London, July 14 (ANI): Exploding dogs, flying cars, and parachute suits are some of history’s worst inventions, according to a new book.
Authored by Eric Chaline, ‘History’s Worst Inventions’ describes some of the funniest and freakiest ideas that have gone awry.
Published by New Holland Publishers, the tome is priced at 10.99 pounds, reports the Sun.
Some of history’s worst inventions are:
Anti-tank dogs (1939-1945)
During World War Two the Russians faced the mechanical might of the German Army’s tanks, which made Soviet engineers to create canine mines or “anti-tank dogs”. The dogs, fitted with explosives, would be starved before battles and trained to search for food under vehicles, where they would explode.
But the biggest problem was the dogs often ran towards their own lines, blowing up tanks on their own side.
The Parachute Jacket (1912)
The “flying tailor” Franz Reichelt jumped from the Eiffel Tower to demonstrate his parachute overcoat. Huge crowds gathered to watch the magical event.
Sadly things didn’t go to plan, and he fell to his death.
The Flying Car (1930s)
Waldo Waterman created two Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-style flying cars between 1930-40. The American inventor’s 20ft-long Aerobile had a top air speed of 112mph and he flew it from California to Ohio.
It was never put into commercial production because of technical problems and flight regulations.
Wicker Chair Spaceship (1500)
A Chinese official named Wan Hoo dreamed up the idea of flying to the moon using 47 large rockets strapped to his wicker chair. For his first flight, he instructed his servants to light the rocket fuses ready for blast off. There was a huge explosion but when the smoke cleared Wan had disappeared.
Mythical tales told of him living in space but recent reconstructions show he was probably blown to bits.
Animal testes as cure for erectile dysfunction (19th Century)
Before testosterone was discovered, Mauritian-born Dr Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard (1817-94) injected himself with his preparation made from the testes of guinea pigs and dogs.
He believed it would stave off old age and improve his potency, but his tests flopped.
The TWIKE (mid-1980s)
Short for two in a bike, the pedal-powered three-wheeler TWIKE looked like a kids’ toy. An updated Nineties version had an AC motor and could hit 53mph.
Despite sounding like a good idea, the Swiss firm behind the machine are said to have sold just 2,000 of their machines.
Sony lost billions of pounds with their failed Betamax video format in 1975. It was blown out of business by the release of VHS a year later.
Sony’s 100 per cent share of the VCR market in 1975 shrunk to just 25 per cent by 1981 as a result. (ANI)