Dutch Archive of Crazy Early-20th-Century Inventions

The National Archive of Holland has a Flickr account, and one of the albums documents dozens of antique inventions from around the world. These run the gamut from ingenious to pretty nutty.

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Using bicycle tubes as swimming aids, Germany, 1925.

A monowheel motorcycle that could reportedly hit 150 KPH (93 MPH), invented by Italian M. Goventosa de Udine, 1931.

The “Cyclomer” amphibious bicycle, France, 1932.

This all-terrain vehicle could reportedly “descend slopes up to 65 degrees.” England, 1936. Reminds me of the more recent Brazilian boomerang suspension truck.

A pram (baby carriage) with an antenna, radio and loudspeaker to keep the kid quiet. USA, 1921.

Wooden bathing suits, “supposed to make swimming a lot easier.” Washington State, USA, 1929.

Early wearables: A radio built into a straw hat. USA, 1931.

“Extensible caravan, built by a French engineer.” France, 1934. I can’t imagine what the application is, and I have a hard time believing this thing has a single axle.

A piano designed for the bedridden. Great Britain, 1935.

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“Hamblin glasses,” a pair of (I assume) periscope-style spectacles for reading in bed while keeping your head comfortably reclined. England, 1936.

This is one of the more intriguing ones, with a frustrating lack of details: “Electrically heated vest, developed for the traffic police in the United States. The power is supplied by electric contacts in the street. Location unknown, 1932.”

Human version of a cow-catcher, here placed on a car for “reducing the number of casualties among pedestrians.” I.e. the guy in the photo isn’t riding it, he’s demonstrating what supposedly happens when the car strikes a pedestrian. Paris, 1924.

A primitive trip computer. The pace of the automatically scrolling “map” is keyed to the rotation of the car’s tires. Location unknown, 1932.

A portable bridge for emergencies. Invented by someone named L. Deth, the bridge collapses down to something that can be transported in a pushcart. Netherlands, 1926.

A sort of personal, wearable boat for fishing. Netherlands, 1915.

Wirelessly transmitted newspaper. “Photo shows children reading the children’s page of a Missouri paper,” 1938.

Anti-flu masks? Nope: “Plastic face protection from snowstorms.” Montreal, Canada, 1939.

A gas-resistant pram (baby carriage) for wartime. England, 1938.

Way ahead of its time: A Colt .38 revolver with a camera that automatically snaps a photo when you pull the trigger. New York, 1938.

I think I got all of the good ones, but there’s more to see here.

Also note that they’ve got an album called Moustaches.

Source: core77

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