If you are an avid history lover, you already know that some inventions are much older than the average person believes. Yet, there are some surprising facts about the dates that things were invented that you may not have uncovered yet.

Contact Lenses


Leonardo da Vinci proposed the idea of contact lenses in 1508. However, there is some debate about when the first pair of contact lenses were produced. Some say it was German glassblower F.A. Muller who made the first pair in 1887, while others claim it was Swiss physician Adolf E. Fick and Paris optician Edouard Kalt who made the first pair in 1888.

Fax Machines


Many assume that the telephone was invented before the fax machine, but they would be wrong. Alexander Bain received a patent for the first fax machine called an Electric Printing Telegraph in 1843. Alexander Graham Bell did not receive the first patent for a telephone until 1876.



One of the most surprising facts is that the lighter was invented by a German chemist named Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner in 1825. They predate the invention of matches, which English chemist John Walker created in 1827.

Aux Connectors


While most people assume that the first aux connector was invented when newfangled technology became widely available, they would be surprised to learn that the first aux connector was invented in 1877. Telephone operators used them to connect phone calls.



Turn loose of the notion that wristwatches were not invented until the late 17th or 18th century. Peter Henlein may have created the first one in the 15th century in Germany, but the evidence is sketchy as many others made watches about the same time.

Flushing Toilets


You may be very familiar with the chamber pot, but the truth is that flushing toilets were being used in the Indus River Valley before 2000 BC. According to archeology finds, each house in the valley had a pipe that ran from the toilet to an outside covered drain.