Ten Fascinating Early Versions of Inventions We Still Use Today

Eliza | 08 - 27 - 2023

Many inventions we still use today have got entirely different and fascinating early prototypes. For example, the very first computers were large enough to fill a huge room. But these days, most of us use computers for our everyday tasks and they just occupy a small amount of space on our desks. Technology has evolved and improved on a very large scale with the advent of smartphones, tablets, etc. In this blog, let’s look at ten fascinating ancient prototypes of today’s inventions.


1. Pagers

They were invented during the 1950s and some of these devices are still being used today! Do you know why? They are widely used by lifeboat crews and doctors alike owing to their battery life and their capability to withstand force. Lots of birdwatchers also use pagers these days because they can be used in the countryside for sending and receiving information about rare bird species.

Pagers were invented during the 1950s.
  • A. True
  • B. False

2. The Abacus

This device is an age-old invention that is said to be of Babylonian origin. Can you believe that it’s the ancestor of the digital calculator we use today? In many countries, it’s still being used to teach mathematics to children. The Abacus is also one of the inventions with unexpected historical roots.

3. Computer Software

Today, we cannot live without computers. Computers, laptops, and software have become part and parcel of our lives. However, the oldest and first-installed software that is still being used today is the MOCAS (United States of Defense’s Mechanization of Contract Administration Services). 

4. The QWERTY Keyboard

We all know that the QWERTY keyboard is used even today in houses and offices alike. The layout design of this keyboard was first invented in 1873 by Christopher Latham Sholes. The letters separated from each other on the keyboard are helpful in preventing jamming. These separated letters also increase typing speed and improve the efficiency of work.

5. The Wheel

This is one of the fabulous ancient inventions still in use. The wheel is being used in both big and small machines. Most of the vehicles in use today run with the help of wheels. This invention will be used in the future also.

6. X-Rays

X-rays are one of the most indispensable things used in the modern world. But you might be surprised if we say that X-rays were discovered quite accidentally. When Wilhelm Roentgen was trying to test if cathode rays were able to pass through the glass, he stumbled upon the early version of what we now call X-rays. They are surely one of the innovations with unexpected historical roots.


7. Mints

Many historical origins of everyday items will amaze you. Are you aware that ancient Egyptians invented mints that people use for bad breath today? The Egyptians boiled a mixture of herbs, added some spices like cinnamon, and poured some honey into the mixture. They then turned the mixture into pellets. When they popped these pellets into their mouths, they were relieved of their bad breath problem!

8. Door Locks

It’s pretty interesting to talk about the origins of commonly used modern items like door locks. Around 4,000 BC, the ancient Egyptians used bigger versions of modern-day door locks. These olden locks were 2 feet long and known as “tumbler locks.” In the modern world, we just take locks for granted, but it’s important to remember that these devices have a very ancient history and some considerable time was spent in arriving at their design.

9. Paper

Even though we live in the world of digital technology, we still use lots of paper for reading and writing. Paper is something that will never become obsolete. The Chinese were the first to introduce paper to the world. 

10. The Alarm Clock

The modern-day alarm clock has its roots in an ancient device that made a lot of noise at a particular time. Plato, the great Greek philosopher, initially owned one of these devices during 428-348 BC. He was using a huge water clock that let him know when his lectures would start in the morning. Today, people have switched over to digital clocks or they conveniently set alarms in their mobile phones. However, there are still some people who prefer using the older version of the alarm clock that was used before the digital revolution.

The Alarm Clock

We hope our blog on the ten fascinating ancient prototypes of today’s inventions proved helpful. When we know how much time and effort have been put into these inventions, we will learn to appreciate their use and admire the inventors.

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