Out of all the inventions on this list, this one might be the most pointless. Why? Just why? I can’t even. Imagine being so devoid of brain matter you can’t brush your own back with a normal back brush. They can’t do anything regarding their own body without a direct line of sight. Really? Then how do they even wipe themselves after using the bathroom?! Can’t scratch your own back? Well, good luck with this thing. It only requires perfectly aligning a pair of mirrors that jerk in all directions while you use it. The brush isn’t even angled properly. Just useless.
Actually not a terrible idea as far as inventions go. Seriously, just hear me out. First off, you have to wonder what exactly would convince a man to allow another man to be that close to his neck with a razor. One slip up, and that’s it. A robotic arm could be fine tuned to make only the smallest movements, and even to not move at all if the operator jerks too suddenly. In fact, they are being used today, but for robotic surgery, for precisely that reason. The only thing holding this back is that no real barber would have hoped to afford it.
Anyone who has ever experienced rain knows that even a normal umbrella is dubious when it’s so windy the water falls sideways. Someone either thought that people are so stupid that ads can sell anything, or worse. They actually believed it was a good product. What I actually want to believe is that Robert L. Stern, president of Zeus Corp, already knew this, and the 1956 Rainy Day Cigar Holder was only meant as a humorous novelty item. It would make an excellent gag gift for Chirstman or birthdays, even today. File this one under, “Could sell on Etsy, actually.”
File this one under “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” This briefcase had a pull-out bottom attached to a chain. In theory, a thief would steal it, only to pull the chain and send the contents flying. Forget having a firm grip, or a lock code that wasn’t “1234”. All it would take was for just one accidental discharge for you to just decide to use a normal briefcase. The genius behind this item was a man named John H. T. Rinfret. It was a product perfectly designed to make the short-sighted believe they’re actually playing the long game.
Nothing quite hits the right mix of misogyny and stupidity like the Feet Brush. Someone actually thought that walking on a soapy floor with less-than-solid footwear was a great idea. It was such a great idea, you didn’t even have to pay attention to what you were doing. You could do anything, like read a book! Imagine being engrossed in the latest entry in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and a patch of extra soapy floor sends you flying backwards and snaps your neck. The truly concerning fact was that it wasn’t laughed out of the room.
“Now you can have that sensual no-bra look while wearing a bra,” read the ad for the Nipple Bra, the first (and last) women’s bra to have a built-in nipple. I’ll be honest, this just seems like the best of both worlds. It was made of nylon, and was even machine washable! $20 for the bra, and $15 for shipping. Apparently it was mail order only. A shame, really. Would have been a real head-turner for a window display. It is hard to imagine a more inappropriate item of dress, but it’s not unimaginable for it to see a comeback.