The Genius Chronicles: 35 Intriguing Facts Behind Remarkable Inventions

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1Deep-dish pizza

Deep-dish pizza

The deep-dish pizza was invented in 1943 when someone at the small pizza shop Pizzeria Uno in Illinois decided to make a pizza using a cake mold.

2. The first swivel chair was invented by Thomas Jefferson, and that he sat on it when he drafted the United States Deceleration of Independence.

3. Silly String was invented to be used as an aerosol spray to create an instant cast on broken and sprained bones. It worked, but while testing nozzles it was noticed it produced a 30' string. This inspired the inventor to change the formula to be less sticky, add color, and market it as a toy.

4. Snow globes were accidentally invented by a medical tool repairman. He was trying to make a brighter light bulb for operating rooms, so he tried using a water-filled glass with reflective particles to do this. The effect looked like snow to him which is how he got the idea for snow globes.

5. The webcam was invented just because 3 people wanted to keep a check on coffee level without walking to their breakroom.

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The stethoscope was invented because a French doctor felt uncomfortable placing his face on a younger woman's chest.

7. The jacuzzi was invented by Candido Jacuzzi to provide pain relief for his 15-month-old son, Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis.

8. A man named Momofuku Ando is credited with helping end Japan's post-war food shortage by inventing instant ramen. He was born Taiwanese and didn’t become a Japanese citizen until 1966.

9. The revolving door was invented because the inventor disliked the social convention of men holding doors for women.

10. The plasma globe was invented accidentally by an MIT undergrad, who was working in a lab to create electrical rocket engines. Right after inventing it, he naturally brought it to his girlfriend's house party.

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11William Phelps Eno

William Phelps Eno

William Phelps Eno, the person who invented the stop sign, the pedestrian crosswalk, the traffic circle, the one-way street, the taxi stand, and pedestrian safety islands, never learned how to drive.

12. Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton, who invented the dog whistle, meteorology, forensic fingerprinting, mathematical correlation, the concept of “eugenics” and “nature vs nurture”, and the concept of inherited intelligence, had an estimated IQ of 200.

13. Bette Graham became a typist to support herself and her son Michael in 1951. She was a poor typist and invented a white tempera paint to cover her mistakes. This led to her business Liquid Paper Company which she sold 25 years later for $48 million. Michael went on to become a member of The Monkees.

14. The Filet o' Fish was invented so Catholics could eat at McDonald's on Fridays.

15. Martin Couney, an owner of a freak show in the early 1900s invented an incubator to exhibit premature babies. In doing so, he saved thousands of lives and marked the start of advanced prenatal care for preemies.

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16Artur Fischer

Artur Fischer

A German soldier named Artur Fischer survived Stalingrad on the last plane out. After the war, he went on to invent many ubiquitous items such as the synchronized camera flash and the plastic wall anchor and held over 1100 patents before dying at the age of 96.

17. Duct tape was invented by Vesta Stoudt, a factory worker during World War 2 and the mother of two sons in the Navy. When her supervisors at the factory dismissed her idea for a stronger cloth-based tape, she wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who then ordered Johnson&Johnson to manufacture her idea.

18. The gin and tonic were invented as a result of the British being unable to stomach the taste of bitter malaria medication in India.

19. Doritos were originally Disneyland trash. In the early days of Disneyland, a restaurant named Casa de Fritos invented Doritos by repurposing stale tortillas they bought from a local vendor. The chips proved to be so popular they were eventually rolled out nationally by Frito-Lay in 1966.

20. The football huddle was invented at Gallaudet University, an all-deaf school, to prevent opposing teams from seeing their signs.

21Scott Stillinger

Scott Stillinger

Scott Stillinger, the guy who invented the koosh ball, invented it because his own child was having trouble catching a ball.

22. Pad Thai, the national dish of Thailand, is actually not a traditional dish, but was invented, standardized, and promoted by the Thai government, and imposed upon the people, as part of a broad cultural effort to establish a sense of national identity.

23. Louis Braille was blinded as a boy when using an awl. At the age of 15, also using an awl, he invented a reading system for the blind. It was never adopted during his lifetime, but after his death, it grew to worldwide popularity and is now known as "braille."

24. Alexander Graham Bell invented the metal detector to try and find the bullet lodged in President James Garfield. The device worked but had interference from the metal springs in the bed. The chief physician only allowed a search of the right side of the body. The bullet was on the left side.

25. The waterbed was invented in 1833 by a Scottish Physician. He intentionally did not patent it so that anyone could design their own variation of the waterbed and it could help as many people as it could who were suffering from bedsores.

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