Inventions, as a rule, have a reputation for being positive things but there are some that, despite often standing the test of time, are either useless, pointless or used to nefarious ends, either by design or adaptive application. Here is a list of my nominations for the worst inventions in history and explanations as to why:
Why: Something basically made up by the auto sales industry to be able to add a new change on the bill, these do have some effect but not nearly enough to make them worth what one gets charged for them.
9. Dental Floss
Why: Long held up as being needed for good oral health, if not life itself, these over-price-for-what-they-are, minty rolls of waxed twine with a method of use that looks like the world’s least effective garroting wire makes absolutely no difference at all!
Why: Wasteful, pointless, non-recyclable plastic tubes of glowing goo that are really only impressive if one is either under 12 or under the influence of particular types of party drugs (at least I assume). They are basically miniature lava lamps only they don’t last nearly as long.
7. Laser Discs
Why: The missing link between VHS and mini video Discs (DVD, Blue-Ray, so on and so forth) in terms of home entertainment formats, these things were the size of an LP record but made of the hardened plastic and metal of a CD and could do some serious damage if dropped or swung hard enough. Adding insult to potential injury the last edition Laser Discs and first edition DVDs of many films were identical in content.
6. The iWatch
Why: While all should fear going against the all-powerful Apple, a device that works exactly like something else that one has to have to use the first thing – yes, I am a bit confused myself – is a blunder at best and a cash grab at worst. Considering Apple’s pricing scheme a cynic would lean towards the latter.
Why: The old, wooden pointers worked fine and posed little risk of blinding anyone and no risk of accidentally or intentionally bringing down a plane.
4. Transport Trucks
Why: Considering the number of deaths caused every year by having what amount to high-speed trains in terms of size, length and weight on the public road ways, the folly of this ‘innovation’ ought to be fairly obvious to most. Yes, the economy depends on getting goods to market but we really were doing fine with ships and trains which, I might add, are still used.
3. Nicotine Patches
Why: This is a bit of a tough one. The intention behind these was quite good. The problem is, while being able to stop people from smoking, the stop smoking patch is still full of deadly nicotine. So much in fact that, if misapplied a single accidental overdose could easily be fatal.
Why: Created by the Bayer company, the people behind Aspirin, in 1847 as a safer, less addictive alternative to Morphine, often being prescribed as such, things got out of hand fairly quickly.
1. The Atom Bomb
Why: Two words – Cold War.