Site icon Wonderful Engineering

5 Interesting Failed Inventions From The Past

It is said that you learn by doing. Failure is always a stepping stone towards greater heights and glory. And making a mistake should be taken as discovering one more way of not doing things that way. But cliches apart, sometimes these failures can be used to lighten the mood when needing a good laugh! And this list is definitely here to shed light on the 5 wackiest “failed inventions” ever made in the history of mankind. So sit back and enjoy!

5) Flying Tanks:

No, the tank wasn’t suppose to fire while airborne! But the recommended use was still pretty impractical. The original plan was to tow these flying tanks on the aircraft and glide them into battle to support infantry troops. After airdropping the troops the tanks would glide into the battlefield. The project was finally dropped after there weren’t any aircraft powerful enough to tow the tanks, and also because a lot of crew was required to land the tank safely.


Pic Credits: WikiMedia


4) Car Boats / Boat Cars:

Boat cars are still used these days, but they are not thought of as “the thing of the future” as it was in the mid-1900s. For now, only the novelty collectors or those who just want to spend their extra cash on a floating car own these flop models.

Pic Credits: Wikimedia

3) Cinerama Movies:

Cinerama can be thought of as modern day IMAX screens, but at that time it was a whole lot more complicated. To project a movie it required three perfectly synchronized projectors which were to be aligned with each other as well. There was no concept of digital technology, so that meant that three very skilled projectionist were needed to sit in the projector boxes to make things work. Obviously the cinema houses were reluctant in spending on the hardware upgrades and also on the extra staff to play the movies. Ultimately a very small number of movies were ever recorded in this format, and this invention soon became a part of the inglorious past.


Picture Credits: Flickr


2) Portable Record Players:

There was a time when record players were the only way to play the musical sound. Thus, many companies tried to cash on this and started producing portable record players so that people can take their music with them wherever they wanted. But even a small knowledge of how a record works will reveal the problem with this concept, for if you want to play a record you require a level spot to set the player and make sure nothing bumped it out of the track. Otherwise you would damage the track, and this very basic problem brought this invention down.

Picture Credits: Wikimedia


1) FLIZ (Foot Powered Bicycle)

This invention was the brainchild of German designers Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, but never got going for obvious reasons. This cycle called FLIZ was to be operated without the pedals, gears or a saddle. The cycle was composed of a lightweight frame, and the rider was supposed to be suspended in the air, dangling between the two wheels while powering the cycle with his feet. Besides an unusual appearance, the functionality and the concept of transport is lost at this one, as the rider is carrying the cycle rather than the cycle carrying the rider and is highly uncomfortable and exhausting to use.

Picture Credits: The Daily Mail
Picture Credits: The Daily Mail


Have any more examples of some crazy inventions? Comment below!