Here’s What 20 Everyday Products Really Looked Like When They Were First Invented

As technology has advanced, nearly every product in our lives has drastically changed, becoming smaller and much more versatile at the same time. Just think about how much that iPhone in your pocket has changed since it was first released in 2007!

With the scaled-down size of the products we carry today, it’s easy to forget what they looked like in the first place. From the first Apple computer to the first Harley Davidson, just about everything used to look a heck of lot different.

Just take these 20 common products when they were first introduced…

1. The first Sony HVC-F1 camcorder: Can you believe how large the first camcorder was? Just imagine having to pull out one of these bad boys every time you wanted to capture a short video during the day. It would have been impossible!

2. The first Starbucks: First introduced in 1912 at Pike Place in Seattle, Washington, the first Starbucks shop is still in operation today. The company has since become so ubiquitous that it’s almost impossible to imagine its humble beginnings.

3. The first Philips electric shaver: With just a single setting—”shave”—there weren’t many grooming options for men with facial hair. Thankfully, a variety of guards are available now, so you can play with the lengths and styles as much as you’d like.

4. The first Ford automobile: As one of the most trusted vehicle brands in existence, it’s difficult to imagine traveling safely from place to place in the original Ford Model A design!

5. The first Apple computer: Mac’s offerings have only become more compact and sleek over the years. Just take a look at this one invented in the bedroom of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, which eventually sold for an ominous $666,666. Can you imagine typing on this?

6. The first refrigerator: It might seem odd, but this is what refrigerators looked like when the appliance was first introduced in homes. Good luck storing a week’s worth of groceries in there…

7. The first television set: To think that this television set was once considered the height of luxury for middle class families! These days, manufacturers make televisions as thin as your iPhone. Speaking of which…

8. The first mobile phone: With the sleek design of smartphones today, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come since they were first introduced. They only had one function: to call someone else. That’s it!

9. The first Barbie doll: With her wide range of outfits and styles nowadays, it’s hard to imagine how different Barbie looked when she was originally introduced in 1959. She almost seemed like a character from a Tim Burton film!

10. The first condom: When the condom was first invented in 1604 Sweden, it was actually completely reusable… well that’s what they thought, anyway. Thankfully, people realized it was definitely more safe and sanitary to just toss condoms after a single use!

11. The first Windows operating system: Everyone’s familiar with the modern version of the Microsoft Suite, but when it was first introduced in 1985, it looked almost like the display of a Nintendo game. Just check out that clock!

12. The first IKEA catalog cover: IKEA is known for its sleek and modern furniture designs, so it’s difficult to believe the Swedish company was anything but… until you look at its first catalog, which shows just how traditional its roots really were.

13. The first SEGA console: These days, video games are just about as realistic as can be. The consoles are much smaller, too. Of course, they didn’t always look that way. Exhibit A: the original SG-1000 (left).

14. The first Canon camera: Even though camera technology has advanced since the “Kwanon” model was introduced in the 1930s, you’ll notice the design itself has remained pretty similar. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

15. The first LEGO toy: LEGO bricks are so recognizable these days that it’s hard to believe the toy company ever produced anything else. Would you think this wooden duck was a LEGO product?

16. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle: First invented in 1908 for use by the Detroit Police Department, you might be shocked to see just how similar the first-ever Harley Davidson looked to a common bicycle!

17. The first HP laptop: Nearly everyone today owns a laptop, but when they were initially invented in 1979, they were only used by NASA. To think this was the height of technology at the time really shows how far we’ve come since then.


18. The first Chanel perfume: Since it was introduced in 1921, the Chanel No. 5 iconic fragrance has remained one of the most popular women’s perfumes. The bottles may be more sleek these days, but the scent itself remains unchanged.

19. The first Nivea cream: Nivea facial cream was invented by a pharmacist in 1911 and originally sold in a tin. It’s been a mainstay on grocery store shelves ever since, albeit with easier-to-open packaging!

20. The first Colgate toothpaste: Toothpaste didn’t always come in a squeezable tube like it does today, but in a small jar of “dental powder.” It makes you wonder how you portioned out enough to brush just once!

These products sure have undergone some pretty crazy transformations since they were first introduced. What do you think they’ll look like in another 50 years or so?

Share these products then-and-now with your friends below!

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