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Disruptive Decades: Technologies that revolutionised the 1920s

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In 1928, Otto Frederick Rohwedder gave the world the invention that all future inventions would be cheekily compared to: sliced bread. His revolutionary bread-slicing machine made such an impact that it inspired the popular idiom “the best thing since sliced bread”, which we still use even today. Despite the idiom, we aren’t quite as impressed these days by sliced bread — however, it’s still an apt example of the many inventions that not only defined one of the 20th century’s most dynamic decades but revolutionised the world.

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High fliers: 21 of history’s strangest aircraft

Man’s been flying a lot longer than you think. In fact, the English Benedictine monk Eilmer of Malmesbury flew for about 200 meters using a glider more than a thousand years ago in 1010 AD. But manned flight only really took off after the Wright brothers made the first sustained, controlled, powered heavier-than-air manned flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.

These days, a plane lands somewhere in the world every 3 seconds. Hardly surprising then that in the last 110 years, there’s been an astounding array of flying machines. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy twenty-one of history’s strangest aircraft ever to grace the skies.

The Caproni Ca.60 Noviplano was a nine-wing flying boat intended to be a prototype for a 100-passenger trans-Atlantic airliner. The prototype only made one short flight on 4 March 1921 over Lake Maggiore in Italy. The aircraft attained an altitude of only 18 m (60 ft), then dived and crashed, breaking up on impact. The pilot escaped unscathed.

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