Inventions That Have Shifted From Their Original Purpose

In one of her more memorable moments on the iconic Sex and The City, Samantha Jones attempts to return a vibrator at her local Sharper Image.

Of course, the horrified store employee informs her that The Sharper Image does not sell vibrators, and the item she was attempting to return was, in fact, a neck massager.

However, a few knowing glances with some fellow female customers made it clear to Samantha Jones that she was not the only one who bought electronic massagers to alleviate tension in other areas than intended.

This is only one particularly funny instance of an invention thats purpose has shifted over the course of time.

Indeed, coca-cola and other sodas were created for medicinal purposes, and today soda pop is enjoyed purely for pleasure.

And who could forget how simple, cardboard milk caps would evolve into the game and trading frenzy that was Pogs?

Redditor PieGuy1793 was curious to learn about more inventions which, today, are largely or exclusively used for purposes different than they were intended for, leading them to ask:
"What’s an invention that’s still around today but has lost sight of its original purpose?"

Still Leaving Their Mark On Trees

"Paintball guns."

"They were originally called paintball markers and were invented as a way for loggers and park rangers to mark trees for trimming, cutting down, etc. without having to walk up to each tree with spray paint or something."

"A couple of dudes who were using them started shooting at each other for fun and paintball as a sport was born."

"In fact some people still call them 'markers' to avoid the stigma some associate with the word 'gun'."- nyeark

No Risk Of A Bad Speech...

"The best man at a wedding was the best swordsman the groom could afford."

"If anyone objected to the wedding, the best man would duel him."

'The honeymoon lasted a whole month after the wedding, where the bride's father would supply the groom with all the mead he could drink."- proc89

Simpler Times...

"Amazon used to sell only books."- SilverWombat818

amazon design GIFGiphy

"In Every Job That Must Be Done, There Is An Element Of Fun..."


"Was supposed to be a wallpaper cleaner originally."- Mysterion_x

Same Utensil, Different Canvas...

"Electric Pen by Edison are now tattoo machines."- notathrowawayoris

...And Bravo Used To Air Operas...

"History channel, Discovery channel, National Geographic channel :(."- amauryt

As Long As Nothing Spills...

"Nalgene bottles."

"The plastic water bottles that are popular with hikers/campers/other outdoor activity folks were originally created for use as medical/scientific lab equipment as a lighter, shatterproof alternative to glass."- VictorBlimpmuscle

"Who Walks The Stair Without A Care..."

"Slinky was originally meant to be used as springs inside sensitive boat devices."

"'Mechanical engineer Richard James invented the Slinky by accident."

"In 1943, he was working to devise springs that could keep sensitive ship equipment steady at sea."

"After accidentally knocking some samples off a shelf, he watched in amazement as they gracefully "walked" down instead of falling."

"Along with his wife Betty, James developed a plan to turn his invention into the next big novelty toy'."- GuavaGila

Soft And Absorbent...


"Its original purpose was to act as insulation in gas masks during World War I."

"After the war, its parent company advertised it as a way to remove makeup."- Dilettante

Sick Flu Season GIF by Emma DarvickGiphy

Still Keeping The Driver And Passenger Safe

"The dashboard."

"Originally it was a literal board of wood used to protect people from mud and debris from when their horse drawn whatever would travel at gallop speeds."

"Now it gives me information about my vehicle's current state and provides audio entertainment."- Electricpants

Perhaps the mark of a brilliant invention is its ability to be used for multiple purposes, and evolve over time.

Even if one can't help but grimace ever so slightly at the fact that a show like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was aired on a network who's initials first stood for "The Learning Channel'...

Though, debatably, all who watched it did learn a great deal about human nature...

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