19th century inventions

So you're still stuck in the mid-1800s? Going to phone someone to come and rescue you?


The phone wasn't invented until 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell in Scotland, of course.

Is it starting to rain where you are in the meadow? Anyone got an umbrella?
Well, maybe yes, although you probably want the modern umbrella invented in 1852 by Samuel Fox. He invented the lighter version made with fine steel wire for its ribs. Before then, whalebone was predominantly used, creating a heavy and awkward umbrella.

How about using a ballpoint pen to scribble a rescue letter to someone back home in the 21st century? 
Not until 1884, anyway. So  just keep dipping that pen's tip into ink after each few words you write, assuming, of course, you carry an inkwell with you when you're lost in a meadow.

How about flagging down a car that will at least get you back into town?


In 1867 Seth Taylor drove his steam buggy for the first time at Stanstead Fair in Stanstead, Quebec - the first car in Canada. But during the public event, it broke down. The next year, Taylor and his car were involved in Canada's first automobile accident. While going down a hill during a demonstration, the car picked up speed, and with no brakes came to a halting crash at the bottom. The car is now the property of the Science and  Technology Museum in Ottawa.

Okay, have you found your way into town? Did it take you a long time? Is it dark? Want to turn on a light?

Light bulbs weren't invented until 1879 when Thomas Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free bulb glowed. 


If you make it to a building that has more than one floor and you're too tired after your long walk to make it up the stairs, too bad. The only safe elevator you could take hasn't arrived yet, although it was shown at the Exposition in New York in 1854. Elisha Graves Otis invented the elevator brake, making the eventual height of skyscrapers attainable.