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Guess What These Bizarre Items Were Used For in the Past

These dangerous and barbarous looking instruments had a practical purpose.
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Ornate Hammer

Photo by Wikimedia Commons,  Wellcome Images.

What looks like a hammer with a curved handle is a dental tool used by doctors in the 1700s. The dental key is used to pull out rotting teeth. It was inserted in the mouth with the curved tip tightened over a tooth. Then, the doctor would pull the tooth by rotating the other end to loosen it. Using this barbaric contraption resulted in many fractured jaws.

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Metal Pills

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The metals pills are called everlasting pills. They are made of antimony designed to be reused after ingesting it. It was a popular remedy for diarrhea in the 19th century. But since medicine at the time was expensive, families used the everlasting pill and passed it to each other after using it. It was swallowed, allowed to pass through the body, recovered in the feces, washed, and used again.

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Metal Bra

Photo by mirfactov.

 

It is not a metal bra but a pair of snow goggles. This ancient tool for the eyes is used in Russia.

 

 

 

Scary Contraption

19th century device for peeling shells off of hard-boiled eggs

 

This scary-looking contraption is not a tool for torture. It is an egg peeler used in the 19th century. You hold the hard-boiled egg in place using the sharp points on the tool and then peel away.

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Metal-Tipped Wand

Photo by adme.ru.

This metal-tipped wand is the great grandfather of the stylus pen. The rotary phone dialer was used to rotate the dials on the rotary phone. Its metal tip was capped onto the end of a pen or a pencil. Who knew there was an invention for something as mundane as rotating a dial?

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Rectangle Cages

Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

These rectangle cages are called mortsafes. Its name comes from the French word mort for death, and the English word safe. In the 18th century, in the U.S. and the U.K., mortsafes were used to keep the bodies of the dead safe from resurrectionists—body snatchers who exhumed the bodies of the recently dead and sold them to scientists and doctors.

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Half-looking Food Trays

 

Photo by Austen Authors.

These half-looking food trays aren’t trays at all, but tools used to scrape scraps of food off the dining table. It is called a table crumber. As its name suggests, it was used to pick up crumbs on the fine dining table.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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