Whether it’s an extra day to relax in the city or another night at the cottage, we hope you enjoy your Canada Day long weekend. In honour
of our great country’s birthday yesterday (and the day off we get out of it!),
we’ve rounded up some inventions we bet you didn’t know were Canadian.
1. The lawn sprinkler
Not only did he invent the sprinkler in 1897, but Elijah
McCoy (who boasts 57 invention patents) is the namesake for the expression “the real
McCoy”. Who knew?
2. IMAX movie systems
Making its debut at EXPO ’67 in Montreal, IMAX movies were invented by Canadian filmmakers/entrepreneurs Grahame Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr. They decided to design a new system using a single powerful projector, rather than the multiple projectors used at that time.
3. The zipper
Perhaps one of the greatest Canadian inventions, the zipper
was invented by Swedish-American electrical engineer Gideon Sundback at the Universal
Fastener Company in St. Catharines, Ontario. After the death of his wife (the
plant owner’s daughter) in 1911, he devoted himself to his work, leading him to
designing the zipper in 1913. Thank goodness!
4. The Abdominizer
The Abdominizer was invented by Canadian Dennis Colonellow in the 80s. We think this video says it all. Truly a gift to society.
5. The chocolate bar
While Canadians cannot be credited with inventing chocolate,
Canadian family-owned chocolate factory Ganong Brothers Ltd. did introduce the
five-cent chocolate nut bar in 1910. We hear that Arthur Ganong and factory
supervisor George Ensor got the idea to create a convenient snack for fishermen, since the company factory in St. Stephen, N.B. was close to popular fishing grounds. The
Ganong company is still running and located in the same town.
6. Instant mashed
Let’s be honest, we’ve all eaten them (and secretly enjoyed). But where do they
come from? Instant mashed potatoes were invented by scientist Edward A.
Asselbergs in 1962. The powdered food technique he developed was used to fortify foods with protein in nutrient-deficient countries and to create
convenient foods that could be used by campers or in military field rations. Et voila. Convenience for all of us.
7. Trivial Pursuit
Referred to by Time Magazine as “the biggest phenomenon in
game history”, Trivial Pursuit was created by Chris Hainey, then a photo editor at
the Montreal Gazette and Scott Abbott, a sports journalist for the Canadian Press, who
came up with the game in just a couple hours while playing Scrabble. The game
was released in 1981, stumping Canadians ever since.
8. The washing machine
Thank you to James Brown (no, not that James Brown) for
making all our lives easier and inventing the washing machine in 1835. We don’t
know what we would do without it.
9. The walkie talkie
Invented by Don Hings in 1937, the term “walkie talkie” was coined by journalists reporting on these new inventions during the World War II. Originally they were called wireless sets or pack sets.
Ladies, we have Moses (Moe) Nadler, founder of the Canadian Lady Corset Company, to thank for developing the first Wonderbra in 1939. By the 1960s, the company became known as the “Wonderbra ” company and in 1961, they introduced the plunge push-up bra that became a best-seller and is almost identical to today’s Wonderbra.
And you thought we only invented maple syrup and basketball! #nowyouknow