Home Technology Photos of Totally Bizarre Inventions From the 1920’s to 70’s
Technology By Shannon Quinn -

Photos of Totally Bizarre Inventions From the 1920’s to 70’s
Credit: RareHistoricalPhotos

Cigarette Umbrella

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.”

Photos of Totally Bizarre Inventions From the 1920’s to 70’s
Credit: RareHistoricalPhotos

Anti Bandit Bag

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.

Photos of Totally Bizarre Inventions From the 1920’s to 70’s
Credit: RareHistoricalPhotos

Feet Brush

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.

Photos of Totally Bizarre Inventions From the 1920’s to 70’s
Credit: The Huffington Post

Nipple Bra

“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.


How did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Bizarre and interesting vintage inventions from the past, 1920s-1970s. Rare Historical Photos.

In 1929, Spruce veneer bathing suits were described as simple, cheap, and easy to make, yet fashionable and modern. Boban Docevski. 2016.

The Snogometer, a Fantastic Contraption to Measure the Voltage of Snogs, 1965. Vintage EveryDay. 2018.

This 1959 ‘Anti-Bandit Bag’ Promised to Scare Off Thieves—With Smoke. Atlas Obscura. Michael Waters. 2017.

The Nipple Bra Is The 1970s Most Confusing Contribution To Lingerie History. Brie Dias. Huffington Post. 2013.

Bike Keeps Family in Stitches. Vintage EveryDay. 2022.

The Woman’s Armored Bra of WWII. Chris Callahan. Guns. 2013.

This Crazy Anti-Distraction Helmet From 1925 Is Still Relevant Today. LMA. Bored Panda. 2018.

Brush and Shine. Don Brinn. The Pantagraph. 2015.

The Simplicity “Air-Conditioned Lawnmower” 1957. Samuel McCall. Wacky Explorer.

The bizarre history of the baby cage, 1934-1948. Rare Historical Photos.

1921 Baby Stroller with Radio. Get Yesterday’s News Today.


Adhesive Bras: The stick-on bra swimsuit that was quite distinctive, 1949. Rare Historical Photos.

This piano for bedridden musicians was a real-life 1930s invention. Mandy Shaw Roberts. Classic FM. 2022.

Reading in Bed Without Pillows. Peter Biľak. Works That Work. 2023.

The 1930s ‘Pedestrian Catcher’ That Promised to End Jaywalking Deaths. Michael Waters. Atlas Obscura. 2017.

Old, Weird Tech: Plastic Snowstorm Face Protectors. Alexis C. Madrigal. The Atlantic. 2010.

The Revolver Camera: A Colt 38 Carrying a Small Camera That Automatically Takes a Picture When You Pull the Trigger. Vintage Everyday. 2017.

This Dash-Mounted Coffee Maker Is Likely the Rarest Volkswagen Accessory Ever. Peter Holderith. The Drive. 2020.

The hard work of selling bomb shelters in the 1950s. CBC. 2018.

Why Goodyear’s Bizarre Glowing Tires Were A Failure. Slash Gear. 2022.

Vintage pictures of bizarre vending machines you never knew existed, 1920-1960. Rare Historical Photos.