Things That Took Too Long To Invent

Things That Took Way Too Long To Be Invented

I am fascinated with the famous statement “necessity is the mother of invention.” Basically it means that a need will create a solution. Since people need more capacity to store their electronic data, engineers continually produce better, faster and larger hard-drives to fill that need. Pretty simple right? Wrong. Porn gave us video tapes and then DVD’s and let’s face it, it drives the internet. I read that still over 70% of the activity on the internet is porn driven. However you may feel about porn, we wouldn’t have much of an internet without it.

I have been and continue to be amazed at just how long some things take to come into being. Fire. That one I can see taking a while to discover. Airplanes? Same deal. Computers, Roku’s, cell phones even the little beeper thing I use to unlock my car, I understand that it took a while to throw the technology together to invent those kinds of things. Plus, and most importantly, there has to be a need. While some Paleolithic dude may have sat around watching birds fly wishing he could do the same, I seriously doubt that he wished for remote start device for the family minivan. Mostly because minivans hadn’t been invented yet but also because Paleolithic guy probably wasn’t as effing lazy as we are today and would have, if given the opportunity, just start his shit himself.

I’ve never invented anything, though I like to say that the idea for being able to digitally record television shows was my idea. I originally wanted it for the radio so that I could hit a button and re-listen to a cool song but it’s the same thing.

Whatever happened to water powered cars and food machines like the ones they have on Star Trek? How about a cure for fucking cancer? I’ve got this stupid Keurig thing that makes one cup of delicious coffee at a time and my neighbor is dying from his liver being eaten out by voracious cancer cells. Weird corollary, I know, but it just seems like if they can’t mass produce it, then no one cares to invent it.

Anywho, I threw together a quick list of the Top Things That Took Too Long To Invent. The advent of these things is beyond my comprehension as to why it took so effing long to for some genius to come up with it. I get angry and disappointed in humanity as I think about it and when I get that feeling, it’s time to make another list.

The doorknob

Are you aware that the doorknob wasn’t invented until 1878?! 1878? Really? Surely the door itself was invented sometime after somebody got sick of the Jehovah’s Witnesses just walking through an open hole or right after the first house was built which had to be somewhere in the vicinity of about ten thousand years ago or before.

For the sake of a peaceful argument, let’s just say that the first house was thrown together five thousand years ago; surely the Egyptians had doors. In almost seven thousand years of door history, you mean to tell me that not one guy had had enough of being robbed and in his frustration and need designed a mechanism that would make it so his door shut and stayed that way until he decided that it was time to open it? SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS!

Just to offer a little perspective here, on May 27th, 1843 the patent was issued to Alexander Bain for the Electric Printing Telegraph which we today refer to as the fax machine. So the fax machine, albeit in its crudest form, was invented thirty five years before the simple fucking doorknob? So unbelievably dumb that it makes me despise humanity even more.

The wheel

By all accounts the oldest discovered wheel was found in what was Mesopotamia and dates back to the year 3500 B.C. Of all of the inventions that were slow to come, this one makes me angrier than any. So, the Egyptians built the pyramids by just dragging twenty ton boulders around with what? Rope? In every description or movie involving American Indians, they dragged stuff around behind their horses on sticks with a piece of animal skin tied between them.

How on God’s earth did it take so effing long to invent something as simple as a round wheel? Did the square wheel come first? I have a fairly big yard and spend way too much time in it in order to maintain it. Let me tell you something that I know for sure. I would have to spend about an hour pushing a lawn mower guided by sticks before I thought of an easier way, aka, the wheel. Even the stupid Dung Beetle forms the poo it lays its eggs in into a ball shape for easier movement. Am I to believe that ancient man was even more stupid than the lowly Dung Beetle? Apparently, yes. I don’t know why I’m surprised because even today, most of humanity is captivated by the machinations of Kim and Kanye.

The fork

I had to Google the answer to this quandary and was even more amazed than I was before I started my search. I found that the fork was not invented until the fourth century and not B.C. time either. There are rumors that the personal eating fork may actually go back to ancient Greece but still, this is a tool that, frankly, should have come about the first time somebody sat down for dinner.

People have obviously been eating for thousands of years. Again we’ll go back to the end of the last ice age around 10,000 B.C. as our starting point. So it took, and let’s be liberal here and go with the Greeks, over nine thousand years for someone to think, “Eating would be so much easier if I had something to stab my food with.” I think that person, whoever they were, had to be a germaphobe or a wife who was sick of her dirty assed husband sticking his hands in everyone’s lunch.

Chopsticks are stupid too. So the chopstick, more than likely, predates the fork, I’m assuming here though. Not one Asian person after struggling with these fucking sticks to eat their food and seeing a European using this new-fangled thing called a fork never thought to chuck the sticks and start eating right? Dammit!!! Today we use them to enhance the experience of eating in a Chinese restaurant but they are seriously the most inefficient tools ever made. What’s the deal with that giant spoon they give you to eat that watered down soup? It barely fits in your mouth. The Chinese may have made some real advancements with pasta and gunpowder and all but they are seriously lacking in the utensil department.


I did a little bit of research on the advent of pants and the general consensus is that they were invented for horseback riding about three thousand years ago. This is astounding to me. You mean to tell me that freezing to death wasn’t the impetus for pants? Holy hell! People are so effing dumb. Like it’s okay to freeze to death but, God forbid that I would chafe while riding a horse. I simply cannot understand how this is possible. My 18 month old granddaughter knows how to wrap herself in a blanket when she’s cold so wouldn’t you’d think it’s entirely possible that a grown-up would be able to take that up a notch and invent fucking pants!

The can opener

There are other inventions that I considered putting on this list but I have a hard fast rule that I stick to, Top 5. Are you aware that self-adhesive postage stamps weren’t invented until 1993? I suppose some of the delay is easily assigned to the government as they run and manage (sarcasm intended) the Postal Service but damn. 1993? I guess it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if somebody in the government had bothered to invent a glue that didn’t taste like ass when you licked it.

The printing press wasn’t invented until the 1400’s. People actually hand copied books until then. Hand copied! You make me start hand copying a Bible and I can promise that by the time I hit Genesis chapter two, I will have invented something to make this easier. Again, in eleven thousand years of book copying no one ever thought of carving some letters into a potato and dipping it in ink?

The can opener is the most egregious violator of human intelligence ever. In 1810 a guy named Nicholas Appert won a twelve thousand franc prize from Napoleon for designing a way to preserve food long enough so that it could reach the front lines before it spoiled, hence the tin can was invented.

Problem was that even though the fighting men on the front lines now had access to fresh food they had no way to open the stupid thing. No one thought to devise a way to open the can without shooting it and exploding the contents all over creation. So they traded one problem for another, well more like one problem for two problems because now, not only could they not open the can but if they did somehow manage to get it open, lead poisoning would probably kill them. You see, it took a couple of decades more to come out with a non-lethal can.

Amazingly, it took forty years, to invent an implement that would be called a can opener. Forty years? You have got to be kidding me! Seriously, how could this have gone on for more than a week without resolution? This is like coming out with a cell for my iPhone case back in the 60’s and selling it to me on the premise that it will come in handy in a few decades.

“Hold up! Hey! Who’s been putting out their Kools on my floor?!?!”

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