15 Toys, Tools, and Medical Innovations with Surprising Original Uses

15 Toys, Tools, and Medical Innovations with Surprising Original Uses

It’s the dream of every former little kid who used to get in trouble for taking apart the toaster to solve one of humanity’s biggest problems in a patentable way. Why do you think the dad on Rugrats was always in a back room tinkering with stuff? We all want to live out our days sipping liquor out of coconuts on a private island somewhere and also feel good about it.

As with all children, however, once you set your little baby invention free in the world, you have no control over what it will become. You might have high-minded ideas about curing cancer or solving the climate crisis only for people to spend five minutes with your product and declare, “Hey, this tastes really good, what if we put it on ice cream instead?” After all, there’s nothing more human than the unquenchable urge to ignore package directions (especially in the service of putting stuff on ice cream).

Not That Kind of Party Rubber

CRACKED SILLY PUTTY WAS DEVELOPED AS A RUBBER SUBSTITUTE. It was originally thought to be useless until the scientists examining it whipped it out at parties, which were really boring in the 1940s.

Thought Co

Climbing the Stairway to Hell

CRACKED TREADMILLS WERE MILLING/PUNISHMENT DEVICES. They were invented 200 years ago to be used in prisons as renewable energy sources for powering corn mills and water pumps and punishing their users, which is half how we use them today.


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