Surprising Stories Behind Mundane Inventions: 50 Facts That Will Amaze You

- Sponsored Links -

26Jacuzzi's Healing Invention

Jacuzzi's Healing Invention

Candido Jacuzzi invented the Jacuzzi to help his son's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. His son developed arthritis after contracting strep throat, which caused continuous joint pain. Candido created the J-300 portable water pump for a bath at their house, as the boy benefited from hydrotherapy.

27. Air conditioning was invented in 1902 primarily for drying ink, but it gained popularity after being installed in a movie theater in New York 20 years later.

28. Bubble wrap was accidentally invented in 1957 by two inventors named Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes. They were attempting to create a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper, but when the idea failed, they discovered that it worked well as packing material.

29. Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the automatic machine gun, spent so much time test-firing his guns that he became completely deaf. His son, Hiram Percy Maxim, eventually invented the silencer, but it was too late to save his father's hearing.

30. William Stewart Halsted is considered one of the fathers of the modern "residency" program for doctors. He devised a system where doctors would work unending hours per shift, believing that immersion in patient care would lead to better outcomes. He also used cocaine and routinely worked over 100 hours per week.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

31Steelmaking Revolution

Steelmaking Revolution

Basic oxygen steelmaking was invented by one man, the Swiss engineer Robert Durrer, in 1948. Durrer's technique accounts for 60% of all steel production as of 2000. Additionally, since 1920, the labor requirements to produce steel have decreased by a factor of 1,000.

32. The modern gas container, known as the jerry can, was invented in 1937 in Germany. At the start of World War 2, the UK used leaky and flimsy tin containers called "flimsies," but they soon captured jerry cans, and the Allies started copying the German design.

33. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He was frustrated with the need to personally ask his coworkers about the data on their computers, which led him to create an application that eventually became the World Wide Web.

34. Aspirin and heroin were both invented within a two-week period by the same man, Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist who worked for Bayer under Adolf von Baeyer in the late 1880s.

35. Plastic injection molding was invented in the 1800s to manufacture billiard balls out of celluloid, primarily to replace ivory and save the lives of African elephants.

- Sponsored Links -

36From Hangover Cure to Success

From Hangover Cure to Success

The Red Bull energy drink was originally invented by a duck farmer from Thailand as a hangover cure (called Krathing Daeng in Thai) before being acquired by Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz, who discovered it on a business trip in 1987.

37. Emerson Romero was a deaf silent film actor. When movies with sound were invented, deaf actors received fewer roles, and intertitle text was removed. This led him to develop an early form of movie captioning in 1947 to make movies accessible to deaf people.

38. The modern face-up technique in the high jump was invented by an American named Dick Fosbury and debuted at the 1968 Olympics. Reporters mocked him, saying he looked like a "two-legged camel," but he won the gold. It is now known as the "Fosbury Flop" and has become the dominant style in the sport.

39. In 1929, determined to prove his hypothesis, Werner Forssmann tricked a nurse, inserted a catheter through his own arm, and walked to an x-ray lab to photograph his discovery, thereby inventing cardiac catheterization. He later won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work.

40. Charles Strite invented the pop-up toaster (and nothing else) out of frustration. At the time, bread had to be manually turned to toast both sides, resulting in cafeterias serving burnt toast most of the time.

- Sponsored Links -

41Hidden Digital Camera

Hidden Digital Camera

Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975 but hid the invention because they feared it would jeopardize photographic film sales.

42. IPA (India pale ale) was originally a British beer brewed for export to India, specially formulated to survive the long sea voyage.

43. E-cigarettes were first invented in the 1960s but were never sold in order to protect the traditional cigarette market.

44. Ben Franklin's invention of the lightning rod was blamed by church leaders for the 1755 Cape Ann earthquake off the coast of Colonial Massachusetts. They believed his "heretical rods" interfered with the "artillery of heaven" and deprived God of using lightning as "tokens of His displeasure."

45. Gatorade was invented by the University of Florida and is named after the Florida Gators. In 1965, when Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida, their football coach wouldn't let researchers experiment on the varsity team and only allowed testing on freshmen (who couldn't play varsity by NCAA rule). Those players described it as tasting like urine or toilet bowl cleaner.

46Multi-invention by Dr. Mitchell

Multi-invention by Dr. Mitchell

Pop Rocks, Tang, and Cool Whip were all invented by one person, Dr. William A. Mitchell.

47. Shopping carts were not popular when they were first invented. Men found them to be effeminate, and women thought they looked too much like a baby carriage.

48. Kellogg's cornflakes were invented by accident. A batch of wheat-based dough was left out overnight by accident and started to ferment. Will Kellogg decided to roll it to see if this would squeeze the water out, and instead, they got wheat flakes. Corn Flakes turned out to be the real winner.

49. Irish monks invented the Catholic practice of confessing to a priest and performing penance in private. Prior to this, confessions and penance were done publicly.

50. Alexander Miles invented automatic elevator doors, which would open and close on their own, resulting in safer elevator rides compared to before, when many people would accidentally fall through the shaft when manual doors were left open.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here