Combined Minds: What Objects Were Made for vs. How We Use Them Today 

What Objects Were Made for vs. How We Use Them Today 


Carmen: A friend of ours once asked us if we knew what a chainsaw was used for before it was used for cutting down trees. When we both said no, she flipped her phone around and what we saw was horrifying. 


Ambar: Chainsaws were initially created for medical procedures. Specifically, a tool meant to be used during a Cesarean delivery, aka C-Section, aka nightmare. 


Carmen: I don’t know about you, but I would not let that thing near me … Especially near my … delicate area. But it is nice to know that the hunk of metal used to chop down 1,000-pound trees was once used on the female body… Oh, men.


Ambar: Anyway … this disturbing fact led us down a rabbit hole of how objects were made for entirely different purposes than what they are used for today.


Carmen: Did you know the quick breath freshening mouthwash Listerine was not always used for our pearly whites?


Ambar: Instead it was originally marketed as a floor cleaner and surgical antiseptic. Yikes. How we got from one to the other, I don’t know. But I can never look at Listerine the same. 


Carmen: I would not want to be the unlucky guinea pig that had to figure that out. Speaking of cleaning products, can you guess what or who Lysol was originally advertised for? I bet you can’t (sarcasm… you’ll see a trend here).


Ambar: OK, so there’s a lot to unpack here. During the first half of the 20th century, Lysol was marketed as a “vaginal douche.” I know. Scary. But considering contraceptives like condoms and diaphragms were pricey at the time and hard to come by, Lysol ads suggested that the “feminine hygiene product” could prevent pregnancies. It should go without saying but Lysol did not in any way improve hygiene, let alone prevent pregnancies. And now it’s used to clean toilets. Full circle moment.


Carmen: History loves women. During our spiral, we came across another valuable piece of information: what Viagra was initially invented for. It was originally used as a treatment for hypertension, angina and other symptoms of heart disease by increasing blood flow to the heart. Well, it definitely increased blood flow … and not just to the heart.


Ambar: Imagine being the first doctor to use Viagra on a male patient. 


Carmen: Quite an ego boost that would have been. 


Ambar: While on the topic of ego, let’s get into what and who high heels were originally created for … and why they stopped being used by a certain gender. 


Carmen: During the early part of 10th century C.E., high heels were used by the Persian cavalry to provide stability when shooting arrows on horseback, the same reason cowboy boots have a blocked heel. Throughout the 17th century, high heels were a symbol of high status and were commonly worn by noblemen and noblewomen. 


Ambar: That was the case up until the 18th century when high heels became much more accessible to the public and common women. Of course, to protect their fragile egos, noblemen stopped wearing heels. Ending the age of an era. Take this as my formal petition to bring back men wearing heels. 


Carmen: All this talk about men wearing heels is making me thirsty. 


Ambar: Why don’t you have a Coca-Cola?


Carmen: Well, fortunately for me, I don’t have a crippling morphine addiction, at least, that’s what Coca-Cola was initially invented for. 


Ambar: On that note, we are glad to be living in the 21st century and to conclude this “Combined Minds” segment without inserting cleaning products into our daily get-ready routines.