Design News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

The 20 Worst Inventions of All Time — Part 2

From useless to outright ridiculous - here's a collection of the top ten gadgets and inventions that never should have left the drawing board.

Here’s a new slew of unfortunate inventions and products. Some are relatively harmless – the baby mop that puts your baby to work polishing hardwood floor – and some are deadly dangerous – the Hindenburg, the Flying Pinto.

For the next collection, we’ll use your suggestions. We’re already including one from reader demand – the Segway. We’d like to hear more from you for our next series of ridiculous and dangerous inventions.

Click on the image to start the slideshow.

Any others we missed. Comment below and let us know what you think is the worst invention of all time.

I wasn’t going to include Dean Kamen’s Segway in this list of product disasters. After all, it’s a real product. I see them in my neighborhood occasionally. There’s even a police version. But our readers shamed me into including it. Deep in the gut, engineers reject this expensive invention that doesn’t do much.

Image Map

Design News will be in Minneapolis and Orlando in November! Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis will take place Nov. 4-5, while Design & Manufacturing South will be in Orlando Nov. 18-19. Get up close with the latest design and manufacturing technologies, meet qualified suppliers for your applications, and expand your network. Learn from experts at educational conferences and specialty events. Register today for our premier industry showcases in Minneapolis and Orlando

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.