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16 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented in Canada(Like The Wonderbra)

canada flag palmHow’s it goin, eh?

I live in Canada. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The true north strong and free.

July 1 is our national holiday, Canada Day where we celebrate the 145th anniversary of our Confederation in 1867.

While you all get ready to blow up some fireworks on the 4th, we’re celebrating with citizenship ceremonies, multicultural festivals, and pancakes.  The best part? None of us will have to worry about locking our igloos or finding a spot to park the dogsled.

On this great day, why not get to know us a little better?  If you use zippers, light bulbs, and the telephone, pause and thank Canadians for all them, eh?

Take a look around your house and celebrate Canada for these 16 great inventions:


  • Zipper 1 of 16
    Zipper
    The zipper has a long history of innovation, but the man credited with the invention of the modern version of the zipper is Gideon Sundbäck, a Swedish-American electrical engineer. In 1906 he moved to Canada to work for the Universal Fastener Company in St. Catharines, Ontario where he married the plant-manager's daughter and eventually became the head designer. After his wife's death in 1911, he focussed on his work, and by December 1913 had designed the modern zipper.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Wonderbra 2 of 16
    Wonderbra
    Ever wonder what secret Victoria is keeping? It just might be that she has a Canadian cousin. The Wonderbra is a push-up underwire bra that exploded worldwide in the '90s. Although the name was first trademarked in the US, the brand was developed in Canada.

    Image Credit Wonderbra
  • Light Bulb 3 of 16
    Light Bulb
    I know what you're thinking, Thomas Edison wasn't Canadian. But did you know that Thomas Edison is one of 24 people credited with having invented the incandescent light bulb? It was actually Henry Woodward (a Canadian) who invented an electric light bulb in 1874 and then sold the patent to Thomas Edison. Woodward's lamp was very crude, Edison refined it and made it commercially viable.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Telephone 4 of 16
    Telephone
    While Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the first practical telephone, his nationality is a little murkier. He was born in Scotland, lived in Canada for much of his adult life, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1882. It was 7 years earlier when he invented the telephone, so he was still a Canadian at the time. Each country lays claim to him as a native son. We'll have him today, you can have him on the 4th.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • 5 Pin Bowling 5 of 16
    5 Pin Bowling
    In 1909 customers at the Toronto Bowling Club were complaining that 10 pin bowling was "too strenuous." So Thomas Ryan cut the pins down to about 75% of their size and used hand held rubber balls instead of the bigger ones with finger holes. Now, 5 pin bowling is a popular sport in almost every alley across Canada.
  • Insulin 6 of 16
    Insulin
    In 1923, Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin and gave diabetics a manageable solution to their disease. Until Banting and Best, diabetes had been a life sentence. This cause is important to me, I'm a member of Team Diabetes. I run marathons around the world raising money and awareness for those living with diabetes. I've raised more than $20 000 the past 3 years for the cause, and this August I will fly the Canadian flag in Iceland as a member of Team Diabetes.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Basketball 7 of 16
    Basketball
    It may be the game of the inner city now, but it never would have existed without Dr James Naismith. Born in Canada and a student of phys ed in Montreal, Dr Naismith moved to the US where he introduced the game in 1891 to a group at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass as a way to keep track athletes in shape during the harsh winter season. The early games involved peach baskets and when players got tired of climbing a ladder to remove the ball after each score, they cut a hole in the bottom so the ball would fall through. BTW, Naismith is also credited with having invented the football helmet too.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • BlackBerry 8 of 16
    BlackBerry
    While not as great as it once was, Research In Motion is a Canadian company that brought the world into the mobile era for email. The first BlackBerry device, the 850, was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager. Mike Lazaridis, former CEO of RIM, and the device's creator, originally wanted to call it StrawBerry.
  • Paint Roller 9 of 16
    Paint Roller
    If you're spending the summer painting a fence or your house, thank Canada for making the job a little bit easier. Norman Breakey invented this basic device, but was never able to produce it in enough quantity to make money. Of course others jumped on the idea and ran with it.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes 10 of 16
    Instant Mashed Potatoes
    Drying root vegetables is something that has been around since the earliest days of agriculture, but it was Canadian Edward Asselbergs who invented the first form of instant mashed potatoes in 1962. While working for Agriculture Canada he came up with the way to reconstitute potato flakes and gained a patent for the process.

    Image Credit Jospehine Stenudd
  • Green Garbage Bags 11 of 16
    Green Garbage Bags
    Harry Wasylyk from Winnipeg is the reason getting your garbage to the curb is easy. The disposable green polyethylene garbage bag made its debut in 1950 when it was sold primarily for commercial use. Union Carbide bought the rights to the invention and marketed it for home use under the name Glad in the late 60s.

    Image Credit Glad Canada
  • Instant Replay 12 of 16
    Instant Replay
    Major League Baseball may not be a fan, but Hockey Night In Canada was back in 1955. CBC producer George Retzlaff used something called a 'wet film' replay that aired minutes after the original play. America can own the invention of slow motion, ABC developed that a few years after the CBC started replaying.

    Image Credit CBC
  • Canadarm 13 of 16
    Canadarm
    Without Canadian innovation, a lot of the stuff done in space just wouldn't have happened. From repairing satellites to building the International Space Station. The Canadarm was first used on the second Space Shuttle mission STS-2, which was launched November 13, 1981, and became an integral part of every mission after.



    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Electric Oven 14 of 16
    Electric Oven
    The earliest ovens appeared in Europe as much as 29 000 BC. So the oven, as a concept, was nothing new before Thomas Ahearn decided to try and plug one into the wall. The first electric oven appeared in The Windsor Hotel in Ottawa in 1892. It made sense of Ahearn to champion such a product as he was an owner of the Chaudiere Electric Light and Power Company of Ottawa.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Caesar 15 of 16
    Caesar
    In the US it's called a Bloody Mary, in Canada we call it a Caesar, and you should have one. On May 13, 1969 when bartender Walter Chell was tasked with creating a cocktail that would match the cuisine at a newly opened Italian restaurant. The original Caesar recipe had mashed clams, tomato juice and vodka. The clam / tomato idea was drawn from the flavour of Spaghetti Vongole (tomato sauce with clams). Later, Chell would go on to work for Motts, a company specializing in Clamato juice.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Beer 16 of 16
    Beer
    Okay, Canada didn't invent beer, but we are known for the strength of our brews. And, to be honest, beer does play a major role in Canadian identity.  So it shouldn't be of surprise that Canadians invented the retractable beer case handle. In 1957, Steve Pasjack came up with a way to carry a case one-handed. Genius.

    Image Credit Canadian Design Resource

So, this weekend as you fiddle with your bra, zipper, and knock back a beer, sing with those of us north of the 49th.: O Canada! We Stand On Guard For Thee!!

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Don’t forget to read the great Canadian bloggers on Babble: Samantha Bee, Allana Harkin, Devan McGuinness, Selena Burgess, Catherine Connors and DadCAMP!

via Wikipedia

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