5 Terrible Inventions That Were Created

Gas-Resistant Strollers, The Cotton Gin and more.

5 Terrible Inventions That Were Created

Gas-Resistant Strollers

In the late 1930s, England saw the creation of an unusual device known as the “Gas-Proof Pram”. Born out of the fear of mustard and chlorine gas used in World War One and the impending threat of their use by the Nazi regime, these gas-resistant strollers were designed to protect infants and toddlers from deadly gas during potential German air raids. Produced by F.W. Mills from Kent in South East England, these strollers featured a lid with a glass panel and a gas filter on top, and a motor horn bulb at the rear to ventilate stale air. Fortunately, these unsettling devices were never needed for their intended purpose and were not produced in large quantities.

The Cotton Gin

The cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, revolutionized the American cotton industry by enabling more efficient processing of the “white gold”. The cotton fibers were used to produce goods like linens, while the undamaged remnants were used for textiles. However, this boom in the cotton industry inadvertently led to a surge in slavery in the American south due to the increased demand for cotton laborers. The invention of the cotton gin is considered a significant, albeit unintentional, factor leading up to the start of the American Civil War.

Bat Bombs

In the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Pennsylvania dentist Lytle S. Adams proposed a unique plan of vengeance against the Japanese Empire—The Bat Bomb. The idea was to attach small incendiary bombs to thousands of bats and release them over Japanese cities. Despite causing a few accidental fires during testing, the project, known as “Project X-Ray”, was eventually dropped due to advancements with the Manhattan Project.

Urban Baby Window Cages

In the late 19th century, before the advent of air conditioning, some parents took the advice of Doctor Luther Emett’s parenting book, “Mental Floss”, to “air out their kids” quite literally. They used baby cages bolted to the outside of skyscrapers to give their children some fresh air. These dangerous contraptions, which were essentially human chicken coops, thankfully did not become popular.

Hydrogen Blimps

Hydrogen blimps, considered one of the most dangerous inventions of all time, were essentially glorified balloons with a frame. Despite the numerous crashes and failures associated with these airships, they were used for nearly three decades before the switch was made to the much safer, yet more expensive, helium. Today, blimps are still used, but not for mass transit, and are required by law to use helium for lift.