Victorian Inventions : What Could Go Wrong?

The Industrial Revolution.  Sounds droll and boring yes?  How mistaken you are then!  Victorians were marvels in their own rights.  They pondered, dreamed, imagined, theorized, and fantasized about every single scenario for every single problem that one with a definite problem would definitely have.   Transportation?  Writing? Portraiture?  Absolutely everything!

How successful were some of these imagined problem solving devices?  Sadly, not very, but that was all right!  It’s the thought that counts right?  Exactly!  And therein lies the very greatness of the Industrial Revolution.  All these devices and machines being thought up by the policemen, milkman, that guy down the street who stole your newspaper every morning were invented just to make your life better…or just interesting.

Not just interesting mind, but downright hilarious.  Some have been interred in this list because they demonstrate the creativity, the utter genius of human ingenuity while others for just their sheer effort.  So without further adieu…

Air-powered Train

What a way to start the list!  Actually called an Atmospheric Train, this magnificent machine carried weary passengers traveling in a train carriage car through wind propulsion tunnels from London Bridge to Croydon…which was at least a whopping mile and a half!  There were a few problems, however, with maintaining proper pressure and making sure the pipes were air tight to keep that pressure.  Sadly, this amazing idea was abandoned not long after it’s reveal in 1847.

Photogenic Revolver

 Need I say more?  Absolutely brilliant I must say!  A weapon disguised as a book?  A book disguised as a camera…or is that the other way around.  Either way, it was a lighter as well and Victorian’s loved to smoke you know!  Smile pretty!

Steam-powered Lawnmower

Even in Victorian times it was gentlemanly to be lazy…just like today I must say.  However, I must add that this is a rather dangerous device.  Oh, it works!  Surly, no one did steam-powered devices like the turn of the century folk, but safety was not a high priority.  Letting the son use this thing to cut the grass and he could come back with third degree burns on 3/4 of his body!


The music of arsonists everywhere!  This musical instrument was similar (or so they say) to a Calliope only a calliope is an external force and this is an internal…kinda like a bomb.  The range on the Pryophone is greater due to this fact and yet those crazy Victorians with those strict safety precautions they have on their inventions just won’t go away!  Some problems that might arise from this device are the single fact that most run on gasoline, propane, and for those really spectacular notes, hydrogen.  If you don’t see a problem, watch the footage of the Hindenburg.


Well, everything else during the Industrial Revolution was either coal, steam, or electric (not until later) why not a car…ish looking thing?  It might as well be the first car/mini train to take flight on the god fearing streets of London, swerving about alleyways and spreading that sweet exhaust of coal and soot on the brave citizens as they munched on blacked pastries.  I heard that black rouge was the new fad then.

Pneumatic Tube System

A dream of Postal employees everywhere!  They even came up with this idea in the 19th century!  That’s how much they hated “document delivery” back then…just as much as it is hated now!  What a Steampunk world we could have created with this.  The tubes would be distributed about major drop offs in the city where then they were delivered properly.  I hope the government reads this soon…we need this to be put into full effect immediately!

Experimental Machine Guns

I could understand how this wouldn’t have worked out.  They only have four guns mounted!  They needed five because it matches the Fibonacci number order!  Really, I don’t see how this could have been cast to the wayside.  What could possibly go wrong here?

Parentry’s Smoking Machine

Why you might ask?  What if you go to a party and no one is smoking in the room?  Well, that is quite rude yes?  So here’s the solution: a machine that will smoke the cigars for you to fill the room and blast out that awkward silence you were trying to avoid.  No really, I have no idea why someone would invent this.

Multi-purpose Cane

For the every man in every man!  This cane can do it all!  Wanting to catch butterflies in your manly outing with the fellas?  Don’t want the hassle of actually carrying your cigar around?  Are you musically inclined and desire,on the sprig of a moment, to whip out your trusty flute and play a diddy?  Do you need to measure a horse?  Well, do we have to sit and talk about your problems with a therapist…who sadly is not around yet.  But in the meantime, here’s a cane that could do all that and has a secret spot for your cocaine!  (That’s okay since cocaine is used in everything in this time period.  Crazy times were Victorian times.)


For the forger in our little dark hearts!  This could also be seen as very lazy since you just wrote two documents at once but one is slightly different from the other.  Like it was written by your five your old brother who still thinks a Q is pretty enough to use for every other letter so instead of “respect” you get”rqsqeqcq” different.  Yes, I’m sure the office would love to decode your secret message as you are typing the eulogy of you Uncle Morris saying that he liked “cqts” and their pretty “cqaqs”. (For those who aren’t even going to try, that was cats and coats.  I told you…lazy).

And so here are at least ten wondrous inventions though hundreds exist out their.  I will definitely be continuing this in the near future so make sure to check very often for the other postings.  And special note to Bizarre Victorian Inventions…you make me smile a little everyday!



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