The Strangest Failed Inventions

Learning from past setbacks and failures is essential for driving progress and innovation. These unusual and sometimes funny misfires give us valuable insights into the complexities and uncertainties of invention. Whether they were ahead of their time, poorly executed, or faced unique circumstances, these unconventional creations show us the imaginative minds of their inventors.

From the bold idea of putting wings on tanks to the quirky concept of vacuum beauty helmets, the world of invention is full of ideas that didn’t find success in their time. But these peculiar gadgets and concepts remind us that even brilliant minds can experience failure.

Get ready to discover 24 of the weirdest and failed inventions! This article takes you into a world of bizarre and unusual ideas where creative minds came up with unexpected and fascinating creations. 

1/24 Innovating Mobility: The Rise and Fall of Winged Tanks

In a daring effort to revolutionize military transportation, innovators explored the concept of mounting wings on tanks. Initial tests showed promise, but the eventual advancement of better planes designed for air-dropping tanks rendered this idea obsolete, relegating it to the annals of unconventional military inventions.

2/24 Spin to Forget: The Fading Melodies of Portable Record Players

The 1980s witnessed the emergence of handheld record players, promising music on the go. However, the allure of portable music faded quickly as cassette players and Walkmen surged in popularity, leaving the once-promising record player technology to a silent retreat from the mainstream music scene.

Portable record player

3/24 The Anti-Eating Face Mask: A Quirky Attempt at Weight Control

Imagine a face mask that promises to curb overeating by restricting the mouth’s opening. Developed in the 1960s, this peculiar invention aimed to help people control their food intake. However, the discomfort and potential health risks associated with wearing the mask overshadowed any perceived benefits. Ultimately, this unusual approach to weight loss failed to gain traction and faded into obscurity.

4/24 The X-Ray Hair Removal Machine: A Futuristic But Hazardous Grooming Device

In the early 20th century, a grooming device named the X-ray hair removal machine promised a revolutionary solution for unwanted hair. Its futuristic appeal drew attention, but the excitement quickly turned to concern as the harmful radiation exposure and the risk of cancer associated with its use became evident. Consequently, the machine faced a ban, leaving behind a cautionary tale of the perils of prioritizing innovation over safety.

5/24 The Dehydrated Water Capsules: A Novelty That Left Customers Thirsty

Picture dehydrated water capsules – an intriguing novelty introduced in the 1940s. Marketed as a solution to carry water without the weight, customers soon discovered the absurdity of the concept. Essentially empty capsules to be filled with water when needed, they failed to quench anyone’s thirst for practicality, becoming more of a bizarre conversation starter that a useful invention.

6/24 The Vibrating Weight Loss Belt: A Shaky Path to Slimming

In the 1950s, the vibrating weight loss belt captured people’s attention with its promise of melting away fat through vibration therapy. However, beyond its alluring claims, there was no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. As quickly as the belts came into vogue, they were dismissed as just another strange fitness fad, emphasizing the importance of grounded scientific approaches to health and wellness.

7/24 Robot Readamatic: A Futuristic Reading Aid with Limitations

Enter the Robot Readamatic, a groundbreaking reading aid introduced in 1963 with the mission to assist slow readers. Its innovative concept revealed one line of text at a time, promising an enhanced reading experience. However, the path to revolutionizing reading faced obstacles as design flaws hindered widespread adoption, preventing the Robot Readamatic from reaching its full potential.

8/24 The Tooth Telephone: An Unconventional Communication Gadget

In the whimsical world of inventions, the 1950s witnessed the arrival of the Tooth Telephone—an ambitious attempt to combine oral hygiene and communication. A toothbrush with a built-in telephone aimed to save time during morning routines. Yet, the impracticality of speaking with a toothbrush in one’s mouth and limited sound quality quickly relegated this quirky gadget to the realm of comical oddities, rather than a viable communication device.

9/24 The Segway: Hyped as the Future of Urban Commuting

In 2001, the Segway burst onto the scene with a blaze of excitement, touted as a revolutionary personal transportation device set to transform urban commuting. With its sleek design and promises of convenience, it captured the imagination of many. However, the Segway’s high price, safety concerns, and limited practicality for everyday use left it struggling to find a broader market, resulting in disappointing sales and relegating it to a niche novelty.

10/24 The Soaring Wonder: AVE Mizar (The Flying Pinto)

Imagine a world where a Ford Pinto takes flight—the audacious AVE Mizar embodied this daring vision in the realm of unconventional transportation. With its ability to soar up to 12,000 feet at an astonishing 130 miles per hour, the concept was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Yet, amidst its bold promise, fatal flaws led to tragic accidents, serving as a poignant reminder of the risks inherent in pushing the boundaries of innovation.

11/24 Twentieth Anniversary Mac: The Luxury Computer That Faded Away

Apple’s Twentieth Anniversary Mac made its grand entrance in 1997, catering to the elite tech enthusiasts with its high-end features and sleek aesthetics. Marketed as a luxury computer, it exuded exclusivity. However, its exorbitant price tag limited accessibility, and sluggish sales eventually led to its quiet disappearance from the market, leaving behind fleeting memories of a bygone era of computing opulence.

12/24 Hello, Robot! The Phone Answering Robot’s Limited Reception

In the mid-1960s, the era of household robots ignited imaginations, and among them was the phone answering robot. A vision of automated efficiency, this invention aimed to handle incoming calls. Yet, its limited functionality, only capable of picking up and hanging up calls, rendered it more of a novelty than a transformative advancement in home automation.

13/24 Ford Edsel: A Bold Vision That Failed to Impress

The Ford Edsel, a car that was once heralded as a bold vision for the future, is now remembered as one of the biggest flops in automotive history. Launched in 1957 with great anticipation, the Edsel aimed to cater to a broader market. However, it quickly faced harsh criticism due to its unappealing aesthetics, reliability issues, and an exorbitant price tag that coincided with a national recession. Within just two years, the dream of the Edsel had crumbled, leaving Ford to learn valuable lessons about the importance of understanding consumer preferences. 

Ford Edsel

14/24 McDonald’s Arch Deluxe: A Premium Misfire in Fast Food

McDonald’s, a fast-food giant, is known for its successful menu items. However, in 1996, the company faced a major setback with the launch of the Arch Deluxe hamburger. Pouring a record-breaking promotional budget into the product, McDonald’s expected customers to embrace the premium burger. Unfortunately, the response was lackluster as consumers weren’t willing to pay extra for a seemingly upscale offering. The Arch Deluxe quickly disappeared from the menu, serving as a humbling reminder that even the most recognized brands can stumble when introducing new products.

15/24 Capturing UFOs: The Futuristic Flying Saucer Camera

In the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force embarked on an extraordinary mission to unravel the mystery of unidentified flying objects. The result was the creation of the Flying Saucer Camera, a marvel of innovation equipped with dual lenses capable of capturing regular and colored light images simultaneously. This groundbreaking invention aimed to detect the origins of these enigmatic phenomena, captivating the world with its futuristic capabilities and sparking imaginations.

16/24 Motorized Surfboard: A Tidal Wave of Adventure

Transportation and adventure collided in 1948 when the motorized surfboard hit the scene. This enthralling fusion of surfing and motorization promised thrilling wave-riding experiences, making it an intriguing prospect for thrill-seekers. However, while the concept captured the excitement of many, the practicality of using a motorized surfboard for everyday transportation fell short, relegating it to the realm of novelty rather than a mainstream mode of travel.

17/24 Quenching Pets’ Curiosities: The Thirsty Dog! and Thirsty Cat!

Our furry companions received a peculiar treat in the form of the Thirsty Dog! and Thirsty Cat! products. These innovative creations offered flavored water in delectable beef and fish varieties, aiming to satiate the thirst of our beloved pets. While these quirky products ignited curiosity and garnered attention, they remained more of a niche indulgence, rather than achieving widespread popularity among pet owners.

18/24 A Singular Journey: The Monowheel

In a journey back to the 1800s, the Monowheel emerged as an eccentric yet captivating mode of transportation. Its design featured a seat encased within a large wheel, driven by other wheels, offering a singular and distinctive way to traverse the world. This peculiar invention continues to fascinate all those who encounter it, reminding us of the adventurous spirit that drives human innovation.

19/24 Shelter in the Rain: The Cigarette Umbrella

In the unpredictable weather of the 1930s, smokers found a unique refuge in the Cigarette Umbrella. This quirky device was designed to protect their cherished cigarettes from rain, showcasing inventive thinking in the face of adverse weather conditions. While an interesting solution to a specific problem, the Cigarette Umbrella remained a distinctive and peculiar creation in the history of unconventional inventions.

20/24 The Gas-Shooting Riot Car: A Controversial Proposal

Amid the tumultuous climate of the 1930s, a contentious proposal emerged—a gas-shooting riot car intended for crowd control during protests. This armored vehicle would unleash streams of poisonous gas, raising serious ethical concerns and sparking heated debates. The weight of these moral dilemmas swiftly brought the idea to a halt, preventing further development and implementation of the controversial invention.

21/24 The Vacuum Beauty Helmet: A Peculiar Quest for Flawless Skin

In the curious world of beauty treatments, a strange invention came to light in 1941—the Vacuum Beauty Helmet. This peculiar contraption aimed to enhance skin health through a vacuum-sealed plastic helmet. Despite its ambitious purpose, the impracticality and potential risks associated with such a device outweighed its perceived benefits, causing it to fade into obscurity as a curious relic of beauty experimentation.

22/24 Google Glass: The High-Tech Goggles that Failed to See Success

In 2012, Google introduced a groundbreaking invention, Google Glass, a wearable computer monitor offering an augmented reality experience. With high hopes, the tech world eagerly anticipated its potential. However, Google Glass faced a barrage of privacy and safety concerns, leading to bans in various public places and its ultimate discontinuation in 2015. The failure of Google Glass serves as a testament to the importance of addressing user apprehensions when introducing cutting-edge technology.

Google Glass

23/24 New Coke: The Formulaic Blunder that Fizzled Out

In a daring move in 1985, Coca-Cola decided to revamp its flagship soda with “New Coke,” marketed as a superior replacement. However, this seemingly strategic shift was met with an immediate and sustained public outcry. Consumers were adamant about their love for the original “Coca-Cola Classic,” prompting a swift retreat from the ill-fated formula. The New Coke episode highlights the significance of understanding the emotional connection consumers have with established products.

24/24 Nokia N-gage: A Gaming Gadget That Failed to Level Up

The Nokia N-gage, released in 2003, was an ambitious invention that combined a handheld game system with a mobile phone. On paper, it seemed like a winning formula, but reality proved otherwise. Users quickly discovered design flaws, awkward screen dimensions, and an unappealing keyboard layout. Moreover, the device’s high price tag deterred potential buyers. Despite Nokia’s dedication to keeping it in production, the N-gage couldn’t overcome its shortcomings, serving as a reminder that innovation alone is not enough to guarantee success.


In the world of innovation, not all inventions become successful. Some strange and forgotten failures have left their mark on history. These peculiar creations teach us that creativity doesn’t always lead to success, as they faced challenges like impractical designs, bad timing, or unfortunate circumstances

Instead of getting discouraged by these mistakes, we should embrace the lessons they offer. They empower us to approach future projects with determination and creativity. Understanding past mistakes helps us push the boundaries of what’s possible and improve our ideas. Let’s learn from the past and continue to evolve!