We’re used to thinking everything has its purpose. However, many items we use every day were once used quite differently. Bright Side suggests looking into the history of ordinary things to see what purpose they served before becoming what we know them to be.
SUMMARY - Coca-Cola has a kind of fascinating history. Pharmacist John Pemberton, a veteran of the American Civil War, made a concoction out of kola nuts and coca leaves. He recommended it to soldiers taking morphine for wounds to treat their nervous system. - Up until the 1920s, black clothes were commonly worn as a symbol of mourning and for at least two years. Then, in 1926, Coco Chanel sewed her famous little black dress, called “Chanel’s Ford” by Vogue, in memory of her beloved. - Daisuke Inoue invented the machine that played music without the vocals, so the musicians relaxed while the public enjoyed singing to the beat. - Play-Doh had initially been used to clean wallpaper in houses equipped with fireplaces that accumulated soot. - Treadmill. The prototype of a modern treadmill was created by Sir William Cubitt in 1818 to do something with idle prisoners, using their muscle power to mill grain. - Dr. Spencer Silver was in the process of inventing a permanent adhesive, but the resulting glue wasn’t strong enough, and objects unstuck with ease. Then his colleague, Arthur Fry, proposed using this adhesive to anchor his bookmarks in his hymnbook. - The famous bubble wrap was invented by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957. It was initially to become a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper, but the idea didn’t quite work out. - In the mid-19th century, oil field workers always fought the waxy substance that accumulated in the oil rig pumps. The British chemist Robert Chesebrough, though, saw an opportunity: he took a part of this “petroleum jelly,’’ did some research, and found that it had useful properties. - Slinky was actually not a kids’ toy initially. Richard T. James, a naval engineer, was once working on a means for suspending sensitive shipboard instruments and accidentally dropped a tension spring that crawled away merrily. - Joseph Lawrence invented this antiseptic in 1879 to clean surgical instruments. It was even named after surgeon Dr. Joseph Lister. However, people saw its potential and started using it everywhere: treating wounds, dentistry, curing dandruff and fungi, and even as a deodorant. - Pfizer was developing a cardiac disorder treatment, but the clinical trials showed the new medication was quite useless in this regard. However, an unusual side effect was noted: the substance strongly affected the blood flow in the pelvic region. - Few people know that the microwave oven as we know it was not invented on purpose. A Raytheon employee, engineer Percy Spencer, had been testing radar equipment and noticed that microwaves from an active radar melted a chocolate bar in his pocket. - In Mesopotamia, pillows were an attribute of wealthy people, while hard headrests were used to keep bugs and insects out of people’s hair and face. In Ancient China, it was believed that soft pillows were useless, while hard headrests made of bamboo, jade, porcelain, wood, or bronze gave strength and protection from demons. - In 1904, Thomas Sullivan, a tea and coffee importer from New York, decided to sell tea with more style by pouring it into silk bags. His customers found the novelty appealing, but for quite another reason: it turned out to be more convenient to brew the tea right in the porous bags. - In Ancient Egypt, high heels were a sign of the status of high officials who wore high-heeled footwear to religious rituals. This included both men and women. Such shoes were also favored by butchers to avoid walking in blood, while Persian equestrians used high heels to hold on when shooting their bows.
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