9 Pieces of Modern Technology That Ancient People Wouldn’t Be Impressed With at All

The worst stuff to take with you if you’re angling to be considered a god
9 Pieces of Modern Technology That Ancient People Wouldn’t Be Impressed With at All

We all know the trope. Some time traveler emerges from their portal in the olden times. They stride into the town square or off to the nearest cave opening, where they call for an audience. They then brandish a piece of unknown, future technology, and before you can say “gunpowder,” they're sitting on an ornate throne, choosing who lives and dies. Are there, though, certain bits of undeniably modern tech that, if you brought back in time, wouldnt earn you time-traveling cred?

I would argue yes. Specifically, these…



Youd think that sneaking back an Elfbar would have you worshipped as half-man, half-dragon, but Im not so sure. I think for you to really understand how complicated a vape is, you have to have some idea of how it works. As far as just a little tube that lights up and then lets you rip fat clouds? Buddy, humans have been smoking stuff since we could whittle a tube to do it out of. Theyd probably just think it was some sort of strange pipe that you keep a little fire lit inside.

Electric Guitar


Obviously, going to a pre-electric time, an amp is just a weird cube covered in cured animal skin. Even if we say that you are able to bring back an electric guitar and a functional amp to hook it up to, Im not so sure youd have them kneeling before your face-melting solos. After all, its just an instrument that makes a weird noise, which they could probably find one village over if they wanted. The cord and amp? Just a weird airhose and horn. Basically, I think especially the Scots might just see it as a strange, loud pair of bagpipes.

Electric Razor


A rule that will carry through the rest of the entries: Were going to pretend everybody would be cool with metal and other modern materials. If everybodys freaking out at the texture of plastic, were getting nowhere in this thought experiment. That said, I really dont think that a modern pair of clippers, at least the kind without the circles, which I dont fully understand, would rock anyones worldview. They already know what a blade is, this one just shakes. Why does it shake? Maybe they think you trapped a bunch of bees inside. Im just saying, I think they could handle it.


Mike Mozart

Its just a liquid. Like yes, some of the colors they might not have seen often, and the sugar content will probably send them into immediate diabetic shock, but its really just juice from the future. Soak some grass and honey in water for long enough, and youve got a bright green, sweet beverage of your own. What are you gonna do, explain electrolytes to them? Good luck.



I know it seems like riding a bike through an old village would have them throwing rocks at you and your witchcraft, but are they really that complicated? Especially if were talking a penny-farthing or one of the early ones without a chain drive. Its definitely cool, and people would want to look at it, but Im just saying, it doesnt take an extended tech autopsy to figure out how the wheels go ‘round. How they don’t fall over might take a minute, and if thats really holding you up, just imagine I said tricycle. There.

Washing Machine


My only caveat here is that its one without a digital screen on it. Digital screens are an immediate one-way ticket to either being murdered for insulting god or being crowned as one. But a good old, twist-control washing machine? I mean, if youre headed to a time where soap and water were already a thing, they understand that shaking clothes around in them makes them smell better. Again, youre putting a lot of hope in the fact that theyll be rendered speechless by vibration.

Automatic Cat Feeder

Linda Hosek

Its just like a tube that some stuff falls out of sometimes. They really dont do very much, when you think about it. Yeah, they do it on a regular schedule, but like, what is time to these people? Though it would be very cool to have a civilizations calendar be developed around the regularity with which some little bowl gets pebbles dropped into it (obviously theyll run out of cat food, if you even brought any).

Geiger Counter

Boffy B

Again, one with a little needle, not a digital screen, to keep it a controlled experiment. Without the screen, and without being terrified of the materials its made of, its just like… a thing? Plus, its probably barely going off except around maybe bananas and brazil nuts. Its just going to be a bunch of cavemen staring at a needle that doesnt move, like a friend would quietly watch a poorly chosen YouTube video.

Solar Panels


Well, yeah, what the fuck are you going to charge? They’re just shiny squares. You’d probably have better luck bringing an entirely un-electronic mirror if you want to freak anybody out.

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