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3 Failed Inventions that Were Supposed to Change Everything

By Omaha Personal Injury Attorney on April 29, 2015

Nebraska PIAs April, also known as Inventor’s Month, draws to an end, let us not reflect on the inventions that changed the world – the internet, the wheel, antibiotics, and so on. Instead, let us think upon those inventions buried in the past and long forgotten, the ones that had a lot of hype behind them but produced only hot air.

History is filled with examples of new inventions that were supposed to be transformational – and then turned out to be nothing but minor fads. These failures teach us that truly successful inventions are hard to predict because the world is and will always remain fickle.

Fully Lighted Movie Theaters

When movie theaters were first introduced to the public at the start of the 20th century, many people disliked the dark conditions of the auditoriums, thinking it to be dangerous. Thus, daylight projections became the new trend, from coast to coast. The state of California even passed a bill requiring theaters to provide sufficient lighting in their auditoriums. However, bright movie houses soon fell out of favor – movie projectionists complained that picture quality suffered in well lit conditions. Eventually, the initial issues of eye fatigue and fear of strangers faded, as did bright lighting in movie theaters.

The Fiske Reading Machine

Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske was a renowned inventor with many successful inventions to his name. In 1922, he held the printing press in his sights. By introducing the Fiske Reading Machine, a modified magnifying glass that would assist in reading small cost-efficient books with tiny print, Fiske thought he would make old-fashioned books obsolete. However, mass-market paperbacks rose up in prominence throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s, and Fiske’s reading machine never took off.

The Submarine Tube

Invented in the 1910s, the submarine tube purported itself to be the future of underwater photography. By entering an underwater sphere connected to the surface using a large waterproof tube, artists could gain access to undersea environments like never before. However, the future of undersea exploration did not lie in the submarine tube, but rather, small, waterproof cameras, which were introduced in the 1940s. With further development of underwater photography technology, the submarine tube was soon rendered a historical quirk.

Do you know of any failed inventions that are particularly interesting, funny, or just plain amusing? Feel free to share them on our Facebook page!

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