Alternate History of the World

60,000 pieces, 240 years old. Jaquet-Droz's dolls still write, draw, and play music

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There had to be something in the water in the 18th century. A whole lot of people acquired some amazing skills out of, what seems, nowhere. Another one of these brilliant individuals was Pierre Jaquet-Droz. He was born on July 28, 1721, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Canton Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He was a watchmaker who lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.

Once again we have a big question mark next to his education. He was supposed to become a clergyman, so he studied theology and...

Moving sidewalks at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris

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This is amazing how one thing leads to another. Looking into the so-called achievements of the 19th century, I keep on running into one too many of those "ahead of its time" inventions. This time it is moving sidewalks. These sidewalks I am about to present were powered by electricity (Le trottoir roulant et le chemin de fer électrique, pendant l'Exposition Universelle de 1900 ). I will add some oil to the fire by stating the following: atmospheric wireless electricity was the power source. The electricity part deserves a separate topic, and will be covered some time later.

It is...

The impossible 1587 Urbano Monte's World Map

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A 60 sheet world map was made in 1587 by Urbano Monte. It ended up being approximately nine feet by nine feet when fully assembled. The map was obtained by the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries. The Map Center scanned all 60 sheets, and digitally put them together. When assembled, this map presents a model of the Flat Earth. Of course immediately after the map was stitched together, the flatness was explained with Urbano Monte's desire to "show the entire earth as close as possible to a three-dimensional sphere using a two-dimensional surface". Nevertheless, the map...

The impossible colossal "King Bath Tub" - who really produced this monster?

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According to everything we know about the 19th century, and specifically 1820s, this humongous bath tub is not supposed to exist. Of course it does, and I have quite a few reasons to question everything about this Russian bath tub besides its existence. For the traditional review type article of this impossible achievement of the early 19th century you can read the article called "Why Was Such a Colossal Bath Tub Built for Tsar Alexander I?"

In 1818 some civil...

Mud flood, dirt rain, and the story of the buried buildings

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Apparently, there is this theory in Russia, that Peter the Great was not the founder of Saint Petersburg. He did not build it, he dug it out. Yes, you heard it right. Supposedly, a whole lot of dirt was removed, and from beneath emerged the city. This is clearly not an official version. Yet, there are some reasons for this theory to exist, especially after looking at the engravings done by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Piranesi was creating his immortal art in...

Who nuked San Francisco in 1906?

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This appears to be the story of every single event where "fire storm" is present in the description. And the story is always the same. At first we have either an earthquake, or a regular fire. Then this mysterious fire storm gets developed. These fire storms always lead to a level of destruction comparable with nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And finally this miraculous construction boom takes place, and thousands of multistory buildings pop up from nowhere within a matter of 2-3 years. Sometimes they magically appear within a year. Of course, those days people did not know...

Similar style buildings are all over the world. Were they built by our civilization?

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For the most part we are very much used to seeing these buildings here and there. If it's a city or town with some history under its belt, it will have one or two of the below structures; some will have more. They all look beautiful, with elaborate details and elegant precision. Some of these buildings have individuality, and some look similar to "that other building in Europe." And Europe is where, supposedly, these architectural styles were born. At least that's what we were taught to think. This is our conventional wisdom ingrained into our understanding of this world. There were tons...

Ditch Tesla, buy Babcock Runabout: 1,244 miles on one battery in 1909

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How many electric car models do you know of the top of your head? Probably three or four. If you are really into it, may be ten, though I'm not even sure there are ten contemporary electric car models out there. Well, in the beginning of the 20th century there were hundreds of different models. A few of those models you can observe in the attachments representing just one 1907 catalog. In reality there were many more. I mean like WAY more!

Appears, one hundred years ago electric cars were a pretty common sight on the streets. I have heard that there were electric cars back then, but not...

Brazilian scientists claim that our Earth is convex in shape

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After seven years of research on earth format, scientific experiments carried out by Brazilian researchers at Dakila Research and the Zigurats Technological Center in partnership with professionals from various areas of Brazil and other countries, such as the United States, Russia, Chile, the Netherlands, Spain, have shown that the Earth is not spherical.

Seven scientific experiments were carried out, including the geodesic...

Hyperloop pneumatic subway existed in the 19th century

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Another proof that there were technologies far superior to the time when they were introduced is the pneumatic tube saga of the 19th century. What we know today as the Hyperloop was used in New York (Beach Pneumatic Transit) in 1867, and in London (Crystal Palace pneumatic railway) in 1864. This information is not a secret, though not too many people are aware of this "ahead of its...

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