20 Absurd Things That Were Normal in the Past


The not-so-distant past was filled with so many totally crazy things that we struggle to even imagine how they could possibly have been absolutely normal. Here are some everyday activities and common practices that were totally ordinary in the past despite how absolutely ridiculous and dangerous they may seem to us today. Suntan vending machines, water massagers for breasts, toothache remedy with cocaine, babies in cigarette ads and what not.


Preview photo credit:

Just an ordinary day for a babysitter of that time, 19th century: By Lei & Ordem,

A picture from Popular Science depicting the workers at Walt Disney Studios building an automated caveman for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Automated Caveman Gets a Rear-End Drive (Jan, 1964): By Popular Science, MODERN MECHANIX,

Animation is created by Bright Side.

Beauty contest in Cliftonville, 1936 0:33
Suntan vending machine, USA, 1949 1:24
Water massager for breasts 1:47
Hair straightening in the 1960s 2:30
Women have their legs painted at a store in London, 1941 3:13
Job hunting, USA, 1931 3:38
Toothache remedy with cocaine, 1885 4:15
Models could just appear from car trunks 4:44
A mobile church on a Ford Model-T, USA, 1922 5:13
Specially numbered gloves used to teach touch-typing, USA, 1961 6:08
A woman in a giant frying pan, USA, 1931 6:42
Kids jumping from the balcony, Great Britain, 1973 7:22
The automaton Euphonia that could imitate human speech, 1860s 7:51
Babies in 1960s cigarette ads 8:44
A child’s car seat in the 1940s 9:24
“The Ghost Team” 10:10
Before a vaccine against diphtheria was created. 11:03
Just a usual day at Walt Disney Studios 11:20
Babysitter in the 1910s 11:47
Similar things happen nowadays as well. 12:19

-Women at beauty contests often stood behind a curtain that showed only their legs (typically below the knee) in shoes and stockings.
-If you had a spare dime, you could get a nice tan in a vending machine in just 30 seconds.
-Water massager for breasts consisted of a hose, a breast-shaped cup, and some freezing-cold water.
-Some women, instead of getting wrinkles out of their clothes, used ironing boards to straighten their hair.
-Women in 1940s-London could have their legs painted any shade (within reason) they liked.
-During the Great Depression, it was common to see men walking the streets with their “resumes” hung on themselves on giant poster-board in a futile attempt to find work.
-There was a time when cocaine seemed like a perfectly suitable treatment for a toothache.
-Julie Desmond climbed out the back of a Russian Moskvich 427 at a car show in 1971.
-Ford’s Model-T was the first car that the average, middle-class American family could afford.
-People used special gloves with certain letters and numbers written on each finger to show them where to put it.
-It was just an attempt to make a record-breaking omelet from 7,200 eggs.
-Jumping from the balcony onto a pile of old mattresses was tons of fun for children in the ‘70s.
-The Euphonia was a machine with what looks like a mannequin head attached to a mechanism that made this head speak in a sad creepy voice.
-Back in the ‘60s, they uses kids, faces of celebrities, politicians, cartoon characters, Santa Claus (!), and even doctors to promote tobacco use.
-In 1968, Ford produced a car seat, which was basically a plastic chair with a padded area in front of the child’s face that acted like a safety cushion in case of an accident.
-The 1973 Argentinian soccer team got stranded in a city called Tilcara, nobody could get information on where they were, hence the name “The Ghost Team”.
-105 years ago, before a vaccine for diphtheria was created, whole families lost their lives to this terrible disease, each member one by one.
-Workers at Walt Disney Studios built a robotic caveman that was to be used in the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
-Many white households in the beginning of the 20th century basically continued the practice by “hiring” African American women as nannies and babysitters.
-In Sierra Leone, Africa, there are tons of boys suffering from serious mental illnesses caused by years of civil war.

Subscribe to Bright Side :

Our Social Media:


5-Minute Crafts Youtube:

For more videos and articles visit:

(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)