Special Report

The 50 Oldest Things in the World

Source: Courtesy of Tullie House Museum via Instagram

6. Trophy (still in use)
> Oldest: Carlisle Bells
> Approximate Date: 1599 A.D.
> Location: Carlisle, U.K.

Though they may not look that impressive, the Carlisle Bells have more history than any other trophy. First awarded in 1599, the Carlisle Bells to this day go to the winner of the Carlisle Bell horse race in Cumbria, England. The bells are too fragile to be handled by anyone but museum curators because of their old age. The bells were actually lost for years before they were rediscovered during the 1800s.

Source: Alexander Franke / Wikimedia Commons

7. Globe
> Oldest: Behaim Globe
> Approximate Date: 1491 A.D.
> Location: Nuremberg, Germany

The Erdapfel, which roughly translates to “earth apple” from German, wasn’t the first globe created, but it’s believed that it is the oldest surviving 3-D model of Earth. The Erdapfel is also known as the Behaim Globe, named for its creator Martin Behaim. Though it was impressive for its time, the Behaim Globe was proved to be inaccurate soon after its creation. Christopher Columbus brought word of the Americas back to Europe shortly after it was finished.

Source: The On-Line Museum and Encyclopedia of Vision Aids

8. Glasses
> Oldest: Shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga’s Eyeglasses
> Approximate Date: 1436-1490 A.D.
> Location: Japan

The world’s oldest pair of eyeglasses date back to the 15th century. They were owned by Shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga of Japan. Both the eyeglasses and their case were made of hand-crafted white ivory. They can be found at the Daisen-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Eyeglasses were probably invented in Italy in the late 13th century.

Source: Courtesy of Salisbury Cathedral

9. Clock
> Oldest: Salisbury Cathedral Clock
> Approximate Date: 1386 A.D.
> Location: Wiltshire, U.K.

Many years before cell phones and even pocket watches were the norm, people didn’t have much reason to know the exact time, except for when it was time to go to church. That’s likely why the world’s oldest working clock is housed in a church — Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, England, to be specific. The clock, made in 1386 or possibly even earlier, fell into disrepair after it was replaced in 1884. The clock was restored in 1956 and still works to this day.

Source: Courtesy of Sean's Bar

10. Bar
> Oldest: Sean’s Bar
> Approximate Date: 900 A.D.
> Location: Athlone, Ireland

Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland has been serving drinks for over a millennium. The watering hole, about two hours away from Dublin, has been confirmed as the oldest bar in Europe and quite likely the rest of the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. And if anyone knows about Irish bars, it is Guinness. The pub is still active and has live music frequently. The oldest bar in the United States is Rhode Island’s White Horse Tavern, opened in 1673.

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