly because non-autistic children picked up the practice from autistic classmates. They are sold by shops catering to people with special sensory needs, as a calming device. In general "executive pacifiers" like the fidget spinner have been around since the 1920s or earlier, and include Newton's cradle and the drinking bird.



The history of marshmallows goes back as early as 2000 B.C. Ancient Egyptians were said to be the first to make them and eating them was a privilege strictly reserved for gods and for royalty, who used the root of mallow plant species to soothe coughs and sore throats, and to heal wounds. The first marshmallows were prepared by boiling pieces of root pulp with honey until thick. Once thickened, the mixture was strained, cooled, and then used as intended.



Nintendo is mostly known today as a video game company. While video games have certainly been one of their most successful business ventures, they existed a long time before computers were even invented, as a toy company. The company was founded in 1889 when it produced playing cards, which it still does to this day.

36Death Growl

Death Growl

Death growl, which is usually employed by death metal singers and in other heavy metal styles is centuries old. Growled vocals may have been a part of Viking music. In the 10th century, Arab-Spanish Sefardi Jewish merchant Ibrahim ibn Yaqub visited Denmark and commented on the local music as follows: “Never before I have heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings in Slesvig. The growling sound coming from their throats reminds me of dogs howling, only more untamed.”



The sewing needle is over 40,000 years old. Human beings may have begun wearing clothing as far back as 190,000 years ago. Humans already had pants and jackets 20,000 - 12,500 years ago. Dyed flax fibers dated 36,000 years ago found in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia suggests that people were wearing clothes at that time.

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38Electric Car

Electric Car

Tesla revolutionized the electric car's image in customers' minds – stylish, comfortable with a nice blend of traditional automotive stuff and futuristic features. However, electric cars are more than a century old. In 1884, over 20 years before the Ford Model T, the first practical production electric car was built in London that used specially designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries.

39Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

The first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century A.D., in early medieval China. In 589 A.D. the scholar-official Yan Zhitui wrote about the use of toilet paper. An Arab traveler to China in the year 851 AD remarked: “...they [the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities, but they only wipe themselves with paper.”



Medicines made from willow and other salicylate-rich plants can be dated to at least 2000 B.C. in ancient Sumer as well as 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt. Hippocrates referred to their use of salicylic tea to reduce fevers around 400 B.C. Willow bark extract became recognized for its specific effects on fever, pain, and inflammation in the mid-18th century. By the 19th century, pharmacists were experimenting with and prescribing a variety of chemicals related to salicylic acid, the active component of willow extract. One such formulation was later marketed as aspirin.


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