25 Products That Were Originally Invented For Another Purpose

There are so many products that were originally invented for a specific purpose, but over time evolved to be used for something else.

Take Coca-Cola, for example. It was originally invented for medicinal purposes and it even had real cocaine in the drink. No wonder people loved it so much and became the global brand it is today.

There are a number of things we use for reasons other than it was originally intended and people are sharing their best examples in this viral AskReddit thread. If you can think of any more, let us know in the comments!

What product’s main purpose is ignored? — EpicEllis2004

1. Paintball Guns


“Apparently paintball guns were invented for foresters/loggers/park rangers to mark trees (for cutting etc.) without having to approach each tree.” — galactic-frog

2. Hitachi Wand

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“Hitachi market’s a massaging wand that works absolutely great on muscle knots. It works by using powerful vibrations and it’s mostly used for something that Hitachi refuses to acknowledge entirely.” — Dydey

3. Pipe Cleaners

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“Use them for all sorts of arts and crafts as kids. It wasn’t till I owned a tobacco pipe and went to buy them that it actually clicked” — TouchedbyJebus

4. Minoxidil


“Minoxidil was originally developed to treat high blood pressure and people reported unusual hair growth all around the body since it promotes blood flow to the skin pores. They came up with a topical version and voila, millions of people smear that shit on their scalps and beards every day, and it is one of the only clinically proven ways to cure baldness.” — LeagueOfLucian

5. Q-Tips

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“They were totally invented for that reason and then medical professionals were like “hey please don’t do that it could hurt you” so the companies were like “hey we don’t wanna get in trouble for that so we gonna continue to sell them, knowing people will continue to use them that way but just tell them not too.” — Krisy2lovegood

6. WD-40

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“WD-40 was developed as a rust preventative (it’s even in the initials: “WD” means “Water Displacement”). Nowadays people use it to lubricate mechanical parts.” — bluebirdgm

7. Sandwich Bags


“Pretty sure I use them for everything but sandwiches.” — jolemast

8. MTV

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“Remember when MTV was a music television?” — galactic-frog

9. Superglue

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“Superglue was meant to be a temporary method of stitching a wound. It was used that way during the Vietnam War. Tell people today to super clue their cuts shut, however, and most will think you’re crazy.” — BigBobby2016

10. Pocket Watch Pocket

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According to the Levi Strauss blog, “The first blue jeans had four pockets—only one in the back and, in the front, two plus the small, watch pocket. This extra pouch has served many functions… condom pocket, coin pocket, match pocket, and ticket pocket, to name a few.”

11. Viagra

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“Sildenafil (Viagara) was first developed to treat pulmonary hypertension.” — MedSchoolMommie

12. Cookie Tin

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“That tin for holding cookies is now filled with sewing gear. No matter where you go in the world, see a nice tin of cookies at someone’s house, nope, it’s sewing stuff.” — TheShadowCat

13. History Channel

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“History Channel…as far as I am concerned the secret relationships between aliens and the Illuminati do not qualify as “history” — Ezequiel-052

14. Play-Doh


In the book Timeless Toys, author Tim Walsh explains that Play-Doh was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s.”

15. Toothpicks

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“I use toothpicks all the time to see if my cakes and loaves of bread are done when I’m decorating cookies with royal icing, for crafting, and for unclogging nozzles, like glue bottles and tiny piping tips. Picking teeth is what dental floss is for.” — RinTheLost

16. NyQuil

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“Most medicines are abused, but I’ve known many people including my brother at one time that drank it to fall asleep. I’m a firm believer that’s why Vicks introduced ZzzQuil.” — cliffy80

17. Slinky


“Slinky, the toy. It was originally designed during WW2 to help sensitive instruments remain steady on ships… to counter the effects of pitch, roll, and yaw. The engineer working on them knocked one off his desk accidentally, saw the way it moved from the table to the chair, to the floor, and a new purpose was born.

On a side note… during the Vietnam War, when the Slinkys were metal, radio operators would carry them through the deep jungles. If they couldn’t get a good signal in the jungle mountains, they’d sling a Slinky high into the tree limbs while holding onto one end. It created an instant antenna extension that they would attach to the radio.” — Single_Performance25

18. Botox


Botox was actually first used to treat strabismus (crossed eyes), for which it gained FDA approval in 1989. It gained FDA approval for cosmetic applications in 2002. It then gained FDA approval for migraines in 2010.

It has tons of applications, including the treatment of dystonia (neck pain), underarm sweating, upper limb spasticity, and overactive bladder.” — pastanoodledoodle

19. Bubble Wrap

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“Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Fielding and Chavannes sealed two shower curtains together, creating a smattering of air bubbles, which they originally tried to sell as wallpaper. When the product turned out to be unsuccessful as wallpaper, the team marketed it as greenhouse insulation. Although Bubble Wrap was branded by Sealed Air Corporation (founded by Fielding and Chavannes) in 1960, it was not until a year later that its use in protective usage was discovered.”

20. Oven Warming Drawer

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“The warming drawer on the bottom of all our ovens, which is used as pan storage for exactly 100% of oven owners.” — Newtracks1

21. Pedialyte


“Not sure if this would count or not, but I thought of Pedialyte. Originally supposed to be for dehydrated babies, but adults use it now to fight hangovers.” — reelin5

22. Beer Bottleneck


“I think people already know this but the neck on the beer bottle is actually supposed to be held so you don’t warm your drink too fast.” — bigbenis21

23. Glovebox

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“Gloveboxes were originally meant to store gloves because people used to drive with gloves on for some reason.” — Yah-ThnPat-Thn

24. Duct Tape

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“Duct tape was originally invented by Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel division during WWII for the military. The military specifically needed waterproof tape that could be used to keep moisture out of ammunition cases. This is why the original Duct tape came only in army green.” — groundfloor

25. Microwave

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“The microwave oven’s original purpose was to reanimate small critters out of cryogenic sleep. When was the last time you froze your hamster and warmed him up in your microwave?” — Miles-za

This was news to me. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe it’s a good thing the microwave evolved into something to reheat leftovers in.