Repurposed Inventions

Repurposed inventions take recycling to a whole new level by using and improving upon existing technologies. In this section, learn about creative invention mashups and how inventions evolve over time.

Learn More

When early man attached a stick to a sharpened piece of stone, he set in motion a trend in the creation of tools: the mashup. Today, almost all tools combine at least a few different technologies. What are some popular invention mashups?

By Michael Franco

You think you really know an invention until -- whammo -- someone comes up with a new use for it. Ointment that soothes tired cow teats and treats baldness? Who would have thought?

By William Harris

These days, remote controls seem to, well, control our lives. Most people tend to have piles of them strewn about their living rooms. But where did this ubiquitous technology come from? Where is it headed?

By Nathan Chandler


The World Wide Web is bursting with information, so much so that it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data available to us. How can we sort through and make sense of it all? That's where Web mashups come in.

By Nathan Chandler

If technology exists to make our lives easier, combining technologies into brand new devices seems like an even better idea. What are some of the most helpful, time-saving tech mashups?

By Stephanie Crawford

We're used to bar codes saving us time in the grocery store, but some applications of this handy technology might actually save your bacon. What are some potentially life-saving applications of bar code tech?

By Stephanie Crawford

2-D bar codes are being used in some interesting ways. Visit HowStuffWorks to learn everything about 2-D bar codes.

By Jonathan Atteberry & Austin Henderson


The trend toward tiny houses and rabid clutter clearing have combined to lead more than a few people away from the traditional home and into shipping container life.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Dimethylpolysiloxane has many uses, not the least of which might be curing baldness.

By Jesslyn Shields