Feedback
News
gallery

Images Highlight Wacky Inventions of Yore

Not cramped at all: A submarine for one.

As children, almost everyone dreams of personal flying machines and cars that will drive underwater. But some do more than dream of alternative modes of transportation, they build them. Whether they work or not, is another story. Amateur historian Chris Hodge, who has amassed a collection of more than a million photos of British life in the 20th Century, has highlighted some of the intriguing inventions in his collection that tried to change how we get from one place to another. While some of them seem feasible, none of them seem to have caught on, and others appear ridiculously dangerous. The one-man submarine--isn't that going to tip over?--seems more like a personal suffocation chamber, but there's also a tiny helicopter that looks like every child's dream.

Just add wings: An optimistic flying machine prototype was made from a bicycle.
According to the website of the Stilltime Collection, most of the images were taken by professional photographers for publication in journals, but "only a very small percentage" have ever been published, so "effectively, many of these photographs are being seen for the first time."

Slick ride: This streamlined bike and helmet are made from hand-beaten aluminium.

Go from the streets of London...

...to the waters off Brighton, all on a Lambretta Amphi-Scooter.

A partnership of equals: The Rudge Companion, a side-by-side bicycle for two.

Don't stand up: A brave pilot demonstrates the Hillier X-Roe-1 Rotocycle helicopter (somewhere over the United States).

Easy rider: Two men ride a "motorcycle catamaran" in front of the White Cliffs of Dover.

Light as a feather: A Land Rover wears a hovercraft skirt at Britain's Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (FVRDE).

Coming or going? This motorcycle side car features a rear-facing seat.



See more photos from the Stilltime Collection