10 LOST Inventions That Could Have CHANGED THE WORLD!
Have you ever wondered how more advanced the human species could've been if the Dark Ages never occurred? We're taking a look through the past, from ancient antiquity to modern days, to find inventions that were lost that could've changed the world.
Wireless Power Transmission
Inventor Nikola Tesla was the first to delve into and perform experiments with wireless power transmission at the turn of the 20th century. Between 1891 and 1904, Nikola experimented with the transmission of electrical energy using spark excited radio frequency resonant transformers, now known as Tesla Coils, which generated high AC voltages. With this he was able to transfer power from short distances without wires. The ultimate goal was to transmit electrical energy on a worldwide scale, directly into homes and factories. In 1901, Tesla began construction of a large high voltage wireless power station, now called the Wardenclyffe Tower at Shoreham, that was intended to transmit power worldwide and broadcast information, but sadly, in 1904 his investors pulled the plug.
Sloot Digital Coding System
Dutch electronics technician, Romke Jan Bernard Sloot, announced that he had developed the Sloot Digital Coding System, a revolutionary advance in data transmission, in the late 1990s. He claimed that it could reduce a feature length film down to a file size of approximately 8kB. The decoding algorithm was 370MB, which he demonstrated to Philips executives by simultaneously playing 16 movies from a 64kB chip. Sloot died of a heart attack one day before a beneficial deal was signed by Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips, a Dutch technology company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Philips company would have continued the work if the compiler stored on a floppy disk had not disappeared.
Amateur chemist Maurice Ward invented Starlite during the 1970s and 1980s, receiving a lot of publicity in 1993 when coverage of the science and technology show Tomorrow's World demonstrated some of its properties. Starlite, a name coined by Maurice's granddaughter, Kimberly, was able to be applied to objects where it could be put under intense heat, even withstand a nuclear blast, and come out unscathed. It also did not produce any toxic byproduct or fumes. Starlite's composition is a closely guarded secret that may have died with Maurice Ward in 2011, that contained a variety of organic polymers and copolymers, and both organic and inorganic additives, 21 in all. While several organizations were interested in Maurice Ward's invention, such as NASA, no agreements were solidified.
Tom Ogle Carburetor
In the 1970s, a twenty four year old dropout of El Paso, Texas, named Tom Ogle developed a new type of carburetor that pressurized gasoline into a vapor and injected it into the firing chambers. When interviewed by a reporter, the young inventor revealed that he discovered his fuel efficient system by accident, when messing around with his lawn mower and accidentally puncturing its fuel tank. Demonstrating how his new invention worked, he installed the carburetor into his Ford Galaxie, where experts extensively tested and engineers found no fraud, and drove 200 miles on a measured 2 gallons with a reporter present. After some licensing setbacks, Tom Ogle died in 1981 after a heavy night of drinking which has since spurred conspiracy theories and conjecture.
Isidore of Seville was the craftsman who invented the technique to create flexible glass where he presented it to Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar in the shape of a bowl. Displeased with such a gift, Tiberius threw it to the floor, where the glass dented instead of shattering. The inventor then repaired the bowl easily with a hammer, and swore to the Emperor, when questioned, that he alone knew the technique of manufacture. Tiberius had the man beheaded, fearing such a material would undermine the value of gold and silver, even going as far as burning down the inventors entire workshop. This is only one accounting of the story, with another claiming that the inventor was unknown, the object was a goblet, and the man sought a pardon, but regardless of which version told, unbreakable glass at that time would've possibly changed the course of history.
A plant used in classical antiquity as seasoning, medicine and a potent contraceptive, Silpium was created by nature, but lost due to human overharvesting. It became an essential item of trade in the ancient North African city of Cyrene, and so critical to the Cyrenian economy, that most of their coins were adorned with the picture of the plant. The plant was also used by the Egyptians, Knossos Minoans, and most Mediterranean cultures, including Romans. Most believe that the identity of the plant, widely thought to belong to the genus Ferula, is just misidentifed nowadays, but there are references that the last plant was gifted to Emperor Nero, which he promptly consumed. While the civilizations of the time should've been in a population boom, there is evidence that shows it was declining.
Marcello Pellegrino Ernetti was an Italian Roman Catholic Benedictine priest and the most famous exorcist who worked in the Venice area for his time, but he is also credited to have constructed the Chronovisor, a time viewer that allegedly allows those who use it to see and hear events from the past. It was proposed that the device was constructed by a team of twelve world famous scientists, including Enrico Fermi, and Wernher von Braun. According to an explanation by Ernetti, luminous energy and sound that objects emanate are recorded in their environment, allowing his device to reconstruct from the energy images and sounds of a specific set of events from the past. Ernetti claims that he witnessed the lost tragedy Thyestes, by Quintus Ennius, and Jesus dying on the cross. The Chronovisor is now supposedly dismantled.
While technically not a lost invention, but rather a shelved one, due to the negative backlash it received from its over cautionary side effects, Olestra was a miracle fat substitute that added no fat, calories, or cholesterol to products, meaning that it could be used in otherwise high-fat foods such as potato chips, where it would lower or eliminate their fat content. Olestra was approved by the FDA in 1996, concluding that it met the safety standards for food additives, with reasonable certainty of no harm. The side effects mentioned were abdominal cramping and loose stools, and that Olestra inhibited the absorption of some vitamins and nutrients. These symptoms, however, normally occurred only by excessively consuming Olestra products in a short period of time.
A cloudbuster is a pseudoscientific device designed by Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, which he claimed could produce rain by manipulating what he called orgone energy, or hypothetical universal life force, present in the atmosphere. The device was intended to be used similarly to a lightning rod, where it focused on a location in the sky and was grounded, which in turn would draw the orgone energy out of the atmosphere, where it created cloud formations and rain. The cloudbuster consisted of an array of parallel hollow metal tubes, which were connected at the rear to a series of flexible metal hoses, smaller than the main tubes. The open end of these hoses were placed in water, and the pipes aimed where they wanted to draw energy. The remains of a cloudbuster of Reich's can be found in Rangeley, Maine.
Water Fuel Cell
Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell is mired in controversy, with one side claiming complete fraudulence, and the other side claiming pure genius and innovation. Supposedly the water fuel cell is a technical design of a perpetual motion machine, where Meyer claimed that an automobile retrofitting with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline. The fuel cell would split water into its component elements, hydrogen and oxygen, where the hydrogen was then burned to generate energy. In 1996, two investors sued Meyer, where he was forced to pay back their $25,000 investment due to the court ruling that Meyer had committed gross and egregious fraud. Stanley Meyer died suddenly on March 20th, 1998, while dining at a restaurant from a cerebral aneurysm which has only spurred conspiracists that he was somehow assassinated.