Door Knobs Weren't Invented Until AFTER The Civil War

Of all the revolutionary technologies we take for granted nowadays, perhaps none is more unassuming than the doorknob. That has to be pretty high up there on the list of inventions by chronological order, right? Fire, wheel, beer, doorknob. Hell, even the Flintstones' house had a doorknob, and that show was rigorously fact-checked for accuracy.

Hanna-Barbera

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

But no, the modern doorknob didn't exist until 1878, when an African-American inventor named Osbourn Dorsey conceived it.

Osbourn Dorsey"I could have invented it earlier, but, you know ..."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

What did we use before then? Nothing. Just a bunch of locks on anything we wanted to keep. That's why in games like Skyrim, you can break into any house you want, but still find a bedroom full of impenetrable chests. Pure historical accuracy. Aside from the dragons and magic yelling.

If people couldn't spend the money for a mechanical door lock, they employed a latch string system, which removed a heavy bar from the door, but required you to spend long periods of time re-positioning the latch after every use. That sounds super tedious, and there is no way we could stick to that every single time. If somebody hadn't invented the doorknob, we would probably just be living without stuff. Thanks, dude from the diagram above!

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

You know, as many doors as you've opened today, have you thought about maybe applying some hand sanitizer?

Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out Slam Coffee, Then Nap: Science Says It Works! and Bats Won't Fly Into Your Hair (Like In The Movies).

Following us on Facebook is basically a no-brainer.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

65 Comments

Load Comments

More Articles

5 Famous Old Movies That Now Look Painfully Stupid In 2019

The flow of time is cruel to us all.

193

6 Utterly Insane Movie Moments Everybody Forgets Exist

Lots of people forgot these movie moments ... but, like, how?

156

6 Classic Films That Almost Turned Out Terrible

Let us gaze into the parallel realities where these famous movies are really just infamously terrible.

161