10 Terrible Inventions By Great Inventors

10 Terrible Inventions by Great Inventors 10 Thomas Edison – The Ghost Machine He may have stolen idea for the lightbulb But Thomas Edison is still one of history’s most prolific inventors

And with 1,093 patents under his name, it’s not surprising he sometimes hit upon a crazy idea In October 1920, readers across America were shocked when Edison told The American Magazine: [Text onscreen]""I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us"" Apparently, Edison created a box that aimed and focused an incredibly strong beam of light across a room The idea was that spirit particles would get trapped in the light, allowing them to be captured and studied Because I guess dead spirits are like moths, and can’t resist a good light

A famed scientist running around trying to shoot spirits with a light may sound ridiculous But it’d probably still make a Ghost Busters movie than the last one 9 Steve Jobs – Apple Lisa An early personal computer, the Apple Lisa was supposedly named after Steve Job’s daughter That’s a nice gesture, though Lisa Jobs probably wishes that she wasn’t now the namesake of one of the biggest failures in Apple’s history The Apple Lisa, which had been Steve Jobs’ pet project, came out in 1983, and instantly started to underwhelm its target audience

Despite throwing Kevin Costner into their adverts, the Apple Lisa failed to sell You see, the $24,000 pricetag made it too expensive for anyone except the most committed geeks And for them, the computer was underpowered, and unreliable The Apple Lisa cost the company $50 million in research Only 10,000 were ever sold

Apple were so embarrassed by the failure they tried to the evidence, chucking 2,700 Lisas in a landfill in California The failure also led to Jobs being demoted to the, then far more minor, Macintosh project Which as we all know, didn’t work out too badly for him 8 Leonardo Da Vinci – Scuba Suit There are few people more famously inventive than Da Vinci The Italian genius filled notebook after notebook with ideas way ahead of their time

It’s just a shame that one of them was this: No that’s not a Doctor Who villain or a prototype gimp suit… probably [Cut] It’s actually a 16th scuba diving suit designed by the one and only Leonardo While living in the water city of Venice, Da Vinci designed this underwater survival suit for the Venetian navy The suit was made of leather, and had two air tubes leading up to a floating cork bell on the surface Though models of the suit were built and worked, being attached to a bobbing bell limited mobility

It also let enemies know when you were approaching, which completely defeated the point The Venetian navy decided to reject the suit, and no-one would scuba again for hundreds of years 7 Alexander Graham Bell – Flying Machine Alexander Graham Bell, or AGB to his friends, is best remembered as the inventor of the telephone But because inventing one world changing machine isn’t enough for some people, Belly G also had a crack at inventing the world’s first flying machine In 1899, the father of the phone started creating a series insane flying machines

But his biggest attempt to conquer the skies came in 1907, when he first test flew The Cygnet Only designed to hold one person, this 8 metre wide device held 3,393 combined kite-shaped panels Bell had the glorified glider dragged behind a boat until it started hovering at around 50 metres Thaaaat’s, as good as things got for the Cygnet The wind then changed direction, causing the airship to crash into the water

An embarrassed Bell quit the flying game shortly afterwards 6 Dr Yoshiro Nakamatsu – Love spray Dr Yoshiro Nakamatsu is the world record holder for most patents, with a staggering 3200 This Japanese genius was involved in the invention of floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, digital watches, and even the karaoke machine So it’s kinda strange to see such a respected scientist flogging the type of aphrodisiac you'd expect to see shilled in dodgy bar bathrooms Nakamatsu’s Love Jet, is not only a great band name, but also a real product sold in Japan The liquid gel is designed to put men in the mood for love, and is applied to the female genitalia

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that the gel works And the weirdest part of all this? Nakamatsu sells each Love Jet at a loss Why? Because he’s worried about Japan’s falling birth rate, and considers getting his kinsmen all loved up a civic duty 5 Henry Ford – Quadricycle There’s a reason you can’t walk down a street without seeing a Ford Henry Ford revolutionised car design, perfecting the production line and producing the first car that middle class Americans could afford

But the Model T, which sold 165 million models and is still the 8th best selling car in history, wasn’t Ford’s first car That was this ramshackle contraption: Built in 1893, Ford’s very first foray into the world of automobiles was called the Quadrangle and, honestly, was pretty terrible The whole thing was basically just a platform with a seat, an ethanol engine and four bicycle wheels bolted on Yet oddly, Ford decided it was “too complicated” to mass produce, and only 3 were ever made

But the experience gained from working on the project, not to mention the $200 a piece he got from selling these primitive buggies, helped him acquire the knowledge and capital he needed to work on newer, better ideas 4 Flying Tanks – J Walter Christie There have been plenty of crazy patents over the years No patented plan is more ridiculous, intense, and awesome than J Walter Christie’s one for flying tanks Christie was a military engineer in World War Two, and is credited with keeping the Allied tanks agile enough to compete with the German Panzers He also briefly toyed with the idea of flying tanks

The idea was that winged tanks dropped from planes would glide down behind enemy lines and cause chaos Though the American military rejected the idea early on, the crazy Russians picked it up They even managed to adapt a 32 tonne T60 tank into a glider, and got it to fly Once Just once

You see, the tank’s weight stressed the carrier plane’s engines, causing them to overheat and the plane to have to give up and eject the tank early The project was abandoned shortly after 3 Sir Clive Sinclair – Pocket TV He may not be a household name, but Sir Clive Sinclair helped revolutionise consumer electronics when he invented the pocket calculator in 1972 Riding that success, Sinclair attempted to miniaturise another well known electronic device: the television Now for those of you too young to remember, TVs in the 70s used to look like this: So making a pocket-sized one was no mean feat

And it’s hardly surprising that it ended up looking like this This clunky lump only had a two inch screen, struggled to pick up a strong signal, and, ironically, was too big to fit in a pocket Sinclair Research sank $56 million into the R and D phase of the pocket TV They only sold 15,000 units at $1,250 each, and this interesting experiment went down in history as just another embarrassing thing from the ‘70s, like flares and mullets 2 Elon Musk – Hyperloop Elon Musk has shot cars into space, planned driverless cars, and is in the middle of a billion-dollar crusade against AI

So it’s tempting to believe this futuristic science god when he claims he’s going to build a real life version of the tubes from Futurama The Hyperloop is Musk’s latest impossible-sounding project, a vacuum tube that will shoot carriages of customers from LA to San Francisco in 35 minutes The problem is, it isn’t just impossible-SOUNDING You see, the reason the Hyperloop will supposedly be able to fire passengers at 1,200 kilometres an hour is that it’s one giant vacuum Any holes in the hyperloop, and the vacuum would collapse

Maintaining a 600 kilometre vacuum would need casing strong enough to withstand 10 tonnes of force per square metre Considering the current specs have the casing being only a few inches thick, that’s a big ask Even from Musk 1 Nikola Tesla – Earthquake Machine If there’s one inventor who could have moonlighted as a supervillain: it’s Tesla In a way, it’s not exactly shocking that an inventor who tinkered around with death rays once made a machine capable of triggering earthquakes The electro-mechanical oscillator was a steam-powered invention patented by Tesla in 1893

The idea was that the device would be able create energy, but when Tesla set it off the vibrations were strong enough to create a minor earthquake Tesla’s lab shook and, in a moment straight out of an action movie, Tesla decided the technology was too dangerous for anyone to be trusted with, and destroyed it with a sledgehammer Strangest of all, numerous witnesses have claimed that the machine’s vibration made them suddenly need the toilet Yep, Tesla may not have made the energy device he wanted But he did invent an earthquake machine with a hilarious laxative side effect

So, that was 10 Terrible Inventions by Great Inventors Which famed inventor’s terrible product surprised you the most? Did we leave any inventive oversights off the list? Let us know in the comments below

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