London - If you were so busy you couldn’t spare five seconds to crack an egg open, then this was the gadget for you. The Inside-The-Egg Scrambler let you scramble an egg without the tedious hassle of breaking the shell first. It looks like an egg cup, with a needle at the bottom. You put in the egg, the needle pierces the shell and then whizzes the contents round. This product was made by Ronco, a company that cornered the pointless-gadget market in 1970s, alongside rival K-Tel.
When was it invented? 1978
Why didn’t it survive? Because the public realised that breaking eggs really isn’t that much of a chore after all.
THE ANTISEPTIC KISSING SCREEN
FOR those evenings when you fancy a smooch with your new date but don’t know where they’ve been? Think of all those germs! You placed this small hand-held screen-on-a-stick between your lips and those of your new friend to make you both safely hygienic and free to pucker up all night.
When was it invented? 1920
Why didn’t it survive? You really need to ask?
ELECTRIC BRUSH FOR THE DISHES
THE Scrappy Scrubber was a washing-up brush that did the work for you. It whizzed round like a giant electric toothbrush and scrubbed your pots and pans clean.
When was it invented? 1991
Why didn’t it survive? The name didn’t help, the K-Tel product was nothing more than a Brillo Pad on a stick, but it was the rising popularity of the dishwasher, which cleaned everything in one go, that finally sunk it.
VACUUM YOUR VINYL
IN the Seventies, records were the most popular way to listen to music — until dust clogged up the needle on the turntable, at which point the disc would slide across your treasured tracks. So, why not: “Simply insert your record into Record Vacuum and it rotates automatically — sweeping and vacuuming your records instantly,’ declared an excitable TV ad. And only £5.99!”
When was it invented? 1976
Why didn’t it survive? This Ronco product may have cleaned records but it also scratched them — and ruined countless Fleetwood Mac albums.
ASHTRAY THAT SWALLOWS SMOKE
LONG before smoking bans, one often walked into rooms so filled with cigarette fog you could barely see.
The solution? A hideous plastic ashtray with a motor in the base that sucks cigarette smoke inside. The TV advert showed a dad puffing away on his ciggies, Smokeless Ashtray on his lap, in front of his beaming wife and children.
When was it invented? 1970s
Why didn’t it survive? The sound of the whirring motor was almost as irritating as cigarette smoke. - Daily Mail