Can You ID These Classic Inventions?

Credit: Unsplash

Let’s test your knowledge of modern machinery.

One of my favorite Schoolhouse Rock numbers was always “Mother Necessity.” I found the idea of many of histories greatest inventors coming up with their gizmos in an effort to help their loving mothers rather amusing, even if it probably wasn’t entirely true.

The real idea of “Mother Necessity” was the notion that a need for a particular kind of invention was what inspired its creation. Many of the modern conveniences we enjoy today arose because some random person looked at society and said “we need more or this” or “less of this.” And once they found a better way to do whatever it was they were doing, everyone else quickly followed suit. People like convenience, what can I say?

The face of technology has changed immensely over the years, to the point that many retro inventions may not be as well known these days. Let’s see if you can identify these classic, world-changing devices.


  • Waterwheel

    • Waterwheel
    • Steamroller
    • Water purifier
    • Wheel
  • Transistors

    • Plugs
    • Computer
    • Transistors
    • Radio
  • Telegraph

    • Stapler
    • Sewing Machine
    • Doorbell
    • Telegraph
  • Steam Engine

    • Water heater
    • Whistle
    • Steam engine
    • Fireplace
  • Radio

    • Radio
    • Toaster
    • Slide show
    • Radiator
  • Telephone

    • Pump
    • Headphones
    • Telephone
    • Safe
  • Printing Press

    • Magnetic poetry
    • Magazines
    • License plates
    • Printing press
  • Compass

    • Water meter
    • Windmill
    • Maps
    • Compass
  • Fiber Optics

    • Bendy straws
    • Fiber optics
    • Wheat
    • Fountains

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