We use many things on a daily basis, varying from electronics, gadgets, shoes, and apparels to culinary articles. Have you ever pondered over the life story of these articles? Well, you must be knowing about a few of them such as electricity bulb, TV, fridge, and computer, but non-electronic commodities might not have grabbed your attention. But as mundane as such items may seem, they often have surprising origins. And some of them were used for the exact opposite purposes that we use them for today. Read on further to know about them:
Treadmills started as a way to punish criminals
Exercising on the treadmill, you might felt ”this is torture.” Well, it turns out you are right. The modern-day treadmill is an updated version of the treadwheel, which was basically used for torturing prisoners during the early Victorian period in England. The first treadwheels were cylindrical in shape and equipped with a handrail that made the user walk without getting anywhere. After a while, jailers thought that they could hook treadwheels to grain grinders. However until the end of 19th century, common people demonstrated against the use of treadwheels for punishment, and soon this practice came to an end.
Wi-Fi started as a way to detect black holes
Invented by the Australian scientist John O’ Sullivan, today, Wi-Fi technology is used all over the world. John was inspired by Stephen Hawking’s theory that small black holes may evaporate by sending out radio signals. In order to detect these signals, John developed a mathematical tool. But the device did not prove successful. Then in 1992, he started working with a company which was trying to make wireless computer networks. Coincidentally, John applied his black hole failed detecting device into this, and it proved successful.
Carbonated drink was invented as the cure for morphine addiction
The first carbonated drink Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton, a US Civil War veteran, who was injured in the Battle of Columbus. Pemberton began using morphine as anesthesia, and soon became addicted to it. At that time, the rate of morphine addiction among soldiers increased so steeply that it was named as “the army’s disease.” While searching for a way to deal with this addiction, Pemberton invented a drink called “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca,” which was an amalgamation of wine, cola nut, and coca plant. A few years later, in 1886 when new legislation restricted the sale of alcohol, Pemberton stopped using alcohol in this cocktail. And, developed a non-alcoholic drink made from a mixture of coca leaves, cane sugar, and cola nut as a cure for morphine addiction. He set up a company to produce and sell the drink but later sold it. The new owners named the organization as Coca-Cola.
High heels were made for cavalry
High heel shoes and sandals might be your favourite. But do you know that they were not made as a style statement? Instead, in the 16 the century, they were designed to be used by cavalry soldiers to improve their stability so that they could shoot their bows with improved efficiency. High heel shoes made their entry in Europe during the early 17th century, and they were so costly that only people from higher strata of society could afford them. Women from royal families were the first to use these shoes. But over time, their prices reduced considerably, and it became common.
Mouthwash was developed as a disinfectant
The oldest and most popular brand of mouthwash, Listerine didn’t begin its life as such. It was initially used as a surgical disinfectant. In 1879, its formula was developed by the Johnson brothers, who were looking for a way to make surgeries safer. In 1879, they came up with an antiseptic liquid which they named as Listerine after Sir Lister, the famous English surgeon. For many years, it was advertised and sold as a surgical disinfectant that could also be used to treat wounds, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and even insect bites.
These were a few things that we use on a daily basis, but they were not actually made for the same purpose. There might be many such things around you; find more about them.
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