16 Things NOW AND THEN When They Were Invented

Change is the only constant. Just the way humans have evolved over millions of years, technology too keeps on changing with every era. Over the decades how the things now and then have changed so drastically that when we look back, it makes us harder to believe the difference between those things.

From a bicycle to a simple toothbrush, time and technology have changed a lot. Let us take you through some examples of how ordinary things have transformed over the years and how they look now.

1. Cash Register Machine


The earliest cash registers were invented by James Ritty and John Birch following the American Civil War. Today they would create a civil war if they go obsolete!

2. Digital Camera

This was a prototype digital camera by Kodak produced way back in 1975. The “toaster-sized” system relied on a cassette tape for recording data. The digitized images took 23 seconds to record to tape which then had to be played back using a specialized system.

3. Phones


In 1876 Bell and Thomas Waston spoke on the phone, this was the first conversation held by wire. Today we have video calls and what not!

4. Razors


The Sumerians and the ancient Egyptians supposedly used flint knives for shaving. With the development of metallurgy in the second millennium BC., the Egyptians switched to copper and then bronze razors.

5. Refrigerators


On left is the general Electric “Monitor-Top” refrigerator, introduced in 1927, priced at $525, with the first all-steel cabinet, designed by Christian Steenstrup

6. Socks


The socks on left are the earliest knitted items in the V&A’s collection. Made in 300-499 AD, they were excavated in Egypt at the end of the 19th century. The toe is divided and is designed to be worn with sandals.

7. Speakers


On the left is a drawing of an early vacuum tube regenerative radio receiver a horn loudspeaker and the Paragon receiver, made by Adams-Morgan Co., Montclair, New Jersey, USA, from an advertisement in a radio magazine around 1922. The radio consists of two units; the single tube RD-5 regenerative receiver (left) and the two tube A-2 audio amplifier (right) to drive the Magnavox speaker.

8. Swimsuits

swimsuits now and then


Swimsuits in the early 1800s Victorian era women were serge or dark flannel bathing dresses, but by the 1860s two-piece belted costumes replaced the earlier styles.

9. Tampons

tampons now and then

Women have been using tampons since ancient times, but those early variations were very different from the hygiene products women use today. In different cultures, tampons used to be made of papyrus, wool, paper, or fern and were often fastened in place with bandages. Modern cotton tampons were only invented in the 1930s.

10. Toilet Papers

Although paper had been known as a wrapping and padding material in China since the 2nd century BC, the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China.

11. Toothbrush

toothbrush now and then


On the left, a toothbrush with a silver-gilt handle was made for Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) of France.

13. USB Drives

usb now and then

The basis for USB flash drives is flash memory, a type of floating-gate semiconductor memory invented by Fujio Masuoka in the early 1980s.

14. Hand Blenders


On the left is a blender invented by Willis Johnson, in the 1880s. Originally he invented the device as the mixing machine not intended to whisk the eggs only.

15. Washing Machines

washing machine now and then


Washing machines were first invented by Jacob Christian Schäffer in 1767. 30 years later, an American, Nathaniel Briggs, obtained the first patent for a washing machine.

16. Bicycle

now and then


On the left, the penny-farthing, also known as a high wheelhigh wheeler, or ordinary, was the first machine to be called a “bicycle”. It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds and comfort. It became obsolete from the late 1880s with the development of modern bicycles.

Let us know which thing was hard to believe that it totally looks different now and then.