If you’re a bread lover like us, you probably start your day with a great piece of toast. You’d think that toasts are a relatively recent invention, but this 1920s toaster proves that we are far from the first ones to invent them.
While the world’s first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by Scotsman Alan MacMasters, it was a huge flop due to a lack of interest. The model shown above is one of the first commercially successful models and shows just how far we’ve progressed during one century. It can only heat bread on one side at a time and has to be manually flipped to finish the job. We’re definitely happy to have been born in this day and age!
This Picture of Gold Miner Bernhardt Otto Holtermann, Posing With Over $15 Million Worth of Gold
Gold has been used for ages as a hedge against inflation, and it helped keep the world’s currency from imploding. Gold prospectors made it their life’s work to look for rich veins of gold. These were often worth between a hundred thousand and a hundred million dollars.
Bernhardt Otto Holtermann was a gold prospector and businessman who fled Germany and relocated to Australia to avoid being drafted by the military. He was quite unsuccessful at digging gold until one day, he hit a 1,000-pound piece of gold. Above, you can see a famous photograph of Bernhardt with his discovery. In today’s money, the piece is worth about $15 million, which made him a quintessential American success story.
This Futuristic Steam Line KJ Henderson Motorcycle
The 1930 Henderson Model KJ Streamline is a bike so cool that it looks futuristic even by today's standards. It was originally built in 1930 by Orley Ray Courtney, a revolutionary streamliner engineer. He believed that the motorcycle industry wasn't up to par with current technology, so he built his own instead.
The bike features a complex curved body that was extremely hard to replicate. This futuristic masterpiece features a low, wide seat that fits a single rider. There's nothing currently like the Henderson, and it is considered the pinnacle of art deco design in the motorcycle industry. Even today, riding around town in this would turn some heads - so imagine the response in the 1930s!
Sculptor Chauncey Bradley's Statue 'Undine Rising'
'Undine Rising from the Waters' is a marble statue made by Chauncey Bradley Ives in the 1860s. The statue is based on the medieval story of Undine, a mortal but soulless sea spirit. The story became famous mostly through theater and opera during the 19th century, which prompted Chauncey to depict the story's climax in his statue.
The statue portrays Undine rising from the water to take revenge on her unfaithful husband. It uniquely portrayed Undine as a soft and gentle victim rather than an angry, vengeful wife. Ives went on to sculpt many more neoclassical works and passed away towards the end of the 19th century. The statue can still be visited at Yale's Art Gallery.
This 16th-Century Ring Can Turn Into a Beautiful Astronomical Sphere
Rings were a common piece of jewelry dating back more than 5,000 years ago. While they were mostly used as ornaments to symbolize wealth, some used them as a way to conceal things. This unassuming, though beautiful, ring hides something special inside.
This aesthetic 16th-century ring actually folds into a series of smaller rings. These rings create an astronomical sphere, which is a remarkable achievement considering it was made more than five centuries ago. The identity of the ring maker has not yet been discovered, but it's believed that the ring was originally crafted in Asia. Next time you're at a pawn shop, take a closer look at some jewelry items.