The Isolator Possibly The Strangest Helmet Ever Created

Grace Higgins | January 22nd, 2019

In 1925 a rather bizarre invention appeared called the isolator, apparently a helmet that would improve focus and concentration. The wearer would become completely deaf as it engulfed their head completely and even had its own oxygen supply.

When wearing the isolator concentration helmet, your vision would also be very limited via little slits. This allowed you to only see a small horizontal line and thus focus on your reading or writing. The isolator was invented by a pioneer of science fiction Hugo Gernsback, he was the author of Science and Invention magazine and also a prominent member of the The American Physical Society.

The American Physical Society is the second largest group of physicists in the USA, it covers all sorts of groundbreaking work for physics and helps promote safe practices. Gernsback was a part of this group and wanted to show his design & engineering skills. Thus was born the idea of the isolator, a helmet that would improve concentration and as a result, speed up physicist research.

At the time scientific curiosity and amateur experimentation were being encouraged throughout the United States of America, it was an age of breakthroughs and new discoveries in the world of science. The isolator though as you may have guessed from the photos, never really caught on. Many people found it much too cumbersome and a bit scary to be enclosed in such a big helmet.

In fact looking at the invention today without prior knowledge of its uses, you may be forgiven for believing that it is actually used for deep sea exploration. Gernsback however never gave up and promoted the tool tirelessly as a way to boost productivity. The statements were very bold about the device’s capabilities for improving focus, it is, of course, possible, but at the time the regulations and testing to check these sorts of marketing claims did not exist.

One thing is definitely certain, it is surely the strangest helmet man has ever created.

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