Fifteen inventions that were decades ahead of their time

edisons-kindle1I know this is about a month old, but I only found it just now and the subject matter is really rather timeless. In January, the Technologizer had a great article looking at 15 inventions or ideas, mostly media-related, that were decades ahead of their time.

The title of the piece, “Mr. Edison’s Kindle,” refers to Edison’s 1911 idea that books might one day be printed on hyper-thin, extremely durable sheets of nickel rather than paper. Today, of course, we have e-books that weigh even less per page.

Other ideas include the 1928 “Telenewspaper and Electric Writer” and the 1938 “Talking Newspapers” from Popular Mechanics, sending newspapers in black and white or even color by radio fax, and storing vast libraries on micro-miniaturized microfiche.

The crazy thing is that every one of these inventions has counterparts today, many of which are very popular and widely used. It makes me wonder what ridiculous, unwieldy inventions of today might become tomorrow’s everyday gadget.

3 Comments on Fifteen inventions that were decades ahead of their time

  1. They might have mentioned the amazing work of the gorgeous Hollywood actress Heddy Lamarr who, in the late 1930’s, invented the Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum communications system now used in mobile phones and military communications.

  2. Well, to suggest a crude and unwieldy tech of today that may become commonplace tomorrow, there’s the various login and password systems that will someday become easy-to-use biometric identifiers.

  3. Thanks! Incidentally, this story was actually from January of 2010–I had a lot of fun researching and writing it…

    –Harry

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