Weird Vintage Drawings

August 14, 2020


Fancy walking down the memory lane with me to holler at these cringe-worthy sketches from yesteryears? Everybody knows that most artists are at times notorious in creating out-of-this-world art. It was probably one of those days when the muses were all drunk when these technical drawings were made, but apparently these blueprints were supposed to exist for some utility purposes. 

Not quite sure if these inventions made it through but where's the fun in not trying to decipher the stories behind these interesting drawings? Have a look at the selection below and be the judge if any of these inventions could have been useful at that time or were just plain silly.

Drawing of Creeping Baby Doll, 1871

This creepy looking doll that looks like it jumped out of a horror flick was invented by Robert J. Clay in 1871. The  mechanized "Creeping Baby Doll" was said to have been inspired by the changing notions of childhood that fostered children's development at that time. As seen in the drawing, allowing babies to crawl on all fours as did Clay's doll reflected the era's changes in childrearing practices. And here's where it gets creepier. Crawling babies were actually associated with the insane and animals in the early modern Europe and early America which had led parents to require babies to stand and walk as soon as they were able. It was reported that consumers found the mechanical toy disturbing than amusing. Well, who'd blame them?!

Drawing of a Life Boat, 1837

Before life vests were a thing, it seems that someone in the early 1800s had already thought of inventing wearable life boats to presumably become one of the ultimate super-powerful allies of humans. Not to mention you'd look like a walking bathtub if you wear one. How sweet! John Macintosh submitted an application for his invention of a new and improved lifeboat in 1837. In his patent application, he claimed that the "life-boat may be used for the saving of persons and property, for the conveyance of troops, baggage, and other articles across rivers…and for various other useful purposes.” He added that it keeps the wearer dry. You don't say.

Drawing of Hat to Prevent Drowning, 1840

How would you like to be saved by a floating hat so you can finally say "Ah, saved by the hat"? Well, look no further than this guy, Samuel W. White, because he submitted this invention in 1840. Long story short, he claimed that the hat could prevent people from drowning. He also claimed that the hat or bonnet is buoyant, and the person is “powerfully supported without exertion and consequently prevented from drowning.” I could only assume that he wore it for trial and error, too.

Drawing of Aquatic Toy, 1870

If you think that the rubber duck is one of the most controversial toys ever invented, you might try to think again. This illustration, which looks like it's taken straight out of a science book, details the  anatomy of a toy duck submitted for patent application by Amos W. Hart of Washington, DC back in 1870. The "improved aquatic toy" patent application detailed that in addition to propelling itself through the water, “the toy is also adapted to emit a series of sounds resembling the quack or other peculiar cry of the natural and living bird.” It may not look like your typical yellow rubber ducky but this vintage toy ducky seems far more versatile...and quackier.

What are your weird drawing stories? Have you ever made one yourself? Share your weirdest paintings or sketches for a chance to get featured.

Feature image: Prawny | Pixabay


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