Today's Solar Power Is a Lot Like the Old Solar PowerS

We may've put a man on the moon since, but why has solar power technology remained virtually unchanged for decades now? Is it because there's no better way to harness energy from the sun? Or are scientists just unimaginative?

Life.com has explored how little solar tech has changed in the last century, with an 18-picture gallery of various sun-capturing inventions. Seen above is the designer Charles Eames (him of the chair-making fame), who came up with the "Do Nothing Machine" in 1958, a little gizmo that creates enough energy to instigate a whirl of color and activity behind him.

I love the photo below, showing a man roasting his dinner using a curved reflective surface and the sun's power. I've always wanted to try and fry some eggs in the sun using similar methods, after hearing of a friend's mother who made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and left them on her car's dashboard in the sun, cooking away perfectly for her arrival at the end of her day at work. Isn't the sun amazing?

Check out the full gallery of yesteryear's solar energy devices at Life now. [Life]

Today's Solar Power Is a Lot Like the Old Solar PowerS