The “Old Brand New” – New Products of the 1920s
If we told you that a vacuum once doubled as a hair dryer, would you believe us? You should. With that, here are four new products that came out during the Roaring 1920s.
Televox the Robot: It may look like a giant game of Operation, but in fact this is the first humanoid robot, invented in the 1920’s by WestingHouse Electric. Named Herbert Televox , this robot could accept a telephone call by lifting the receiver and could then control a few switches depending on the signals that were received.
Today we have everything from robotic vacuum cleaners, driverless cars to traveling astronaut robots.
The First Handheld Hairdryer: Ladies, do not take this one for granted. Before 1920, desperate men and women hoping for a good hair day would connect a hose to the back of a vacuum cleaner, using the air output to dry their hair. Lucky for us, in the 1920’s, Racine Universal Motor Company and the Hamilton Beach Co. invented the first hand-held hairdryer. In its infancy – it only produced 100 watts of heat and there were many instances of overheating and even electrocution. It also offered a nice arm workout – weighing in at about 2 pounds. Luckily for us, today’s hairdryers produce up to 2000 watts and are a whole lot more safe.
The Yo-Yo: You probably don’t remember the last time you saw a Yo-Yo, but there’s a reason you know the name. While its origins go all the way back to 500 BCE, the modern yo-yo toy was created in 1928 by Pedro Flores. The toy was widely popular with a factory of 600 workers that produced 300,000 units per day. Today, Yo-Yos are primarily known for the competitive yo-yoing contests that involve string tricks and a musical routine.
The Selective Jukebox: The original selective jukebox was an electrostatic loudspeaker combined with a coin-operated record player. Inventer, Hobart Niblack created an apparatus that automatically changed records, giving you the ability to play up to 8 records. Talk about musical variety!