Sometimes the best way to come up with new ideas is to revisit past ideas. The inspiration for many ideas have been sparked by making improvements to old ideas or bringing inventions from the past into the modern age by using new materials or manufacturing processes.
Inspiration rarely comes from thin air
The flash of insight is usually spark by “something”. It might be something you observed in nature, something new in technology, or something you revisited from the past and pulled back into the future.
A good example of revisiting old ideas and seeing how they’ve evolved through the decades is the proverbial quest to build a better mousetrap.
Shawn Woods is a YouTube creator who posts different techniques for catching and dispatching pests and critters. He is most known for his series of videos called “Mousetrap Mondays” which has earned him a “golden play button” from YouTube for achieving massive numbers of video plays and channel subscribers. I wrote about Shawn earlier this year when making a point about there being content out there on just about any topic.
Today I want to use his channel as an example of how historical inventions can still inspire people and the ideas they come up with in the modern world.
As a true student of mousetrap history, Shawn collects antique mousetraps and many of his videos feature mousetraps creations that are hundreds of years old. Occasionally his videos will feature a modernized version of an antique trap — like the video below that shows a mousetrap called the Delusion Mousetrap originally patented in 1876 and a new version that was created by using a 3D printer.
Explore the past for some inspiration of your own
If you’d like to take some inspiration from inventions of the past, check out the list of links to Important Innovations and Inventions Past and Present. It’s an A-to-Z list (well… A-to-W anyway) filled famous and not-so famous inventions worthy of your curiosity. It’s not an exhaustively complete list, but there are enough imagination-capturing inventions for you to investigate and find plenty of inspiration for your own projects.