13 Everyday Inventions That Are Way Older Than We Thought

13 Everyday Inventions That Are Way Older Than We Thought

As we look to the past, it is often with a sense of awe and wonder at the accomplishments of those who lived before us. We marvel at the inventions and discoveries that have changed the course of human history, from the wheel to the printing press. But there are many inventions that are often overlooked or forgotten, inventions that are surprisingly old and ahead of their time. 

From the Aeolipile steam engine invented by Heron of Alexandria in 62 A.D. to the rocket-powered torpedo invented by Al-Hassan er-Rammah in 1280, these inventions show us that innovation is not limited by time or place... and that stuff that looks modern and brand-new sometimes has really, really old roots. They demonstrate the ingenuity of our ancestors and the power of human creativity. So without further ado, let us explore the amazing inventions of the past and appreciate the people who made them... for us to enjoy today.

Ancient Chinese Buddhism: check.

CRACKED ca. 868 A.D. THE PRINTING PRESS The oldest printed book we know of was made in China around 868 A.D. It was called the Diamond Sutra and was about Buddhism. That's all we know, though - we have no idea who invented the first printing press or when, exactly.


Divine intervention, indeed.

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Food 52 

Invented in 1823: Lighter.

CRACKED 1823 LIGHTERS German inventor Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner came up with the first lighter in 1823. It used hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst to create heat and light through a chemical reaction.

Lighter USA 

BAT's attempt at a "healthier" smoking device: too little, too late.

CRACKED 1967 E-CIGARETTES E-cigarettes have been around since the 1960s, when researchers at British American Tobacco created a new type of smoking device, the Ariel. BAT decided to scrap the project so they wouldn't put cigarettes, their main product, in danger.

NCBI / Stat News 

Ancient fire-activated doors.

CRACKED 1st century A.D. SLIDING DOORS Sliding doors have been in use since at least the 1st century A.D. --turns out, Heron invented that too, or at least was the first to describe it. His example describes temple doors that open when a flame is lit.


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