Early Versions of More Modern Items

Your ancestors may have had the opportunity to use some items after they were first invented. But many of those items today can look and operate quite differently. Here area few examples and the changes over the decades.

A common medical item is syringes which held a hypodermic needle used to inject medicine into a patient. When they were first developed in about 1844 the early syringes were made of ivory, ebony or another porous material. Many were not the most sanitary of materials. Later the syringes were of glass and metal.

The early antiseptic soap or antibacterial soap was first marketed for the care of a baby. The main ingredient was ‘sphagnol’ made from sphagnum moss. Its acids helped kill bacteria, but before there were regulations the strength of the ingredient varied. It was used also for inflammation on the skin, insect bites and ringworm. Making this type of antibacterial dangerous to a baby.

During wartime, new innovations are developed to help in the war effort. In the 1917-1919 World war One time frame, there were new inventions. There was weaponized gas, tanks, armored cars and airborne bombers. The first armored cars – tanks were quite top-heavy making them difficult to handle and move on the battlefield. They could break through the barbered wire. Most of these tanks were used by the British, French and American Armies, much less by Germany.

Incubators for newborn babies were developed in the late 19th century (1880). If a newborn was too small and was born premature, keeping the baby in a special container with controlled conditions was done. Keeping away germs, noises, light levels and control of humidity was the purpose of the early incubator. Strange as it may seem, many of these first baby incubators were even displayed in county fairs to demonstrate the power of science. Those earliest incubators were more like a cabinet and holding 1, 2 to 3 babies at a time.

The first type of microphones was round in shape, like a disk, with holes and screening to speak into. Later the microphone would develop into the long oblong shape. The word microphone was abbreviated to ‘mike’ in 1927. Since the 1980s the term has been ‘mic’.

Photos: Early Syringes; early Antibacterial Soap; WW One Armored car and Tank from France; early one baby incubator and round Little Mike.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Early Inventions Still Used Today

German Inventions

Your Ancestor – the Inventor

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