Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Step this way to hear rants about pockets, bare midriffs, and gigantic flowing powdery wigs.


The student of history views the past through all kinds of lenses that layer atop one another.

There are the events, of course. We study the wars, coronations, and frequent redrawing of boundary lines over the course of time. These comprise the staccato heart beats the drive the core of global happenings.

And then there is the ideological layer: which political movements gained traction, how religions picked up speed and exerted influence, the role that scientific advancements played in the dynamics of human civilization.

Those are the key layers, but certainly not the only ones. What about, for example, fashion trends as they developed throughout history? Perhaps the development of recreational tastes demands some examination. And how about mundane household products?

After all, these smaller dynamics are top of mind most often in our daily, contemporary lives. It follows that mundanity drove people's experience of life way back when as well.

One recent Reddit post came at the mundane corner of history in a creative way.

NativeBarbarian30 asked, "What's something that was designed for the use of one sex but is now predominantly used by the other?"

The Woman Your Man Can Smell Like

"Old Spice."

"Old Spice was launched by Shulton Inc. in 1937. William Lightfoot Schultz was inspired by his mother's potpourri, and as a result, the first Old Spice product in 1937 was a woman's scent called Early American Old Spice."

"The product was received well and therefore followed with Old Spice for men in 1938."

-- ianagiizanami

The Great Pocket Debacle 

"Large pockets. Pockets were originally meant for women to have in their hoop skirts and such, while noble men had pockets (but they were quite a bit smaller)."

"Now women have practically no pockets and men can literally fit a water bottle in their pants."

-- DragonIce01

A Flexible Brand

"Marlboro cigarettes. Before 'The Marlboro Man' became an icon of rugged masculinity, they were marketed towards women."

"They even offered red colored filter ends that would hide lipstick marks."

-- ladykatey

Functional Jewelry 

"Wrist watches were originally thought to be too feminine for men but during WWI they were found to be easier to use than a pocket watch." -- Due_Holiday8478

"Just guessing but I'd say it was probably its resemblance to a bracelet. If you'd never seen one before (i.e. when they first became a thing) you'd probably have a thought process of something like 'that bracelet has a tiny clock, that's handy!'" -- Creature_03

Full Circle

"Crop tops were originally designed for men to show off their abs" -- FatHeadedGoose

"I'm loving the resurgence of this trend!" -- 4ThaLolz

"Lol after we showed them Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, my 6 year old stepson went into his room and cut the bottom off all his t-shirts so he could be like Ted 😂. People always respond very positively to his crop top look." -- alizarin36

A Store for Everyone 

"Victoria's Secret was originally supposed to be a place for men to buy clothes for their wives without feeling embarrassed, but now it's almost exclusively shopped at by women" -- Shuckles116

"Yes, but these days if you go into one as a man looking for something for your girlfriend or wife, the people who work there are SO helpful and nice about everything." -- Lyrre

Different Needs, Same Product 

"A lot of the things women wear nowadays: makeup, wigs, high heels, and tights, were brought into fashion by aristocratic European men."

"The makeup they wore was primarily used to cover up the scars and marks from syphilis."

-- StevesMcQueenIsHere

Covert Riders 

"Women didn't use to be allowed to ride horses at all, or had to ride side-saddle because of their dresses."

"In 2002 when filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the production crew couldn't find enough skilled equestrians to be extras, because it was mostly women who still rode recreationally. Most of the Rhohirrim in the movies are actually just like Eowen, women pretending to be men."

-- Charyou-Tree

A One-Way Street 

"Names. Baby names traditionally used for boys will transfer over to girls never the other way. As soon as a boy's name becomes more frequently used by girls it ceases to be given to boys."

"Names like Sydney, Carol, Avery, Shirley, Allison, Robin, Whitney....were all originally boy names."

-- crinnaursa

Always Useful 

"Kleenex was originally marketed as women's makeup cleaner, but they started complaining because guy were always sneezing into there tissues" -- Tobin_L

"It's even sillier than that. They were designed as gas mask filters, and Kleenex had a ton of them left after WW2, so they sold them as makeup removers, which then became popular as disposable handkerchiefs." -- I_might_be_weasel

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Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!