There is a reason why everything is made the way it is. For instance, why are incandescent bulbs made spherical or round? Why aren’t they shaped rectangular? Why are some toothpastes made multi-colored? Read on to find the answers to all of these questions. Some of them might even surprise you.
1. Tiny padlock hole
A vast majority of padlocks are designed with this feature. In fact, if there isn’t one, the lock should only be used indoors. This is because, in addition to being an opening to apply lubrication to the lock so it doesn’t get stuck, it also doubles as a drainage hole in case of extended water exposure.
2. The stripes in toothpaste
If you have ever used Aquafresh toothpaste, then you will be familiar with the red, white, and blue stripes. During the early 1970’s, people came to the realization that cleaning their mouth alone wasn’t sufficient enough and that they also needed to freshen their breath. So, Aquafresh found a solution by adding in a blue stripe to their paste to indicate that it had the dual action of cleaning and freshening. When the new style started receiving positive feedback, the company added a 3rd red stripe to indicate that their paste now had triple action; cleaning, freshening, and plaque control.
3. Incandescent light bulbs and their round shape
Before fluorescent and LED light bulbs, incandescent light bulbs were widely used around the world. Incandescent bulbs have most of the air removed or are simply filled with an inert gas in order to keep oxygen away from the bulb’s filament. The round shape, or the globe, is necessary to keep the filament isolated from the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. The shape is also ideal for controlling heat and light emissions.
4. Tram/train criss-cross overhead line
If you look closely at an electric train’s overhead lines, you’ll see that its contact wires zigzag back and forth instead of going in a straight line. The pantographs attached to their roofs touch these electrically charged cables, which is how these electric trains or trams work. However, over time, the upper part of the pantograph can become worn by the overhead wire and will eventually need to be replaced. By making the cable criss-cross, the pantograph wears down evenly; thus reducing grooves forming at individual places.
5. The Statue of Liberty’s crown
The Statue of Liberty is undoubtedly one of America’s most well-known and iconic symbols. However, most people don’t know that the seven spikes on the crown of the statue represent the seven oceans and seven continents of the world, according to the U.S. National Park Service.
6. Wooden coat hangers
One might assume that the wooden coat hangers were simply a fancier version of a plastic or wire one. In reality though, wooden closet hangers are made using cedar wood, which is known to repel bugs and moths. It is also known to have a refreshing scent as well as for being extremely durable.
7. Keyboard markers
If you take a closer look at your keyboard, you would notice that the F and J keys have little markings on them. The markings are part of the home row key position and allows you to locate other keys by using your muscle memory.
8. Rubber bumps in the grooves of your tire tread
Have you ever paid attention to the little bumps in the grooves of your tires? You might have never noticed them unless you checked the tread on your tire. The little-raised edges inside the grooves of your tire’s tread are strategically placed there to let you know when it’s time to change your tires. If the edges of your tread are even with the bumps, then your tires are unsafe for the roads. If the edge is above that of the bump, you’re good to keep cruising for a while.
9. Why are snorkels so short instead of being extra long?
Snorkels allow you to breathe air from above the surface while you are exploring the waters. While it does make life easier, have you ever thought of why the tubing is not extra-long, so that you can reach greater depths? Well, it turns out, there’s a reason for that. Industry standard snorkels are 30 to 40 cm or 15 inches long. If it is larger than 40 cm, the length would cause carbon dioxide to stay within the tubing, causing the wearer to re-inhale some carbon dioxide. Smaller tubes reduce this problem.
10. Metal strips on gas pumps
Gas pumps today are made with magnetic breakaways at the end of the pump hoses. So, when you accidentally drive off with the hose still attached to your car, you only take the hose with you. This design ensures that the pump is intact by limiting the damage to the hose.