Yesterday we featured a video of the Dynasphere, a crazy electric monowheel-thing from the 1930s. That was pretty neat, but the truth is, it comes from a wondrous cache of old-timey videos. It's called British Pathé and it's a great way to lose hours and hours.
Just check out the motorized roller skates (so practical!) above. And no, these aren't your easy-peasy 'lectrified skates of today, no sir and/or madam. Originally thought of by a man from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, which is a real place in England, I swear, as an ingenious way for soldiers to get around in The War, they were unfortunately never adopted for use by the military.
I haven't the faintest idea why. Surely, soldiers who encounter danger every moment of their lives would love to strap some gas tanks and an engine to their feet. I can't possibly see what could go wrong.
Alas, the motor-skates are no more, preserved only in the archives of British Pathé. But there's more than just silly English contraptions. Here are the Wright Brothers taking a flight in 1908:
And a dude with a hoverboard, because the past is the future we always dreamed of!
There are also more serious videos, like the 1955 Le Mans disaster (warning: death) and the explosion that finally sank the HMS Barham (warning: a lot of death, seriously, it's incredibly tragic). Almost every video in the archive is fascinating in some respect.
That's because what is now known as British Pathé started out as Pathé News, a newsreel company that operated from 1910 to 1970. Sure, it consists of clips mostly from the UK, but it's not such a bad place after all. And it's got plenty of stories to tell in crazy videos.
So check out the archive. But before you do, make sure you say goodbye to all friends, acquaintances, and loved ones for the next few hours. You'll find yourself lost in a world of old film archives.
Either that, or Arnold Schwarzenegger's pecs.