Inventions that didn’t cut it

Published on August 5th, 2011
Inventions that didn't cut it

Some inventions really change our lives, but some of them don’t make the grade! They seem like great ideas but after putting them into action, it’s obvious that they’re not really going to work.

Here are ideas from back in the day that didn’t quite work when theory was put into practice.

Pistol purse
Crime was even a problem in the late 19th century and thieves took chances trying to steal from travellers. This bag was designed to save lives and valuables. A dainty weapon was concealed in a secret compartment of a normal ladies’ handbag. The barrel could hold only one bullet – so you had to make your shot count

Finger stretcher for pianists
This was as weird as it sounds. Developed in America in 1910, it was supposed to help pianists by stretching their fingers so that they could reach keys further away than their hands would allow. Careful use was required because it is rumoured that composer Schumann destroyed his hands using an early version. Ouch!

This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.