In the future, they'll probably wonder why we were so nervous about sex. For instance, they'll probably wonder why every school kid knows who invented the airplane, but not, for instance, who invented the first vibrator, or the first porno movie ... even though they're way more widely used.
But here's the interesting thing: The great men and women lauded by society for mainstream discoveries and the underground smut peddlers who advanced the art of masturbation are often the same people.
For instance ...
5William Dickson Invented the Motion Picture, Porn Movie
Cracked nemesis Thomas Edison gets credit for creating the motion picture camera, but it was actually the work of one of his brilliant but unacknowledged underlings, William Dickson. Edison had patented a "motion picture camera," but the device didn't actually exist. So he brought Dickson on to actually figure out how to make the thing. Dickson saved Edison's ass by designing a system to feed celluloid film of 35 mm in width through a camera to create a moving image (if that sounds familiar, it's because Dickson's standard is the same one used today).
One guess as to what that hat was covering up.
This genius Scottish inventor went on to found the first movie production company, made the first talking movies and ... created the first porno film.
Dickson used a close relative of the Kinetoscope, a Mutoscope, to create a set of moving flip cards that could be cranked by hand while the viewer peered in.
Elaborate dress optional, but nevertheless pleasing.
Given the peepshow nature of the Mutoscope, one of its very first (and very popular) films was a classic called "What the Butler Saw."
... penis. We bet the answer is penis.
This film was the first pornographic movie in history. It showed Victorian lovelies in various stages of undress as a lecherous butler (read: you) enjoyed the scene from a keyhole. This Mutoscope reel became so popular that Mutoscopes are colloquially known as "What the Butler Saw" machines.
Because sex is something unmarried women can pretty much take or leave.
We mentioned that William Dickson set up the first movie studio. Well, that studio went on to be the first porn clearinghouse, producing a variety of naughty films under Dickson's watchful eye. While Mutoscopes did show things like horse races, it was smut and violence that made the machines so popular. After all, the Mutoscope was one of the few places where a Victorian gentleman could see a naked woman as long as he was willing to risk having a giant boner in the middle of an arcade.
A quarter? When we were young, inappropriate boners were a dime a dozen.