Technology has improved our lives and advanced civilization -- for the most part. But sometimes, inventions go a little too far. Here are a few unnecessary creations from the 20th century:

  • 1924: A car in Paris was equipped with a shovel on the front bumper.

  • 1929: Wooden bathing suits were invented to supposedly enhance flotation.

  • 1935: In Great Britain, a special piano/bed device was designed for the bedridden, allowing them to practice while stuck flat on their backs.

  • 1954: A "rainy day cigarette holder" was invented to facilitate smoking in inclement weather. It had a little umbrella.

  • 1961: Illuminated tires. Enough said.

    Contact Angela Hill at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com, read her Sunday Give 'Em Hill column, or follow her at Twitter.com/giveemhill.