Many famous inventors, such as Thomas Edison, created products that enhance our everyday lives. But many of these inventions were produced with a great deal of trial and error. For every successful invention, there are hundreds of others that failed to make it to the mainstream.
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According to the History Channel's Modern Marvels, there have been over 75 patents issued for a flying car since 1917. Unfortunately, this idea has had a hard time taking flight. Only one such invention, Moulton Taylor's 1949 aerocar, achieved any type of notoriety. He was inspired to build the aerocar to alleviate ground congestion in the United States after World War II. Unfortunately, his vision was unsuccessful. The car was not sturdy enough for the road and the number of additional licenses required for drivers caused the invention to be caught in an unending sea of red tape. Only five of his aerocars were ever built.
Adrian Shoe Fitting Machine
After the discovery of x-ray technology in 1896, many enthusiasts sought to find ways to use it in everyday life. Unfortunately, many of the devices that were invented as a result brought more harm than good. One such invention was the Adrian Shoe Fitting Machine. Produced by the now defunct Adrian X-Ray Company, the device was designed with an x-ray tube called a fluoroscope to enable the shopper to see through their shoes and feet to get an accurate measurement of their shoe size. The hazardous radiation exposure, due to leaking in the surrounding area of the device, was discovered in 1950. The shoe fitting machine was banned in 33 states by 1970.
The Concrete House
Thomas Edison, thought by many to be the father of invention, had many successful inventions including the light bulb, phonograph and the motion picture. He was granted 400 patents in an eight-year period. But not all of his inventions were successful. In 1899, Edison formed the Edison Portland Cement Company. This company built everything from furniture to pianos. At the time, concrete was a very expensive material. Despite this, Edison set out to mass produce concrete houses. The houses were not as affordable as regular homes, costing over £65,000 each, so they were out of reach for the average consumer, notes the website America's Story from America's Library. The Edison Cement company produced only 11 of these homes before going bankrupt.
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