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Interesting Facts - Inventions

Bowie Knife
The Bowie Knife, the Knife with a guard between the long, heavy blade and the handle to protect the user, though associated with and credited to the famous defender of the Alamo, James Bowie, was actually invented by his lesser-known brother, Rezin Pleasant Bowie. James was more adept at using the Knife, carried it everywhere, and soon became identified with it.

Can Opener
The can opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced.

In July, 1950, a patent was issued for an automatic spaghetti spinning fork.

Hideaway Bed
According to U.S. Patent Office records, Thomas Jefferson was the inventor of the first Hideaway Bed ever patented in the United States. Though the original plans for the Bed have disappeared, we know from contemporary descriptions that when the bed was not in use it was hoisted to the ceiling and secured by a complicated system of pulleys and ropes.

Rocking Chair
On June 22, 1882, the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent for a propeller driven Rocking Chair. The chair had a large propeller shaped fan mounted at its head, and as it rocked, the propeller turned, eventually moving the Chair on its own power. It was a perpetual motion machine and an air conditioner in one. The Patent Office today fields requests for a wide range of inventions. With the growth of technological based ideas developed for smartphones applications that generate QR codes and for free QR codes rival the more traditional inventions like that of the rocking chair. While inventors still generate ideas for traditional inventions technology continues to drive the creative process with internet savy inventors using tools and URL shorteners to deliver their ideas to the public. Famous inventors always used the latest means of communication to market and find useful applications for thier inventions.

Suntan Cream
Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove, and then testing the batch on his own head. His invention was introduced as Coppertone Suntan Cream in 1944.

Edison, Thomas
Thomas Alva Edison invented the following:
    1. Wax paper
    2. The mimeograph machine
    3. The carbon telephone transmitter
    4. The phonograph
    5. The electric light
    6. The magnetic ore separator
    7. The radio vacuum tube
    8. The motion picture camera
    9. The dictating machine
    10. A variety of Portland cement
    11. An electric vote recorder
    12. The duplex and automatic telegraph machine
    13. A new kind of storage battery
    14. An ore-crushing machine
    15. The phonograph record
    16. The chemical phenol
    17. An electric pen
    18. The three wire electrical wiring system
    19. Underground electric mains
    20. An electric railway car
    21. A version of the stock ticker
    22. An electric railroad signal
    23. The light socket and light switch
    24. A method for making synthetic rubber from goldenrod plants
    25. A machine that, in his words, was "so sensitive that if there is life after death, it will pick up the evidence."
Although now mostly found in gyms and used for fitness purposes, the modern Stairmaster and treadmill have their origins in prisons! Called the “tread-wheel,” the machine was invented by a civil engineer in 1818 to reform convicts.

Vending Machine
Although it may seem like a modern invention, the coin-operated vending machine was invented in the 1st century BC by the Greeks. Customers could deposit a coin and receive a fixed amount of holy water.

Vulcanized Rubber
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), the man who developed Vulcanized Rubber and the first to produce it commercially, began his experiments in prison. In jail for debt, Goodyear started tests in his prison cell in 1834. After his release several years later, he hit upon Vulcanization quite by accident when he dropped some Rubber mixed with sulfur on a stove and noted that it did not dissolve.

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