90 years before the invention of the modern wireless telephone, Alexander Graham Bell invented a device that could transmit speech using sunlight. Bell was immensely proud of the achievement, to the point that he wanted to name his new second daughter “Photophone”, which was subtly discouraged by his wife Mabel Bell (they instead chose “Marian”, with “Daisy” as her nickname).
The instant noodle was invented during a period of food shortages in Japan following WWII. After the Japanese health ministry supplied the population with wheat flour and asked them to make bread, Momofuku Ando instead decided on making noodles (which were more familiar) that would last.
In 1936 a patent for a “flying saucer” called Aerodina Lenticulara was applied for. The same inventor is also credited by some with the world first jet in 1910. In 1905, he also built a missile-aeroplane for the Romanian Army.
The first sensory deprivation tank was created in 1954. Since then people have experienced hallucinations, out of body experiences and even parallel universes while in these chambers.
A man submitted a patent in 1979 that almost perfectly resembles an iPod. He even went as far as predicting a need for DRM and a way to distribute the music.
The chainsaw was invented by doctors to perform surgery.
The Chinese invented the fork.
“Hawaiian pizza” was invented by two Greek brothers in Ontario, Canada.
The first typewriter was called the “literary piano”.
The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora lead to an unseasonably cool summer in 1816, which lead to an 800% rise in oat prices, which lead a German inventor to create the predecessor to what we now call a bicycle.