In the 21st century, most of us take the technology we have for granted. But we shouldn’t forget that there was once a time when even the most ordinary household items were thought to be revolutionary. What may seem like pretty basic products today — hairdryers, toasters, lawnmowers — were once groundbreaking inventions! And the first iterations of these inventions were very different from what they look like today. Let’s take a look back at the earliest prototypes of the products we use today to see just how much they’ve evolved!
Today, most of us think of pinball as an old-fashioned, harmless game. The blinking machines are a fond childhood memory for many, tucked away in the corner of a favorite arcade or pizza parlor. But if you go far enough back in American history, there was a time when some people viewed pinball as a menace to society. In fact, weird circumstances allowed the authorities to outlaw the game and impose harsh penalties. But after a decades-long prohibition, one champion stood up to the anti-pinball crowd.
Christopher Columbus, we were once taught in school, was the first European to land on American soil. But is this actually true? Was this Italian explorer really the first person who sailed across the Atlantic from the Old World to “discover” the New World in 1492? It certainly makes for a good story, and it’s one we’ve been told again and again and again. But the historically accurate version of the discovery of the Americas is one that’s well worth exploring, too.
Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass decided nothing would stop him from becoming a free man. Risking all, he duly escaped enslavement when he was 20 years old. But he wasn’t content with simply his personal liberty. Douglass was a man who would never be satisfied until the cruel institution of slavery had been eliminated from America. And he played a key part in the struggle to make that happen.