Usually when the landing gear fall off aircraft, it is a problem, a sign of impending doom. This one was designed to dump its wheels, thereby decreasing drag and boosting performance (Popular Mechanics, Nov. 1922):
The Me163 Komet of the early 1940s had a similar design–the product of necessity. While it took off on a sled that was left behind, the Me 263 had proper retractable landing gear.
Shaped like an artillery shell, this British wheeled body shield never took off (Pop. Mech. Nov. 1915). Sam Hughes’ Canadian alternative was the “Shield Shovel”–too heavy for a shovel, it was too light for a shield!
Hand-cranked fans–to blow gas attacks away! Didn’t catch on. (Scientific American, July 1915)
This steel swing powered by an ELECTRIC MOTOR provides a THRILLING RIDE, skimming bathers across the surface of SALT WATER!! (Popular Mechanics, Sept. 1921)
I am fond of convertible devices, but this bumper which can be removed to provide a tow bar sounds like the beginning of a story that ends very badly. (Pop. Mech., Sept. 1921)
While I can imagine using this “electric toothbrush” in the shop to carve wood, I would NEVER stick this in my mouth! Popular Mechanics, Sept. 1921
A woman in a bathing suit on a TORPEDO! This 10-foot cylinder was designed to glide just under the water with the operator’s head and shoulders projecting above. Why? Why not! (Popular Mechanics, August 1921)
Some myths start early and die hard: the Lie Detector (Popular Mechanics, Sept. 1921).
With a few honorable exceptions, multi-function electrical appliances for the kitchen have been a failure–and it started very early (Popular Mechanics, June 1921):
This unique design was intended to democratize flight–“an airplane in every garage!” It didn’t. (Popular Mechanics, June 1921).