We have already told you about objects with strange origins and as it is a subject as vast as it is interesting, this time we have immersed ourselves in the history of inventions which have a really gloomy origin. If you like to learn more about the world around you and are a fan of gruesome details, you will surely love it.
1. The invention of Morse code
In the 19th century, the American artist and scientist Samuel Morse invented the Morse code and developed a brand new model of electric telegraph. According to legend, the idea for this telegraph came to him after a personal tragedy in 1825: while Morse was in New York for work, he received a message by courier on horseback telling him that his wife was seriously ill. . New Heaven being 130km from New York, the message took two days to arrive and Morse took two days to return. When he arrives, his wife has already been dead and buried for two days.
2. The beginnings of magnetic tape
Today considered an outdated technology, magnetic tape was revolutionary at the end of the 20th century for the storage of audio and then video recordings. What you probably don’t know is that this invention dates back to 1930s Germany and was perfected by the Nazis who used them to record their hate propaganda speeches. Fun.
3. The origin of baby monitors
In 1932, the two-year-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh was abducted from his bedroom; this case, which has become famous, is called in the United States “the crime of the century”. Despite payment of the ransom by the Lindbergh family, the child was found dead two months later. This sinister story inspired the American company Zenith to create the first baby monitor a few years later.
4. The first uses of radar
The radar and its use have been perfected for years and the presence detection tool we know today was almost finalized at the dawn of the Second World War. Several countries were in on it but it was Britain that brought the greatest advancements at the time: they originally sought to use radio waves to shoot down enemy aircraft from a distance with a kill ray and finally improved the tool to detect position. More tactics, less big nag methods.
5. The original purpose of vibrators
Have you ever heard of hysteria? It’s a sexist term that was used in medicine until the end of the 20th century to designate women who supposedly went mad from a lack of sexual activity (it’s very roughly summarized but you understood delirium). To remedy this situation, doctors used vibrators to forcibly masturbate their patients. No comment.
6. Development of GPS
GPS, Global Positioning System, is a system that was originally owned only by the US military. If anyone can have access to this tool today, it is because of a tragedy that dates back to 1983: a plane that linked New York to Seoul via Alaska made a navigation error. and was shot down while passing over Soviet territory. This is why GPS has been made available for all countries in the world.
7. The chance of the first parachute
Although the modern parachute appeared much later, legend has it that the very first parachute dates back more than 4,000 years. In China, the ancient ruler Shun is said to have been pushed off a rooftop by his father and miraculously managed to survive by clinging to conical straw hats. We think it’s average but it’s a nice anecdote to bring out in the evening.
8. Unmusical cymbals
Cymbals have been around forever, but they weren’t just used as musical instruments. In the 17th century, Zildjian cymbals were invented in Constantinople to create unbearable sounds intended to scare enemies away.
9. The very first Candy Land game
Candy Land is a very popular board game among young children in the United States: it’s a simple game of goose in a candy world. It was created in the 1940s to occupy children with polio who were locked up in quarantine. At that time, the polio epidemic was difficult to manage and there was no vaccine. Eventually, the game ended up attracting the attention of the rest of the population and became democratized throughout the country.
10. The Origin of the Halloween Candy Quest
Long before it became a harvest of sweets, this tradition had its origins 2,500 years earlier. The Celts celebrated the feast of Samhain at the end of October and believed that during the night the border between the world of the dead and the living opened. To ward off malevolent spirits, they dressed in scary costumes. Much later, this tradition was modified: families in need would knock on the doors of wealthy bourgeois to beg for money or food disguised as demons. Much less fun than kids asking for candy.