There’s a lot we take for granted. Looking for information on the web, putting a load of clothes in the washer, and switching the lights on are all commonplace now, but these acts, as well as the inventions that enabled them, are not quite so straightforward. From cell phones to vacuum cleaners, which we use without much thought every day, all looked substantially different when they first came out.

Branches having frayed ends were rubbed across the teeth of cultures as far back as ancient Egyptians. Bristle toothbrushes have been used since 1498 throughout China whenever hog hair bristles were used.

History is more than what you learn in school. A lot of the things you use daily have fascinating backstories. And, on occasion, such histories are far more fascinating than anything you'll learn in class.

For instance... here are 30 illustrations that depict the surprising origin of every day goods and products when they were first introduced.

Scroll on for more surprising facts!

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