You know how modern people are afraid of finding GMOs in their food or self-driving cars that won’t hesitate to sacrifice one driver for a bunch of criminals crossing the road? Every controversial invention since the dawn of time has been viewed as strange, dangerous, or even magical. It takes time for new concepts to settle down and become normal. But sometimes, when we look back at our ancestors, it’s really hard to understand what the hell they were thinking. Let’s dive in!
Nowadays, we can’t imagine our lives without cars, but some 100 years ago, people hated these noisy, smelly machines. You see, horses were much slower but also much more manageable. The fuel-guzzling steel death traps, aka early cars, however, were still new territory. You see, back in the day, the roads were for people. But when the cars started to take over, many citizens were unaware that the machines were dangerous. Simply speaking, the early cars bumped a lot of folks and had to follow some dumb rules like constantly honking to make your presence known. By 1925, car accidents accounted for over 65% of all accidents in the US. It’s like if people could fly, but then jets were invented.
2. Passport Photos
What did people use to identify themselves before photos were available? I’ve personally never even wondered about that, but the answer is “a physical description.” Up until World War I, the British government was strictly against adding photos to the passports. Then suddenly, they noticed that enemy spies started visiting the country whenever they want, and that’s when they realized things had to change. So instead of degrading descriptions, the Brits were also required to include their picture.
What we call today “nostalgia” used to be considered a mental illness. You see, during war times, thinking of your home and wife was just unacceptable for a soldier. It made them weak and unfocused. Some called it the “Swiss illness” or “immigrant psychosis,” but ultimately, it wasn’t a pleasant feeling, according to the doctors. The best part about this is that a French doctor recommended treating nostalgia with “pain and terror.”
4. Movies With Sound
Today, a movie without music or dialogues would bomb in theaters. But back in the 1920s, when silent films were all the rage, the “talkies” were seen as an abomination. Why would you want to hear what the actors are saying? Well, you see, the actors excelled in exaggerated facial expressions, but their voice training sucked. Clara Bow once stated that she hates talkies and thinks they’re stiff and limiting. To be honest, those old mics were really huge.
5. Guide Dogs
In the aftermath of WWI, many veterans were left disabled and miserable, so to help them function in society, doctors cape up with an ide of creating guide dog schools. Of course, people loved this idea. Who wouldn’t want their own special care puppy? But alas, some animal protection organizations were not into the whole “beat the dogs into submission” kind of operation. If it wasn’t for the outstanding benefits of this program, as well as the bond that formed between the dog and his human friend, the public would definitely rage against it.
And last but not least, we have this exotic lump of dirt that people call potato. Taters came to Europe from the Americas, so, naturally, people didn’t know what to make of it. At first, potatoes were considered as something inedible, and only suitable for feeding cattle. Until one day, Antoine-Augustin Parmentier started hyping up taters. For example, he planted a crapton of tubers right outside Paris and told the armed guards to patrol the area for a few days. The starving peasants saw this commotion and took the bait when the guards left. They thought that potatoes were actually something valuable since the guards were involved, so of course, they stole every last bulb! A pot of potato soup is much better than straight hot water, don’t you think?