Weird History
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The First Time Everyday Things Actually Happened

April 16, 2021 7.1k votes 1k voters 67.5k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most surprising origin stories of everyday things.

The world’s population utilizes many everyday items daily. However, not many people are aware of why these items came to be or when they were first created. Most things that occur in everyone’s lives have an interesting backstory. Many of the world’s modern inventions have their foundations in more rudimentary designs.

It’s intriguing to learn how everyday stuff was invented, especially innovations that are reasonably common in most people’s lives. Read this list if your interest has been piqued and you want to learn the truth surrounding the origins of everyday items.

  • 1

    A 12-Year-Old's Memory Inspired The Flexible Water Hose In 1672

    The first-ever flexible water hose was invented in 1672 by Dutch painter Jan van der Heyden, who as a 12-year-old boy witnessed the burning of the Amsterdam town hall in 1652. This left such a heartfelt impression on him that 20 years later, he decided to invent a flexible hose to put out fires.

    van der Heyden originally made it out of linen; a few years later, he tried stitched leather as the material for a flexible hose. It became the first manufactured hose and the first garden hose.

  • 2

    Superglue Was Initially Invented As A Spray To Aid Injured Soldiers During World War II

    Superglue was accidentally invented in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover. Reportedly Coover was working on creating clear plastic lenses for gunsights for soldiers during World War II when he created the chemical substance. He realized the glue could not be used for the lenses, as it was too sticky, but a few years later, he determined the substance could be utilized for medical purposes.

    In 1964, after studying if the glue could be used to hold human tissue together, he petitioned the FDA for its use during the Vietnam War. Although it was not yet approved, the glue was used in a spray form during the war as a temporary treatment, and it saved many lives.

  • 3

    Disposable Tissues Were Invented In 1924 As A By-Product Of World War I

    One of many inventions that can attribute its success to World War I is disposable tissues. Before the tissues were known as such, they were utilized as cheaply produced paper-based liners for gas masks. However, tissues replaced the inside of wartime respirators only when a cotton shortage occurred, as cotton was a precious commodity for field dressings and bandages.

    After the war, the company Kimberly-Clark came up with the idea in 1924 of disposable face towels women could use to remove makeup. Interestingly, this invention was widely utilized instead as a disposable handkerchief. Thus the company changed its marketing strategy and relabeled the disposable face towels as disposable tissues, and Kleenex was born.

  • 4

    The First Instance Of Documented Insurance Occurred In The Code of Hammurabi

    The concept of insurance policies dates back thousands of years to the ancient world. In today’s society, these policies have adapted and evolved drastically. Still, they might not have even existed without the knowledge depicted in the first documented insurance policy in the Code of Hammurabi.

    The first known insurance policies existed as marine insurance for ships that went out to sea. Babylonian ship merchants would take out various loans on shipments and would be required to pay a forgiveness fee to lenders in case the merchandise was lost or stolen. This form of insurance law was recorded in the Code of Hammurabi, an ancient manuscript dating back to 1750 BCE.