Designs Locked In Time
It seems that the advance of technology is reaching into every part of our daily lives. Almost every item that we use on a daily basis has been modified or improved in some way by digital technology. There are a few items however that have been relatively untouched by the tech world. For one reason or another these items would be fairly familiar to our ancestors as they are to us today. Here’s a round-up of a few modern day items that have barely changed since their invention.
Ironing usually appears high up on the list of everyone’s least favourite household chores. Maybe it is because the iron has seen very few technological advances over the years that it is such an unpopular activity.
Whilst a modern iron has the addition of a water tank to make steam and an electric heating element to keep the temperature of the iron constant, that’s about it for the improvements technology has made to this household appliance.
Considering the important role that the lock plays in keeping our property secure, it is surprising that the most common locking mechanism used to secure our homes has seen very little improvement since its invention.
Graham Jones of MPL Locksmith Training told us “the tumbler lock mechanism, most often called ‘the Yale lock’ has remained largely unchanged since its invention. The only significant changes to improve on its security have been the introduction of hardened materials in the casing of the locks themselves.”
We found a great demonstration of how a tumbler lock mechanism works in this YouTube video, though due to the very cheesy music, it’s perhaps one to watch with the sound down!
The modern flush toilet has barely changed since the design brought to use by Thomas Crapper in the nineteenth century. The only real changes have been in the use of plastic inside the cistern, which replaced metal parts that inevitably rusted and seized up in the water.
The fact that there have been so few changes to the flush toilet over its two-hundred-year history points to it being one of the very few examples of near perfect design.
The Ball Point Pen
Perhaps the only invention that can could challenge the flush toilet for the perfect design crown it would be the ball point pen. The internal workings of a modern ball point pen have barely changed over the first ball point pen at its invention in 1888.
Improvements to the ball point have mainly been to make cheap, disposable versions and to add a spring mechanism to lift the ball point inside the body of the pen when not in use.
Thank you for reading our article on household items that have stayed largely the same since their invention. Somehow we doubt that the inventions of today will stay the same in the way that these have – certainly not if items like the mobile phone are anything to go by!
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