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What invention is way older than people think?

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The ancient Romans (well, the wealthy ones) had central heating in their homes. You can actually still see the pipes in some of the buildings at Herculaneum!

The Sumerians had AC six thousand years ago. You stick a tunnel through cold rock under your house and have a tall chimney on the roof. The sun heats the chimney and the air inside rises. The displacement then pulls cold air into your house from the rock tunnel.

Holy shit, humans are so smart

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2.9k points · 6 months ago

Not only central heating, but also floor heating, the heating from the central heater was circulated under the floor which was elevated.

155 points · 6 months ago

Hypocaust if you want to look it up.

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1.6k points · 6 months ago

I just chuckled picturing HVAC contractors wearing togas.

What's a HUAC?

756 points · 6 months ago

Vnderrated comment.

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5.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

The submarine. The first was made in 1620. It had Oars that stuck through leather seals and snorkel hoses for air.

Edit: Technically a submersible. Thanks, u/ScratchinWarlok

The Americans even used one in combat in the Revolutionary War.

Its sad that there are so few videos of it actually being used, ie the Turtle submarine.

Youtube wasn't invented until 1848. Just in time for the Crimean War!

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8.4k points · 6 months ago

The vending machine, the Greeks invented a water dispenser that you would put a coin in and it would fall onto a lever, opening the seal and giving you some water.

3.2k points · 6 months ago

The coin-on-a-string trick probably worked wonders here.

838 points · 6 months ago

Or lead disks

Lead disks were as valuable!

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288 points · 6 months ago

If I'm not mistaken, it was used for religious purposes in a temple. Maybe this was before or after the Greeks, I'm not sure. But I remember watching a documentary on it. Also, automatic doors.

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4.5k points · 6 months ago

Haven't seen it mentioned yet so, 3D movies. The first one popped up around 1915 and the first major commercial film in the format was The Power of Love in 1922.

If you included stereoscopic tech it goes back to the late 1800's.

1.2k points · 6 months ago

Huey Lewis is older than I thought.

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2.0k points · 6 months ago

Air rifles were invented in 1779. The Girandoni Air Rifle was a .46 cal, had a capacity of 22 round balls that were gravity fed into the chamber. It used no gun powder (so no smoke to give away position) and had a high rate of fire, much faster than traditional muzzle loader. The buttstock would hold up to 800 psi of compressed air, which took about 1500 strokes from a hand pump to fill.

It was powerful enough to put a hole through a 1" pine board from 100 yards away, so it could cause significant damage by a skilled marksman. It was used in the Napoleonic Wars, and was famously carried by Lewis and Clark during their expedition across North America.

I'm still amazed by how they managed to manufacture an airtight reservoir in that era, let alone that level of pressure.

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.46 Cal is a serious air rifle!

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8.0k points · 6 months ago

The pipe organ.

Its origins are in the 3rd century BC.

Fun fact: the main pipe organ in the Sydney Opera House took 5 years to build and 10 years to tune.

right after they finish tuning it

plays

"Goddamn it, out of tune again"

1.7k points · 6 months ago

I didn't know Gibson made pipe organs now

No, they still specialise in luxury firewood.

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555 points · 6 months ago

Why did it take so long to tune?

10,244 pipes. All of them unique in voice to those in the same tune and unique in tune to those with the same voice.

200 ranks. Imagine there are 200 pianos spread across a football field, and you need to get them all to be in tune with each other, but to tune some of the pianos you have to climb on a ladder, and move it each time you start tuning a different note.

There’s also the fact that with that many ranks it could have been that there was just one that wasn’t tuned for a long time because no piece called for it.

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Billiard balls. First mentioned in 1588.

1.6k points · 6 months ago

But the limited supply of elephant ivory led to some of the first plastics.

gum cotton was one of the earlier attempts at a substitute, iirc; but had a bad habit of igniting during play, from being struck by other balls.

I had to double check myself but it's gun cotton not gum cotton

Yep, aka nitrocellulose. They used it in old film too, which is one reason that a lot of old silent era movies are now "lost".

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10.9k points · 6 months ago

3D printers have been around since the '80s, but it wasn't until the late 2000's that patents began expiring and small companies could introduce more affordable and less industrial printers to the general public.

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15.8k points · 6 months ago

Roller blades are from the 1700's.

8.7k points · 6 months ago

The idea of George Washington on roller skates makes me chuckle

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6.3k points · 6 months ago

Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 1776

2.4k points · 6 months ago

Anyone else remember Tony Hawk Underground 2 where you could skate around as Benjamin Franklin?

Fun fact: Ben Franklin invented that grabber thingy so you don't have to bend over or so you can get things off of a high shelf.

The 360 melongrab?

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1.3k points · 6 months ago

I imagine him hitting a sick combo off of a bunch of British ships and sinking them all at once.

While listening to hobastank.

Most people don't know they didn't add the second O till 1950. Kudos.

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The first lighter was invented in 1823, 3 years before matches in 1826. A lot of people assume matches were made first, and usually assume they are much much older.

But how did they make fires before then?

Fire was invented in 1825.

Then what did the lighter do for those first 2 years?

Concerts.

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9.9k points · 6 months ago

The Romans gave each other the middle finger.

2.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Diogenes was the first recorded person to flip somebody off as an insult. He did it to Demosthenes when he got tired of arguing or something lol

Edit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_finger

1.3k points · 6 months ago

The wiki page for that is priceless.

The gesture communicates moderate to extreme contempt, and is roughly equivalent in meaning to "fuck off," "fuck you," "shove it up your ass," "up yours," "go fuck yourself," or "eat a big fat fucking dick, you dumb stupid asshole."

Also,“Historically, it represented the phallus.” Clicking on the phallus link will show you that means penis with some funny pictures.

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2.0k points · 6 months ago

For the same reason than today?

1.9k points · 6 months ago

Yes.

1.8k points · 6 months ago

Lovely.

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Good to know that if I ever go back in time, I'll know how to pick a fight.

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12.0k points · 6 months ago

Eyeglasses were invented in 1290. Amazing.

2.2k points · 6 months ago

Wasn't some Roman emperor using polished crystals as glasses?

3.3k points · 6 months ago

Emperor Nero, I think. He would use a polished emerald to correct his vision.

Fucking pimp.

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Urinary catheters they were "used as early as 3000bc" https://www.urotoday.com/urinary-catheters-home/history-of-urinary-catheters.html

381 points · 6 months ago

That must have been extremely unpleasant...

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The modern headphone jack was invented in 1878 and has only really changed in size.

5.5k points · 6 months ago

The original 1/4" design is still standard on electric guitars.

3.5k points · 6 months ago

Synthesizers, microphones, digital signal processors, drum machines, monitoring speakers/headphones, amplifiers - anything you'd find in a music studio.

1.2k points · 6 months ago

Is there a technical reason for this like durability, or is it just legacy/tradition?

3.1k points · 6 months ago

It's simple and it works. There's no reason to change it. The large size allows for more current and a stable secure plug that won't easily break.

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Speakers and other sound equipment were actually invented before most people think. A way to record and play back sound was invented after the telephone.

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9.4k points · 6 months ago

What’s that?

— Sent from my iPhone 7

What's a computer?

7.8k points · 6 months agoGilded1

That fucking commercial. I have an iPad pro from work, I love it, but come on, Apple, you literally make computers. Tablets aren't PC/Mac replacements. Maybe one day but not now.

1.4k points · 6 months ago

What's a car?

-SUV commercial

It's not a car it's an alfa romeo

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Dunno

  • Sent from my Pixel 2

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2.5k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Color movies! Color movies actually predates audio movies. However, color film was more expensive to buy and develop than black and white, but people weren't willing to pay extra for color so it wasn't economically sound to shoot in color. Hell, not even the wizard of Oz turned a profit. There are actually a few color silent films out there, but since people actually were willing to pay extra for audio movies that seems like it was invented earlier. It wasn't, it just got popular earlier!

EDIT: Some examples.

I'm not talking about black and white film being hand painted in a variety of colors. I'm talking about actual colors being captured by the camera. Here's a short clip by pioneer Edward Raymond Turner from 1902. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V0Vc5iRoLY Can you imagine that this clip is from the same year as A Trip to the Moon? Granted, it doesn't amazing, but it looks real.

Here's a clip from a 1926 silent film with intertitles and all starring Douglas Fairbanks, but shot in glorious Technicolor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwa2578IxkM

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17.9k points · 6 months ago

Canned food was invented in the 1770s, decades before the can opener in the 1850s

It was also invented long before Louis Pasteur figured out what canning was actually doing to prevent spoilage.

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3.5k points · 6 months ago

For 80 years the mountains of unopened cans grew

1.7k points · 6 months ago

Hey that's nothing compared to the 40 million years that wood wasn't biodegradable for!

305 points · 6 months ago

But it only took those buggers at most 40 years to biodegrade nylon.

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Well I mean it would have been weird if it was the other way round.

"Hey guys! I made this thing. It's like scissors, but for opening hollow metal canisters and shit!"

"Fuckin, what hollow metal canister has anything useful in it? idiot."

703 points · 6 months ago

Great Mitchell and Webb sketch with that exact idea.

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I've always been fond of the Bob Newhart skit about Sir Francis Drake explaining tobacco to the Royal Court:

"So there's this plant - it grows everywhere over there. One takes the leaves of this plant and dries them out until they are brown. Then you shred the dried leaves and wrap the shreddings in another dried leaf to make a small cylinder."

"And what do you do with this cylinder?"

"Uh, well - you put it in your mouth and set it on fire..."

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664 points · 6 months ago

And the food in the first cans was still edible when hey could finally be opened.

However, the first cans were made of lead. Edible but poisonous food.

Well actually, the first cans (in France at least) weren't cans at all - rather, they were glass bottles that were sealed to the outside. This is part of the reason why the can opener wasn't a necessity right away.

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7.8k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Digital distribution of video games. It has been around since the Atari 2600, where the method used was a telephone line the Intellivision in 1981, where the games could be downloaded from a cable TV channel.

Edit: I have been corrected. While the Atari 2600 was the earliest released console to support this, the Intellivision's PlayCable was the first service.

3.6k points · 6 months ago

Hell, I remember typing in blocks of code while my friend read the code out from a magazine. Thousands of characters in data statements that once you were done transcribing and ran it it would compile itself into a binary image that you could then save to tape. And then you could play the game or whatever it was.

1.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Pirate radio stations were popular in some countries that played sounds that could be recorded to tape, then loaded as a game. Saving on all that typing.

Edit: This article sums up the practice, save for the illegal aspect which has been confirmed by a Chilean in one of the replies: http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2014/10/13/people-used-download-games-radio

136 points · 6 months ago

What would this be called? Like was there a name for this type of game distribution or whatever?

You’re listening to the Datarama show on Radio West and partaking in the UK’s first attempt to send a computer program over local radio. Joe Tozer, who co-hosted the show, recalls how it all began: “I think it was just one of those ‘ping!’ moments when you realise that the home computer program is just audio on a cassette, so why not transmit it over air? It just seemed a cool idea.”

Amazingly, sending the program was as simple as pressing play at radio station: “to be honest it was all pretty straightforward,” says Joe. “The data rates on cassette at the time were so low, maybe a few hundred bits per second, it just worked.” The listeners loved it, and pretty soon Joe and Tim were transmitting all kinds of programs that they’d written for the show, including minigames and an application that translated keyboard inputs into Morse code. Initially they just sent programs for the BBC Micro and ZX81, but later on they expanded this to include Commodores, Dragons, FORTH-based micros and “pretty much anything that was around at the time”.

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2014/10/13/people-used-download-games-radio

To think, I'm about to fire up a 30 something gigabyte game I just downloaded. You guys are fucking wizards in my book!

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1.5k points · 6 months ago

I had stacks of Compute! And Gazette that we used to code silly games out of in basic.

When I was a kid, we had to code our own games! And they always had bugs!! And we played them anyways!!!

And we only had ONE BUTTON!!!

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Even in the 90s we had Sega channel.

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1.5k points · 6 months ago

The cheque is older than cash.

and credit predates the cheque (it predates writing, really).

a lot of people think the barter system was the entire way that people traded goods and services for thousands of years: it was not. people traded in various ways, sometimes using things like beer, salt, cowry shells, and gold as de facto currency. currency was not a necessity for most of these communities. however, much of the time, payment was not made up front.

instead, an agreement was drawn up and overseen by an arbiter (who would hold people accountable). usually the arbiter was some 3rd party who had no stake in the deal. it rarely went past an 'iou', but these iou's were very important. going against an iou often meant penalties dished out either by the legal systems of the time... or by the poor fella you tried to fuck over.

it was a primitive form of credit, but it was still credit. not to mention, your creditworthiness was determined largely by your reputation in a given town. eerily similar to how your credit score is determined by your activities, what people would lend you was based on what people knew about you. if you were trusted in the community, people would be more willing to give you bigger loans.

not only that, there was often a fee prescribed for later payment, often related to the size of what's being lent. aka, interest. even the code of hammurabi outlines rules for interest.

read a bit more here

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2.8k points · 6 months ago

I was watching a show yesterday about ancient inventions, and it turns out automatic doors were invented in ancient Greece (though they were mostly used in theatrical and religious ceremonies).

1.1k points · 6 months ago

May I ask how on earth they worked?

3.3k points · 6 months ago

Fires were lit underneath containers of water that acted as counterweights. When the water boiled off this released a larger weight on a pulley that swung the door open.

They weren’t so much automatic in the sense that you walked up to them and they opened, but they could be set to open at a reasonably accurately estimable amount of time after the fire was lit, giving the impression of magic when used in temples or theatres.

Neat. Terry Pratchett talks about about a similar door in his book Small Gods.

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2.9k points · 6 months ago

Touchplate and redstone obviously

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The still most effective spring loaded mouse traps were invented in France 427 years ago

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The Fax machine was invented in the mid 1800s.

FaxFacts

Edit: apparently using a pound sign on reddit makes the text big and bold. TIL.

Comment deleted6 months ago(49 children)

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Can’t see it anywhere in the comments so here I go.... The digital camera was a viable technology in the 70s, but was held back by Kodak. One of their engineers created the first digital camera but the story goes that film cameras were such big business the Kodak company stopped it.

I wonder what the MP count would be on a 1970s digital camera?

539 points · 6 months ago

I think the main problem was memory/quality/ubiquity of computer screens

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The quadratic formula is roughly 4,000 years old. It appears at about the same time in Egyptian writings and Babylonian cuneiform tablets.

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6.3k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Musical instruments. The oldest know musical instrument is a 43,000-year-old flute, carved from a bear femur. Wiki.

This is maybe the one that got me most. That's an incredibly long time ago.

1.7k points · 6 months ago

For me too, especially when you put it in context. The oldest flute found is dated to about 40,000 years ago which older than the extinction of Neanderthals, domestication of animals, the extinction of Ice Age mammals, and the invention of the wheel.

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1.3k points · 6 months ago

I'm going to counter this claim by saying that our ancestors probably made percussive music way before that!

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295 points · 6 months ago

Anyone who reads the link, it's a fragment and its validity as an part of an instrument is contested. But a vulture bone flute that's 35,000 years old is without question. So I'd take that number confidently before the 43,000.

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7.6k points · 6 months ago

First video game was invented in the 50s

WWII and video games are separated by only 13 years.

2.0k points · 6 months ago

Ah Tennis for Two

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Not seeing it in the comments, so I’ll say ice cream. According to Wikipedia, ancient Greeks were making a flavored ice treat way back when, and ancient Chinese also made a frozen dairy treat back in BC times. Even if you look for a more modern version then there were popular “flavored ice” treats in the 17th century in Europe as well, maybe those were more like modern ice cream. I also read somewhere that ice cream was George Washington’s favorite food.

It’s amazing to me that before electricity and basic sanitation, you could still get a sorbet.

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The Nintendo company was founded in 1889.

4.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Nokia was founded 24 years before that, in 1865

3.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

The cymbal company Zildjian was founded in 1623

1.8k points · 6 months ago

The Kongō Gumi construction company was founded in 578.

Sounds like the make some good foundations.

131 points · 6 months ago

Yeah, but someone fucked it up in the end and got liquidated in 2006.

"The damage is not too bad. As long as the foundations are still strong, we can rebuild this place. It will become a haven for all peoples and aliens of the universe."

*Gets Liquidated*

"Oof. No, those foundations are gone. Sorry."

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“Coleco” comes from Connecticut Leather Company

Tandy was also a leather company. They bought RadioShack in 1963.

Tandy is still a leather company.

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The first X-ray was taken/discovered on November 8, 1895.

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8.8k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Contact lenses. Leonard da Vinci had the idea of contact lenses in 1508 and the first successful contact lenses were made in 1888.

Well, in fairness, Leonardo da Vinci had the ideas for everything long before the rest of us.

5.2k points · 6 months ago

It must've been really frustrating to have all these ideas centuries before the materials and industry existed to make them practical. :(

Damn, I never thought about it like that. Wow. :(

There's an episode of star trek about exactly that, basically holographic da Vinci gets 'kidnapped' off the ship and when they pick him he doesn't want to leave because he finally has the resources to actually invent his ideas in the real world

447 points · 6 months ago

There's an episode of Futurama where Da Vinci is an alien who went back to his home planet to build a doomsday machine b/c everyone on that planet is smarter than him but he ends up killing himself with the machine

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He was great in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Not a single wolf in the whole film though! Sad!

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844 points · 6 months ago

380 years of people testing eye-destroying hell-disks on each other.

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1888 contact lenses? Did they have lead in them?

How do you think they made the mold of your eye?

456 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

They fuckin poured hot wax on your eyeball to get the shape of it and would make a corrective lens.

I stand corrected. It was a room temperature blob of wax filled with water. Saucey

any temperature of wax on my eyeball is not allowed

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10.7k points · 6 months ago

Vibrators were created in the 1880s. It was believed that "female hysteria" could be cured by giving women orgasms and the vibrator was created so that doctors wouldn't have to treat them anymore.

It's not that the docs didn't want to do it, their poor hands were cramping from all the treatments they gave women.

8.7k points · 6 months ago

The spirit was willing but the flesh was spongy and bruised.

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Elizabeth is complaining of hysteria for the 7th time this week

There's a movie Hysteria about that. That's exactly how it goes, basically... Especially when they hired a new young hot doctor, there was literally a queue to his office every day, mostly middle-aged and senior women (who probably weren't getting sex from their husbands anymore).

223 points · 6 months ago

That movie was surprisingly entertaining.

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750 points · 6 months ago

Some antique ones are on display at the sex museum in NYC. Horrifying looking things really.

I still remember the sign there, "do not touch or lick any of the exhibits".

291 points · 6 months ago

Here's the magnet we got on our honeymoon https://i.imgur.com/KSNEqQ3.jpg

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306 points · 6 months ago

I own one of these: http://manonthelam.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Good-Vibrations-Antique-Vibrator-Museum-San-Francisco-California-2473.jpg

Been looking to sell it actually but surprisingly enough the market for ancient hand-cranked vibrators is a little narrow. Maybe after the apocalypse.

That's not a vibrator. The sign clearly labels it as a blood circulator. Duh!

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Harsh vocals, resembling those used in death metal, were invented sometime before the 10th century. An Arab merchant visited Slesvig and said their music sounded like ravenous, untamed dogs, barking.

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Animation. The cave paintings in Lascaux were made in such a way that flickering oil light would create the illusion of motion on the cave-painted animals. So, that's 21,000 years old. Look it up, or start here:

http://nautil.us/issue/11/light/early-humans-made-animated-art

“In 20000 BC, Stone Age man attempted to draw movement on cave walls by drawing mammoths with multiple legs. The artists worked until their eyes went bad, they got no pay, they got no credit, and they were eventually eaten by wild animals. Animation was born.”

  • Drawing the Line: The Untild Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson

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2.6k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

If you guys are into this subject, check out the old TV series called “Connections”. It’s done by a journalist who was the BBC correspondent for the Apollo missions, named James Burke. Even though it was done In the late 1970s it’s still very relevant today. You can find it on line.

Edit: I have mentioned Connections before on Reddit but evidently not in the right context. It is nice to see that so many of you know about it and have seen it. I have also seen The Day the Universe Changed but many of you have mentioned other works Burke has done that I was not familiar with. Thanks for those and I will be checking them out!

Yeah, that was an interesting show. I second the recommendation.

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739 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

The first photo was taken in 1826, and the first image of a human was captured in 1837.

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1.9k points · 6 months ago

Backgammon is over 5,000 years old, chew on that.

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Firearms. Some of the first things resembling guns were built over 1000 years ago.

Carry-able cannons basically

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Rockets are just about as old. Unlike guns, rockets haven't really changed much, simply put propellant in a tube and point the whole bastard away from yourself.

Also, your username sent me down a rabbit hole watching Russian YouTube videos tryin to figure out who tf Miss Anna Vara is...

1994 Nissan Navara

Yeah. The Russian chick looks better. Probably less mileage too...

Has she got a lift kit, bull bar and tray for carrying anything you need? No, I do.

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1.6k points · 6 months ago

Vaccines. First ever vaccine was a smallpox vaccine in 1797

The Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine (podcast where a doctor and her layperson husband talk about medical stuff) episode on vaccines was really interesting. Apparently the history of how we got to the point of that first true, modern vaccine goes way back. I would highly recommend it!

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5.3k points · 6 months ago

Concrete, Romans had concrete, and they were very good at it, it’s fairly recent we have figured out how they made ocean resistant piers.

I think why most people underestimate ancient civilizations, is they try to equate our current hectic pace and rapid innovation cycle with ancient times.

What I mean is: Some of these logistical issues you had people spend their entire lives refining. Sometimes many generations all in the same trade honing the same processes or coming up with elegant and not-so-elegant solutions to issues with those processes.

Similar to comments of "How the hell did they build X?!" And often the answer is: Very slowly and carefully over multiple decades or centuries.

For example, some wonder how they could have made the pyramids bases so level? Off the top of my head, I'd say you make a trough the length of the foundation/wall you're building and fill it with liquid (oil, water, w/e). The surface of the liquid should always be level bc of gravity. AKA there are simple and elegant solutions that don't require lasers or computers ;)

177 points · 6 months ago

Imagine what we could build today with that mindset.

Cathedrals are more recent and common example. You would start one and your grandson would finish it.

160 points · 6 months ago

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was started in 1882 and is optimistically due for completion in 2026.

It's so large it will probably be in a perpetual construction cycle because they have to fix the old construction.

Once a large church is finished the first step is restoring it.

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A space colony, probably.

We can’t go 4 years without changing our mind between moon and mars.

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2.0k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Hedy Lammar patented what became the backbone of our wireless digital comms, such as wifi and cellular service, in 1941.

EDIT: Folks, I used the word 'patented' and not 'invented' for a reason.

IT'S HEDLEY

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The credit card system that communicates from the merchant to the bank and back to determine whether your card was accepted runs on COBOL code written in the 80s.

407 points · 6 months ago

And a big issue with that today is no-one is learning those old languages and as such legacy systems managers are scrambling to get people who know it.

169 points · 6 months ago

My wife responded a few years ago to a newspaper ad asking "do you want to learn COBOL?".

She now works for a big US firm operating banking mainframe software...

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Roombas were basically invented in the 1950's... Whirlpool created their automatic steering vacuum in 1959: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/ba/3f/c0ba3f31684c1699dd3fa04d9d401753.jpg

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There is a set of steps/staircase with wooden treads fastened to wooden risers, in a cave visited in prehistoric times.

https://www.gettyimages.fr/%C3%A9v%C3%A9nement/prehistoric-hallstatt-salt-mine-visit-167150134#general-view-of-the-oldest-known-wooden-staircase-which-leads-to-a-picture-id167586102

A 3,000-year-old wooden staircase has been found at Hallstatt in northern Austria, immaculately preserved in a Bronze Age salt mine. "We have found a wooden staircase which dates from the 13th century BCE. It is the oldest wooden staircase discovered to date in Europe, maybe even in the world," said Hans Reschreiter, the director of excavations at Vienna's Natural History Museum. "The staircase is in perfect condition because the micro-organisms that cause wood to decompose do not exist in salt mines," he added.

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1.4k points · 6 months ago

Way back in Carthage they had invented a sewer system

The Indus Valley civilization in what is modern Pakistan had sewers too, way back in 2000 BC.

Comment deleted6 months ago(12 children)

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Didn't know that, thanks for the education dude

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Around 2500 years ago Pythagoras  first posed that the Earth was round, and around 2300 years ago this had become a well-known fact among pretty much every 'modern' society.

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Solar panels. They were invented in 1839.

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Chocolate, I remember when they first invented chocolate.

Sweet, sweet chocolate. I ALWAYS HATED IT!

Oh, but this chocolate's not for eating! You-

Comment deleted6 months ago(5 children)

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The food that later became known as "macaroni and cheese" (Kraft Dinner to the Canadians) is a LOT older than I originally thought.

The first known mention of this dish (or something VERY similar) was found in a 14th-century cookbook titled Liber de Coquina. It mentions a cheese-and-pasta casserole named "makerouns".

Oh great, so we've now got Macaroons, Macarons, AND Makerouns. I look forward to confusing the fuck out of myself at the next dinner party.

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265 points · 6 months ago

Short-selling stocks was first done in the early 1600s with shares of the Dutch East India Company.

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The screw was invented by 400BC by Archytas of Tarentum (428 BC - 350 BC)... this was long before even metal nails became ubiquitous.

Granted, it was originally wooden screws, used for pressing grapes and then pumping water after Archimedes figured that out a couple hundred years later.

But the screw that's in your iPhone was invented in 400BC... think about that.

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62 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Elevators date all the way back to pre-200 BC. You originally pulled yourself up and down with a rope.

Edit: to clarify, you stood on a platform attached to a rope pulley system, it wasn't just rope climbing.

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57 points · 6 months ago

the steam engine, the ancient greek had them already, but they used them as toys and didn't realize the practical use they had

this is what it looked like

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The first computer was invited in 1812 by Charles Babbage as a way to mathematically calculate logarithms.

314 points · 6 months ago

The original usage of the word "computer" referred to a person who carried out calculations or computations. 

So computers were named after people.

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Stories like Cinderella or Little Red Riding Hood, in their original forms, may well go back nine or ten thousand years.

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Cheese. In fact, it's so old, no one knows who first invented it!

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