15 Common Innovations That Have Seen Little Advancement Since Their Inception

One of the hallmarks of technology is the changes they are continuously undergoing. Since their invention, numerous everyday items have changed little, if not at all. An online community responded surprisingly when asked which products have evolved very little over time.

1. Cutlery

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When you think about it, the spoons, forks, and knives to prepare, serve, and eat food have hardly changed over the centuries, several contributors observe. Today's cutlery may not look like the crude implements used ages ago. Still, the mechanics, general shape, and purpose have remained the same.

2. Toasters

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The most extensive alteration with toasters has been an increase in the number of bread slices they can toast at once and the larger openings to accommodate thicker types of bread like bagels. Toasters may come in different models, but they all generally work in the same way.

3. Pipe Fittings

Man fixing shower
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Pipe fittings connect adjacent straight pipes. These devices help control water flow and direction around a building. They're a plumbing necessity that there's no alternative for, says one plumbing expert in the discussion.


4. Musical Instruments

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While some musical instruments have electrical versions, like guitars and keyboards, by and large, brass, woodwind, strings, and percussion instruments have remained the same for centuries.

5. Trains

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Of all the forms of land, sea, and air transportation, locomotives have seen the least amount of change. Trains used to be powered by steam engines but now employ diesel engines. Other than that, the mechanics of how they function, down to railroad tracks, have remained the same since their inception.

6. Indoor Toilets

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In many respects, indoor commodes are genuinely the perfect invention. Current models may have a more decorative appearance than the original commodes. An improvement on this device has yet to materialize, if ever.

7. Eyeglasses

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The materials used to make eyeglasses and their frames have changed over the years to make them more durable, but they've remained the same functionally. Instead of being made from plain glass and heavy metal frames, today, eyeglasses are developed using optical lenses to correct different types of vision problems, and frames are made of plastics and lightweight metals.

8. Shower Curtain Rods

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This one may seem silly, but imagine showering in a doorless bathtub or stall without getting your floor wet. Can anyone think of an alternative mechanism that reliably keeps a shower curtain in place?

9. Cars

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Numerous commenters on the thread note how cars have mostly stayed the same since the Model T. Of course, cars today are sleeker and much more advanced than earlier models, and hybrid and fully electric vehicles are gaining traction in the automotive market. But the basics – a motor-powered car on four wheels – are the same as in Henry Ford's time.

10. Batteries

Man using jumper cables to start-up a car battery on the road.
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Batteries used to power small and large devices have mostly stayed the same, except for the development of rechargeable batteries. The most significant difference in batteries is their quality. More expensive name-brand batteries have a longer life and are less susceptible to leaks than dollar-store brand batteries.

11. Can Openers

Bean soup in the can
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Whether you use an electric can opener or swear by your manual opener, some users in the discussion point out that nothing else opens metal cans safely. Other cutting tools with the capacity to open metal cans also come with a high risk of injury, so can openers are hard to improve upon.

12. The Wheel

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A perfect invention is the wheel. It's the ideal shape to carry out whatever tasks require their usage. While they may come in different sizes and materials and are used for various things, can you imagine anything replacing the wheel?

13. Printers

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It feels like we've never had a printer that actually works. We keep buying the newer and better models, hoping they'll fix the troubles we had with the previous ones, but they're all frustrating and difficult to deal with. Maybe one day printers will evolve into something better.

14. Dental Care

a woman having her teeth checked
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It doesn't feel like there have been major advancements in dental care in recent years. Yes, your dentist learns new information, but really, they're still using the same tools to clean your teeth. 

15. Transportation

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Image Credit: Adrian Grycuk – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Lately, public transportation has been in the news more and more as train systems are becoming more popular to install. But trains and buses are some of our oldest ways to transport mass groups of people, and we're still looking at improving these methods instead of inventing new ones.

Source: Reddit.