9 Hidden Features in Everyday Things You Wouldn’t Expect

When people first started developing tools to make life easier, every single little detail of a tool had a specific purpose. Nothing they did was by accident or simply for flare. Even what was meant to be artwork had a specific purpose that had to do with either religious beliefs or common everyday activities. Everything was very intentional, and nothing was abstract.

This makes sense when you consider how few raw materials were being used, and that everything you were using in your craft had to be painstakingly harvested or gathered by hand. When a project consists of back-breaking work, the designs tend to become pretty practical. Most of us might not know it, but that is still the case with many of our everyday items today.

From soda cans and can openers to seams and tape measuring machines, there are tiny details in the design that may at first seem purely aesthetic but that actually serve a very useful purpose. Sometimes their purpose may even seem blatantly obvious, but in reality the product’s intended purpose is something you never thought of! Here are 9 everyday things you didn’t know the purpose of.

1. The Side Holes In Converse Shoes

Converse shoes have made a huge comeback in popularity over the last decade. Originally designed in the early 20th century for basketball players, the shoes featured two extra holes on the side near the bottom that were identical to the shoelace holes. Over the years many people have assumed that these “extra” holes are for airflow, or simply a fashion statement. Actually, these two side holes are exactly what they look like; for lacing your shoes. The design was intended to accommodate every basketball player’s foot, and the two holes on the side would allow them to customize the fit of their shoes and keep laces from unraveling.


2. Child-Proof Pill Bottle Caps

If you’ve ever gotten frustrated trying to open up one of those childproof pill bottles, you’ll be glad to know that the solution to your problem is staring you right in the face. Most of these style of pill containers have strange lids that are threaded on each side. One of these sides have standard threads, and will also screw on top of the pill bottle without “locking” into place. This is so that in the event you don’t have small children around, and you have trouble unscrewing the childproof cap, you can use the other side of the cap to make it easier to open your medicine when you need to.



3. Notebook Margins

Remember the horror of realizing that “college ruled” notebook paper meant slimmer margins, and therefore left room for more writing? Well, believe it or not, those margins weren’t invented as a guide for how many sentences you could fit onto one page, or even to leave space for note-taking. Manufacturers began to apply margins to writing paper for the purpose of protecting your work. Earlier on in history, rats were a common resident in many people’s homes, and one of their favorite snacks was your paper, in addition to everything else they could munch on. Applying wide margins to paper safeguarded against losing important work by leaving blank spaces around the edges for the rats to chew through first, and to protect the writing on the outer edges from general wear and tear.


4. 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?


5. Chinese Takeout Containers

If you have ever been into a restaurant to pick up some Chinese food takeout and requested paper plates only to get a look that indicated the person thought you were a little off, there’s a good reason for that. Much like the paper condiment cups at fast food joints, the Chinese food takeout boxes are folded in such a way that when you unfold them, they become perfect sized cardboard dinner plates. The best part? Your food is already on the platter, so you can just dig right in. Basically, they’re looking at you like you’re crazy because the plates are built-in.


6. The Hole In A Soda Pop Tab

You may have thought you understood all there was to know about the purpose of a soda can, but chances are you will be surprised to learn about this one. Every can of soda comes with a tab for easy opening of the tasty beverage. While these may come in all sorts of colors and different details on their corners, every single one of them has a fairly large hole in the top. Although this hole does seem to make it easier to get your finger wedged beneath the tab to pop the top on your soda, its intended purpose is actually to serve as a place-holder for your straw. Simply spin the tab around over the opening and slip your straw through. Boom!


7. Tiny Fabric Squares That Come With Clothes

You know how sometimes when you buy a nice new shirt or pants…or even underwear, that it often comes with a tiny Ziploc baggy containing a button and about 1 square inch of matching fabric? The reason seems obvious, right? A button in case one falls off when you aren’t paying attention, and the fabric in case you get a small hole in your clothes and need to patch it up. Well, this is a nice use for the fabric swatch, but it’s only a secondary one. The real purpose of the fabric is for you to test out your cleaning products on, to make sure they won’t ruin the material. We know; mind=blown!


8. 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.


9. The Half-Belt On Your Coats And Jackets

Oddly enough, many details and features to some of our most popular clothing items today are represented as only existing to serve as a fashion statement. While this is certainly true for some styles of clothing, such as that $97 pair of jeans that have been “pre-torn”, there are still many clothing features that regularly get mistaken as simply fashionable when actually they have a unique purpose. The half belt is one of them. Usually seen on trench and pea coats, they were originally developed for men in the military who had oversized jackets that doubled as blankets. The half belt is simply used to gather the extra material and hold it in place so soldiers could walk freely.



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