The treadmill was originally a torture device

The treadmill was originally a torture device

Treadmills were originally torture devices, meant to break the mind, body, and spirit of English prisoners.

Two hundred years ago, the treadmill was invented in England as a prison rehabilitation device. It was meant to cause the incarcerated to suffer and learn from their sweat.

Groups of prisoners were forced to walk 6 hours a day, pumping out water, milling corn powering the mills, thus the term “tread-mill.”

Treadmills evolved into a mechanism for punishment to prevent poor people from committing crimes to take advantage of the necessities in jail.

The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter
The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter

Britain banned treadmills in 1989, seeing their punishment no longer useful.

An 1885 British Medical Journal article called “Death on the Treadmill,” chastized Durham Prison for the treadmill-induced death of a prisoner with heart disease. Its overall high death rate—one fatality a week—prompted the conclusion that “[t]he ‘mill’ is not useful, and has proved itself occasionally injurious.”

Having banned treadmills in 1828 to adopt a “collective industry” where prisoners became factory workers, America revamped the treadmill as an exercise machine.

It resurfaced in 1913 with a U.S. patent for a “training-machine.” In the 1960s, the American mechanical engineer William Staub created a home fitness machine called the PaceMaster 600. He began manufacturing home treadmills in New Jersey. (He used it often himself, right up until the months before his death at the age of 96.)

As this article points out, treadmills are the top-selling training equipment in the US but still come with all the baggage (injuries and boredom) that prisoners endured in England.

Subscribe to Discvr.blog via email and never miss a post!*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

Discover more

TheoriginalAppleWatch:Seiko'sTVWatchfrom

The original Apple Watch: Seiko’s TV Watch from 1982

In what was amazing technology for its day, the Seiko TV watch (Model T001-3) from 1982 is still one of the smallest TVs ever made with a 1.2-inch screen. Watch tv on your wrist With a Liquid Crystal Video Display (LVD), the images would only appear in 32-pixel resolution when…

Keep reading
Elephant rock in Iceland is one of Earth's greatest wonders

Elephant rock in Iceland is one of Earth’s greatest wonders

If you’re looking for an unforgettable natural wonder during your travels to Iceland, be sure to add Elephant Rock to your list! This incredible rock formation is unlike anything else you’ll see in the country.

Standing at over six meters tall, Elephant Rock is a sight that will leave you in awe. The best time to visit is during the summer when the days are longest and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a unique photo opportunity, Elephant Rock is a must-see when in Iceland!

Keep reading

Ireland’s impressive Dún Briste Sea Stack

Dun Briste is a 150-foot sea stack off County Mayo on the western coast of Ireland, at Downpatrick Head. According to the legend, this impressive landmark broke off the mainland during a massive sea storm in 1393. Ships rescued those living on the cliffs who’d fallen into the water. During…

Keep reading
ghost crab

The stealthy ghost crab

The ghost crab is about as big as your hand but as fast as lightning.  The eight-legged little creature moves across sandy beaches at 100 body lengths per second, up to 10 miles per hour. That’s blazing-fast compared to the size of a human and a cheetah, who achieve speeds…

Keep reading
the beauty of slovenias bled island

The fairy tale beauty of Slovenia’s Bled Island

Bred Island is a small tear-shaped island floating in the middle of Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. On the island sits the 170ft tall Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, a Baroque church established in 1534. The church on the island is a popular place for locals to wed,…

Keep reading
salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world

The high-altitude salt flat of Salar de Uyuni in southwest Bolivia creates the world’s biggest natural mirror. It sits near the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 11,995 ft above sea level. Considered one of the flattest surfaces on Earth (4,086 sq mi), the salt flat, also known…

Keep reading
Baatara gorge waterfall

Baatara gorge waterfall is Lebanon’s best-kept secret

Baatara gorge waterfall is one of Lebanon’s best-kept secrets. Located in the Tannourine Cedars Nature Reserve, the waterfall is accessible via a short hike on the Lebanon Mountain Trail through the forest. The views from the top are breathtaking, and the waterfall is an impressive sight. The Baatara gorge waterfall…

Keep reading
Potoo bird

The Potoo bird may be the scariest bird you’ve ever seen

The Potoo bird, or Ghost bird from Central and South America, gives off a startling expression. The strange-looking bird possesses a hooked snake-like bill with a massive gape the animal uses to swallow moths and other insects. But even more freaky are their yellow googly eyes that glow up at…

Keep reading
Zlatni Rat beach on Bol Brac Island, Croatia

The famous Zlatni Rat beach on Bol Brac Island, Croatia

Zlatini Rat, or Golden Cape, is one of Croatia’s most unique and popular beach destinations. It’s not hard to see why. The magnificent horn-shaped beach resides on the southern coast of the Croatian island of Brac, outside the resort town of Bol. The 1700-foot white-pebble beach formed by the collision…

Keep reading
Asperitas clouds

Asperitas clouds form rippling waves in the sky

There are all types of stunning clouds — Lenticular, Mammatas — to name a couple. But the asperitas clouds take center stage. These clouds, which are dark and storm-like, look like Van Gogh painted waves in the sky. Asperitas clouds form in the wake of thunderstorms like Mammatus clouds, yet…

Keep reading
satanic leaf-tailed gecko

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko wears nature in disguise

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko (uroplatus phantasticusis) wears many disguises. It has superior camouflage — special skin that evolved to look like plants — and can also scare away predators by opening its bright red mouth and hiss like a cat. These geckos can even shed their tail to deceive predators,…

Keep reading

Loading...

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.