Hidden Stories Behind Features On Everyday Objects (40 Pics)

Ever wonder how much thought goes into the design of everyday objects? Maybe these hidden features will make your life easier, maybe not. Either way, now you have some cool facts to share next time you want to impress someone.

1. Pom-Poms On Beanies

The pom-poms on beanies and other hats. They might look cute and fluffy now but they had an actual function before. French sailors used to wear hats with pom-poms so that they wouldn’t hurt their heads on the ceilings of the ship during rough weather.

Source: The Outline

2. Tiny Buttons On Your Jeans


The tiny buttons on your jeans. These buttons are known as rivets and they’re the silent heroes that make your pants last longer. They’re placed in the areas that are most likely to tear from movement or strain and help hold the fabric together.

Source: Denim Hunters

3. The Drawer Under Your Oven


Remember that drawer under your oven? The one where you keep your kitchen gear that doesn’t belong anywhere else? It wasn’t actually designed for that. Manufacturers originally made that drawer for keeping food warm until you were ready to serve it. Now tell us how many people do you know who actually do this.

Source: Today

4. Careseat Headrests


Headrests are made to be adjustable to comfortably support a person’s head, whether they’re tall or short. While this makes sense, why make them completely detachable too? Well, survival. When you pull your headrest out of the seat, it has two sturdy, long metal bars. That means, if you find yourself trapped inside a car and need to get out quickly, you can simply detach your headrest and use it to smash out the window.

Source: Evoke

5. Ridges On Coins


The ridges on the edges of some coins. Ridge patterns on coins are a relic of the past when precious metal coins would be as valuable as their weight. However, some sneaky rogues would shave off the edges of coins and use that metal to mint new coins while spending the shaved coins as if they didn’t weigh less. The ridges were added so it would be obvious when somebody had shaved off parts of a coin and was trying to cheat the system.

Source: History

6. Holes In Pen Caps


The holes in pen caps. Some people can’t help but chew the caps of their pens (tip: don’t do this). However, it’s a potential health hazard because you might swallow it and choke. The holes in the caps allow people to breathe in case that happens.

Source: Science Alert

7. The Arrow On Your Fuel Guage


The little arrow-like symbol on a dashboard. It’s not only you who, upon arrival at a gas station, has had to work hard at remembering which side your gas tank is on. It turns out, the answer has been right in front of you. Every dashboard has a little symbol—an arrow or a triangle—placed near the gas gauge. It indicates precisely that which you forgot: which side your gas tank is on. If the arrow is pointing left, look for the filler cap there. If it is pointing right, you know what to do.

Source: Allstate

8. The Holes In Pot and Pan Handles


Sure, they’re great when you want to hang your pan or pot on a wall but they’re also perfect for holding spoons and ladles while cooking. That way, you won’t get your kitchen counter messy!

Source: Insider

9. The Extra Eyelets On Shoes


The extra eyelets on shoes. If you loop your laces through them, then you tighten the shoe around your ankle and prevent the shoe from moving around. This way you increase the stability of the shoe, decrease impact loading rates, and prevent your foot from moving about while climbing or descending hills and trails. It’s great for jogging and hiking!

Source: HuffPost

10. The Ridges On The “F” And “J” Keys On Keyboards


The ridges on the “F” and “J” keys on the keyboard. They help your fingers find their location on the keyboard. This way you can type without having to glance down much easier.

Source: Independent

11. The Hole In A Soda Can Tab


The hole in a soda can tab. Most of us open up cans of soda using the tab without giving he small piece of metal a second thought. However, if you rotate the tab, you can stick your straw through it and the straw won’t rise out of the can because of the bubbles in the soda. Now, you can sip away in peace!

Source: Foodbeast

12. Wooden Coat Hangers


You might think that wooden coat hangers are simply a fancier version of the ones made from plastic or wire. But in reality, they actually have a unique purpose to them. These closet hangers aren’t just made from any wood. They’re from cedarwood, which is known to repel bugs and moths. Not to mention its refreshing scent and durability. These hangers are perfect for heavy clothing that is susceptible to damage from insects, such as coats and jackets or dresses. Especially those that were made from wool.

Source: Hangerworld

13. The Hole At The Top Of A Lollipop Stick


This weird little hole emerging after you finish a candy has been bugging us for years. Who would ever put a whistle there if it doesn’t work?! It turns out, the reason for this lollipop stick hole has to do with manufacturing. When pouring hot, molten caramel into the mold, some of it seeps into this hole and hardens. It allows the candy to stay on the stick and not to fall off.

Source: That’s Life

14. Brass Doorknobs


A lot of doorknobs are made out of brass because it destroys bacteria. So, these types of doorknobs are essentially germ-proof. Perfect in a household with lots of kids.

Source: Best Life

15. The Button Placement On Women’s Shirts


Aside from the obvious use for buttons, you might have wondered why the ones women’s shirts are on the left. Especially when you consider that most people are right-handed. Turns out, putting the buttons on the left of clothes is an old tradition carried over from a time when buttons represented your social and financial status. If you owned buttons, you probably were being dressed by a chambermaid, and the buttons on your left were on her right when she was facing you.

Source: Today

16. That Tiny Jeans Pocket


A teeny-tiny pocket that’s seemingly pointless. If you’re wearing a good old’ pair of jeans, chances are it has a teeny-tiny pocket above the regular pockets on the front. The same place where you get your thumb stuck now and then. It was originally meant to tuck in a pocket watch. Levi’s points out it has served more purposes throughout the years, like storing coins, matches, and tickets.

Source: Marie Claire

17. The Slot At The End Of A Measuring Tape


Most measuring tapes come with a metal stub with a small slot on the end. In case all your hands are full, hang the slot on a nail for measurement. If you look closely, you will also notice that the stub is slightly serrated on one side. It can be used to mark the points without a pencil.

Source: US Tape

18. Hole In A Pasta Spoon


Even if you’re a pasta lover, it doesn’t mean you know what the hole in a spaghetti ladle is for. The hole is actually designed to serve as a portion measurement to make sure you are cooking the right amount. It should suffice for one portion of spaghetti, so if you’re cooking for two, make sure you let two handfuls of pasta go through it.

Source: Insider

19. That Tiny Hole In Airplane Windows


If you fly a lot, then maybe you’ve rolled over the possible uses for the tiny hole in your airplane window a time or two before. It actually serves two purposes: first, it allows airflow through to keep from too much pressure building in the plane and busting the window as it rises in altitude, and second, it keeps the windows from fogging up with all the warm breath of the passengers.

Source: Business Insider

20. Indentation At The Bottom Of Wine Bottles


Contrary to popular belief, the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle doesn’t actually indicate the superior quality of the wine. Also known as a punt, back in the day, it used to be found in handblown wine bottles. The seam of the bottle at the bottom was pushed up in order to prevent an outward nub at the bottom that would keep a bottle from balancing upright. It’s also thought that the punt added to the bottle’s structural integrity. Since modern-day bottles are much stronger and machine-made, punts serve no practical purpose and simply remain a part of the tradition.

Source: Wine Spectator

21. The Different Colored Bristles On Your Toothbrush


While you may have thought that the colorful bristles on your toothbrush are just yet another marketing gimmick, this seemingly pointless addition actually serves a real purpose. The blue color of your toothbrush bristles will fade right about the same time you need to get a new one. It’s a reminder that you aren’t exactly keeping things as clean and fresh as you could be.

Source: Metro

22. Brushes Along Side Escalators


The brushes on the sides of escalators aren’t for polishing your shoes. You may have been using these escalator brushes to clean your shoes, however, these bristles are actually a big safety feature. One of the biggest reasons for escalator mishaps is people getting their clothes and bags stuck in them when they stand too close to the sides. These nylon bristles play with your mind and make you keep your feet away from the escalator’s skirt panels, hence avoiding accidents.

Source: Reed & Mansfield

23. The Metal Plates On Staplers


You may have noticed the metal plate toward the front end of your stapler. If you just assumed it’s there to act as reinforcement to bend the staples you’d be right, but did you know there’s more to it than that, and that your stapler actually has settings? No joke. The metal plate is called an anvil, and if you turn your stapler upside down you can adjust it by spinning the wheel until it lines up with the seemingly random hole in the metal plate. This setting is for a “temporary staple”, and will guide the arms of your staple outward instead of inwards, making it easier to pull out the staple later.

Source: Shareably

24. The Stripes In Toothpaste


In the 1970s, cleaning the mouth to keep it healthy wasn’t enough; people wanted something in the toothpaste to freshen the breath, too. Aquafresh answered the call by adding in a blue stripe to their paste to indicate that it could do both. After people began paying more attention to the health of their gums, the brand added a 3rd red stripe to their product, indicating that their paste now had triple action; cleaning, freshening, and plaque control. Even though solid white toothpaste offers the same benefits, companies continue to add stripes to their paste because it still sells.

Source: Thurmaston Dental

25. The Number “57” On AHeinz Bottle


Apparently, the embossed number “57” on Heinz’s bottle is what the company’s spokesperson calls a soft spot. “All you need to do is apply a firm tap where the bottle narrows, and the ketchup will come out easier.” No need to punch that bottle too much!

Source: New York Post

26. You Can Use A Screwdriver As A Wrench


A lot of screwdrivers can be easily slid through a wrench and are used to create more torque. This feature is especially helpful at complicated heights and angles.

Source: Tire Meets Road

27. The Tiny Dot Next To The Camera On An iPhone.


While you might think that it’s some sort of miniature flash device or a fashion statement, it’s actually a microphone that helps record sound when you’re using the back camera.

Source: Independent

28. Chinese Take-Out Boxes


If you have ever picked up Chinese food takeout and requested paper plates only to be judged, there’s a good reason for that. The Chinese food takeout boxes are made in such a way that when you unfold them, they become cardboard dinner plates. The best part? Your food is already on the platter, so you can just dig in. They’re looking at you like you’re crazy because you already got the plates!

Source: CBS News

29. This “Pocket” In Women’s Underwear

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Many men would probably be surprised to learn that not all women know the specific purpose of the small pocket sewn into their panties! Although some women have been using them for storing tampons or other small, private items, this actually isn’t why it’s there. The ‘pocket’ is actually called a panty gusset, and was never intended to be a pocket. Rather, it is an extra piece of fabric sewn in for women’s hygiene and in the higher-end panties, the gusset is sewn completely shut. It becomes a ‘pocket’ when manufacturers are unwilling to spend the time and money to get those last few stitches in!

Source: The List

30. Child-Proof Medicine Bottles


Child-proof prescription bottles generally have one or two raised sections above a ribbed base. These raised sections on a cap make it harder to remove the cap. However, if you don’t have to worry about the little ones at home, there’s a quick trick for hassle-free opening. When you remove the cap, flip it upside down and screw it back in. When the raised sections are pointing toward the bottom of the bottle, you can open the bottles easily.

Source: Travel & Leisure

31. The Side Holes In Converse Shoes


If you’ve ever owned a pair of Converse, you’ve probably noticed these two little holes on the side of the shoes. It turns out, these two are designed to allow you to get creative with lacing techniques, like zig-zagging them across the whole width of our feet. The second use of the holes is to provide much-needed ventilation. Another theory is that if the shoes don’t fit properly, you can tighten them up by using these two holes.

Source: Cosmopolitan

32. Paper Condiment Cups At Fast Food Restaurants


Have you ever asked yourself why the fast-food restaurants use such tiny cups for the ketchup and mustard? Based on the amount of fries they serve in even their smallest size container, clearly they are aware that you’ll be needing just a little bit more dipping sauce. So then, why the folded paper cups? It all comes down to the purpose of those folds. When you unfold the paper cups, they turn into small paper platters that can hold a great deal more sauce for all your dipping needs. Nifty, right?

Source: Tip Hero

33. Loop On Your Shirt


There are some shirts that contain a piece of cloth in the form of a loop. This was actually designed so you can hang your shirts on a hook in a dressing room or even a closet. It’s a perfect solution when you don’t have any hangers left.

Source: Southern Living

34. Tic Tac Containers


Eat Tic Tacs the Right Way. Did you know that all Tic Tac containers were designed to dispense one Tic Tac at a time? That certainly explains the tiny indentation on the lid which is shaped exactly like the candy. Most of us just lift the tab up and shake the container a couple of times until six of these fresh minty treats fall into the palm of our hands.

Source: Life Hacker

35. Restaurant Cup Lids


The lids of many restaurant cups can double as coasters. Just flip them upside down and set the cup on them. It will keep your cup from dripping all over the place and could help prevent a mess.

Source: Foodbeast

36. The Colorful Bread Tags


If you collect bread tags for some odd reason, you might have noticed that they come in different colors. It turns out that the color tags indicate the day the bread was delivered. So, if you need to know how fresh your bread is, all you have to do is look at the color tag.

Source: Tasting Table

37. Apple Chargers


The little wings on an Apple charger can be flipped up to wind the cord, keeping it tangle-free in your bag.

Source: Geeksmate

38. The Loops In The Frame Of A Grocery Cart


The grocery cart, of all things we use in our day to day life, should certainly be the most self-explanatory, or at least one would think. Sometimes the purpose of everyday items get lost amongst its main function, which in this instance is to carry your groceries around while you shop. The manufacturers of these seemingly basic carts are more forward-thinking than we’ve given them credit for, though. While even our checkers and baggers don’t know it, there is a purpose behind those metal loops that frame the top fold-out section of our grocery carts; to hang your bags with light items like bread and eggs from so they don’t get smashed among your heavier goods. Do your grocers a favor and show them how it’s done next time to make their lives easier.

Source: Quora

39. Rubber Bumps In The Grooves Of Your Tire Tread


These little rubber bumps are so inconspicuous, you might never notice them unless checking the tread on your tire. Oddly enough, that is exactly what they are meant for. The little-raised edges inside the grooves of your tire’s tread are there to let you know when it’s time to change your tires. While many people still rely on the old penny head trick, an easy way to tell if you need to get to the tire shop is if the edges of your tread are even with the bumps. If they are, then you are driving on legally unsafe tires. If the edge is above that of the bump, you’re good to keep cruising for a while.

Source: A&M Tyres

40. The Threaded Bands On Audio Jacks


The deep ridges or threads on audio-jacks aren’t just there for a tighter fit when plugged in. These bands are made of an insulating material used to protect the wires while the sound is being transmitted. Additionally, the number of bands indicates which end goes where. Three bands equate to one band per left and right ear, and the third band for grounding, and should be plugged into the stereo or amplifier, while 2 bands indicate the end that plugs into a device.

Source: Soundguys

h/t YouTube