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A Chronological History of Back to the Future’s Technology

on October 21, 2015, 12:25am

Ice Maker

doc brown ice maker A Chronological History of Back to the Futures Technology

After a long day of smithin’, gun fighting with Mad Dog Tannen, and saving Mary Steenburgen from plunging train-first into a ravine, who wouldn’t want to come home to a cold one or seven?

Year Designed

1885 (though commercial ice makers became available as early as the 1870s)

Inventor

Doctor Emmett Brown

Usefulness

Turn that hot tea into an ice tea. Build yourself an igloo. It’d be nice if the machine didn’t take up half the house, though. More than one cube at a time would be swell, too.

Did It Happen? Would It Work?

Mother Nature’s been doing it for ages. Columbus Iron Works made this convenience available to the public in the late 19th century. Motel owners have been utilizing this technology to keep guests awake all night long ever since.

–Matt Melis

Frisbee

73 back to the future frisbee A Chronological History of Back to the Futures Technology

Ultimate frisbee? Something like that. What starts out as a quirky sight gag — see video above — turns into another trademark tag back in the Back to the Future universe as Marty McFly readily tosses the dirty pie pan at Mad Dog Tannen’s gun. He saves Doc’s life and inevitably tips off the start of an extreme college sport and the ultimate joy of infinite poochinskis for years to come.

Year Designed

1885 (prototype); 1938 (officially)

Inventor

Marty McFly; later by Fred Morrison

Usefulness

For recreation. For fun.

Did It Happen? Would It Work?

Are you blind, McFly? Have you ever been to a beach? Or a college campus? Better yet, ask your local pooch.

–Michael Roffman

The Breakfast Machine

Just because your DeLorean time machine gets accidentally struck by lightning and sends you back to 1885 after you’ve defeated Biff and restored the space-time continuum to its rightful order doesn’t mean you can just skip the most important meal of the day. So, how do ya like your eggs, sailor?

Year Designed

1885

Inventor

Doctor Emmett Brown

Usefulness

Well, it’s an upgrade over the original breakfast machine (aka mom) in that you don’t have to thank it afterwards. Let’s be honest, though. If you’re a teen like Marty, you’re gonna sleep through your machine-made breakfast and just grab a Poptart anyway. And after that machine slaved over a hot itself all morning. Kids, sheesh.

Did It Happen? Would It Work?

Yes. Pee-Wee Herman perfected the breakfast machine in 1985.

–Matt Melis

Wake Up Juice

Drink too much as a result of heartbreak? Not good at holding your liquor? Knocked out cold from one little shot? Well has the Wild West got something you. Wake-Up Juice! Made from the spiciest, nastiest ingredients, to help you overcome whatever it is that ails you. Wake-Up Juice: May be deadly in 2015!

Year Designed

>1885

Inventor

Chester the Bartender

Usefulness

Well, it woke the Doc up, but it didn’t quite cure his broken heart.

Did It Happen? Would It Work?

Oh, there are so many hangover cures these days. A Bloody Mary. Greasy brunches. Wake-Up Juice is in the belly of the burdened.

–Blake Goble

The Bulletproof Vest

bulletproof vest A Chronological History of Back to the Futures Technology

Oh sure, this “bulletproof vest” is just a stovetop refurbished and strung around Marty’s neck, but the thing stopped a bullet from Mad Dog Tannen. Who knew you could learn so much from watching Clint Eastwood films. Well, if you watched them, and utilize their tricks in the past, today, this likely wouldn’t work.

Year Designed

1885

Inventor

Marty McFly (underwritten by Clint Eastwood)

Usefulness

Well, not only did it prevent Marty from getting shot, but it made for a hell of a blackjack. Perhaps we should all conceal and carry stovetops with us in self-defense?

Did It Happen? Would It Work?

The bulletproof vest is very much a common form of protective clothing, and it seems to work. Better than chainmail.

–Blake Goble

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