27 of History’s Strangest Inventions

From Brain Pickings:

If you can’t deliver the newspaper on your amphibious bicycle, you can always fax it.

“If at first an idea is not absurd,” Albert Einstein famously said, “then there is no hope for it.” Sometimes, however, absurd is just absurd — yet, even so, it’s a fascinating slice of history’s collective direction of curiosity and experimental innovation. After those vintage versions of modern social media andyesteryear’s visions for the future of technology, here come some of history’s most weird and wonderful inventions, from wooden swimwear to spectacles for reading in bed, captured in archival public domain images by Holland’sNationaal Archief.

 One-wheel motorcycle

Germany, 1925

 

 Manual dredger

Workers operated the so-called bucket dredger with their arms and legs using stepper boards. The machine is a small model, but whether it was actually realized is unknown.

 

 

 Bike tyre used as a swimming aid

Invented by Italian M. Goventosa de Udine; maximum speed: 150 kilometers per hour (93 mph).

 

 

 Steam automobile design circa 1845

 

 Amphibious bicycle

This land-and-water bike can carry a load of 120 pounds; Paris, 1932

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