Updated: Nov 7
Are you ready for some good old-fashioned British quirkiness? From the practical to the downright bizarre, the United Kingdom has a long history of inventing some truly weird and wacky things. Here are ten of the strangest British inventions of all time:
The Napkin Suit: Who doesn't hate having to change their clothes after a messy meal? In the 1930s, a British man came up with the brilliant solution of the Napkin Suit. This one-of-a-kind garment was made entirely out of napkins, so when you inevitably spilled some gravy on your lap, you could just replace the soiled napkin with a fresh one. No more changing clothes or doing awkward spot cleaning at the dinner table!
The Edible Teaspoon was an interesting invention from the early 20th century that aimed to solve the problem of dirty spoons and wasteful disposable utensils. This spoon was made
entirely out of chocolate, allowing the user to stir their tea and then eat the spoon when they were finished. It was a convenient way to satisfy one's sweet tooth and be eco-friendly, as there was no need to wash a dirty spoon or throw away disposable utensils. While it's unclear if the Edible Teaspoon ever caught on, it remains an amusing and unique invention in the history of British innovation.
The Baby Minder: Being a parent can be stressful, especially when you have to leave your little one alone in another room. In the 1950s, a British inventor came up with the Baby Minder, a device that allowed parents to remotely monitor their babies. It consisted of a microphone and speaker that could be placed in the baby's room, allowing the parents to listen in on their child and even talk to them through the device. It's like a baby monitor, but way more high-tech (for the 1950s, at least).
The Hat Fan: It's a hot summer day and you're out and about, trying to keep cool. What do you do? Break out the Hat Fan, of course! Invented in the late 19th century, this handy accessory
was essentially a portable fan that you could wear on your head like a hat. It was the ultimate way to stay cool while still looking fashionable (sort of).
The Fish Call: Fishing can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby, but sometimes you just can't seem to catch anything. In the 1920s, a British inventor came up with the Fish Call, a device that used ultrasonic sound waves to attract fish. The idea was that you could use the Fish Call to lure in a bounty of fish, making your fishing trips much more successful. Unfortunately, the Fish Call never really caught on (pun intended) and it remains a strange and little-known invention.
The Umbrella Hat: Rainy days can be a drag, especially when you have to carry an umbrella around with you. In the 19th century, someone in the UK had the bright idea to combine an umbrella with a hat, creating the Umbrella Hat. This handy accessory allowed the wearer to keep their head dry while still leaving their hands free to do other things like drink tea and eat sandwiches.
The Umbrella Cane: If the Umbrella Hat wasn't weird enough for you, how about the Umbrella Cane? This bizarre invention was essentially a cane with an umbrella attached to the top, allowing the user to keep their head and body dry while walking in the rain. Like the Umbrella Hat, the Umbrella Cane was popular in the early 20th century but has since faded into obscurity.
The Automatic Tea Maker: Tea is a beloved national pastime in the UK, but making it can be a bit of a hassle. In the early 20th century, a British inventor came up with the Automatic Tea Maker, a device that could automatically brew a cup of tea by adding hot water to a teapot and activating a timer. It was intended to make the process of making tea more convenient, it had quite a spell of popularity with several generations waking up in the morning to the click of an alarm and ready-made tea in the Teasmaid.
These are just a few examples of the weird and wacky inventions that have come out of the UK. From the practical to the downright bizarre, it seems that the British have always had a knack for coming up with unique and creative ideas. Who knows what strange and wonderful inventions the future may hold?