If the Lépine contest had existed before (it was created in 1901), today’s reader would not have had the pleasure of discovering the obsolete inventions that flourished in the 19th century. The inventors presented their discoveries with the assurance that the brochures served as a user manual and as well as means of promotion. The names of the inventions sometimes seem to be part of a Prévert-style inventory: bite regulator, stop lens, equinoflector, equinolaso, surfaix-equino, spring tamer, elastic stirrup, mobile ankle hardware, etc.
Some inventions, nevertheless, contributed great advances to the time period before falling into disuse. This is the case of Dr. Auzoux’s Classical Anatomy, which led to the production of anatomy pieces in papier-mâché for use by veterinary medicine students. You can also mention the cavalry officer Basserie, who managed to industrialize his drainage system Stables called “horizontals“. Or also the equestrian sphere developed by Charles Raabe, which allowed us to understand the locomotion of the horse before the appearance of Muybridge and Marey’s chronophotography. This photographic procedure revealed to all the reality about the movements of the gallop of the horse that can be found in the origins of cinema.
- The chronophotography