Ritalin has only been available since the 1950’s, but people have had difficulty with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) forever. Inventor Hugo Gernsback offered his solution for highly-distractable people when he invented The Isolator in 1925.
Resembling the first appearance of Iron Man, The Isolator was a combination of a gas mask and a diving helmet. It rendered its wearer deaf to the noises in the area, thus allowing full concentration on the task at hand. The eye openings were specifically designed to allow the wearer to see only the things immediately in front, thus cutting off distracting sights from the periphery. It also featured oxygen, pumped in through a hose.
By the time of Gernsback’s death in 1967, he held 80 patents, including television goggles, and a telephone headband.
It was for his work in science fiction that Gernsback is best remembered. He created Amazing Stories in 1926, the first magazine devoted to science fiction. He later created Science Wonder Stories, Air Wonder Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Science-Fiction Plus.
The World Science Fiction Convention presents the Hugo Award for achievement in the field of science fiction. The award is named in honor of Hugo Gernsback.