In 1925, An Inventor Created This Enormous Helmet To Aid Concentration And Prevent Distractions.

Who has never had to concentrate on a job to do and be distracted continually and inexorably for the most diverse reasons? We have all experienced this situation at one time or another, and if you think that there are more distractions today than in the past, you are seriously wrong, judging by the curious invention that we are about to present to you. .

What is it about? This is a rather flashy – and in some ways a little eerie – device designed in 1925 to nip any attempt at leisure and distraction in the bud. Its name, The Isolator, says it all. And it is no coincidence that its inventor is considered one of the most famous pioneers of science fiction.


image credit: University of Minnesota Open Access Library

When Hugo Gernsback presented his creation in Science and Invention magazine, he had no doubts. “Perhaps the most difficult thing a human being is called upon to do is to think long and hard,” he wrote, and it is indeed difficult to contradict him. This is how the idea was born to create a helmet that would be 100% isolated from everything in the wearer’s environment.

Thus was born The Isolator, a rather drastic approach to the problem of lack of concentration. Even in a closed, quiet room, Gernsback says, there can be many distractions that are not conducive to productivity and creativity when studying or working. This is why the inventor, a Luxembourgish writer and publisher naturalized American, thought the hard way.


image credit: University of Minnesota Open Access Library

His helmet, large and heavy, was made of solid wood, fully lined with cork and covered with felt, with a deflector for breathing and two glass eyecups for seeing. These holes, according to its creator’s description, made it almost “impossible to see anything other than the sheet of paper in front of you”. But that’s not all.

To avoid any problem, the inventor fitted his helmet with a small canister which provides the right amount of oxygen to promote concentration and prevent drowsiness. According to Gernsback, his Isolator was successful in accomplishing its assigned task, since it was able to block around 90-95% of sounds and noises coming from outside .


image credit: University of Minnesota Open Access Library

inherent, mainly on the issue of oxygen and the safety of the air inhaled and exhaled inside, which would make it deprecated today. Not to mention, this helmet was definitely not the best choice for those who can’t stand confined spaces. Gernsback’s attempt appears memorable, however, as evidenced by an image that has become famous for its somewhat unsettling side, let’s face it.

What do you think of this invention? Would you be willing to call on him to focus, or would you rather settle for regular headphones with your favorite playlist?

Source used:

 Open Culture

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