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Inventions Trivia

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The Coleman company worked day and night producing ammunition, plane parts, lanterns, and other products for the military during World War II. Their most valuable contribution to the war effort was the GI Pocket Stove. Developed at the U.S. government's request, the lightweight one-burner stove burned for two hours on a cup of the same fuel used in a jeep or a plane. Coleman produced more than one million pocket stoves during the war.

The world's first elastic bands made from vulcanized rubber were patented on March 17, 1845, by Stephen Perry of Messrs Perry & Company, London rubber manufacturers.

The Colgate company started out making starch, soap, and candles.

The colloquial term "mackintosh" for a raincoat comes from Charles Mackintosh, the Scottish chemist who invented and patented the first practical waterproof cloth in 1823.

The world's first patent was granted in 1421 to architect Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence to make a barge crane to transport marble.

The Wright Brothers spent time observing the flight of the buzzard to help them solve the mystery of flight. They realized that the bird retained balance in the air by twisting the tips of it's wings. By creating a wing warping method based upon this observation, the brothers were able to obtain a remarkable degree of maneuverability.

The corkscrew was invented by M.L. Bryn in 1860.

The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world (only the doll is older), and was born over 3,000 years ago in the days of ancient Greece.

The driver's test was invented in France. In 1893, drivers of all self-propelled vehicles had to undergo an exam that included driving ability and vehicle repair.

There are 20 possible answers from a Magic 8-Ball, the popular fortune-telling novelty toy shaped like a black billard ball.

The earliest adhesive postage stamps in the world were the "Penny Blacks" of the United Kingdom, bearing the head of Queen Victoria, placed on sale on May 1 for use on May 6, 1840.

There is evidence of glass being made by Neolithic man about 10,000 B.C., and in Egypt about 1500 B.C. to be used as jewelry.

The earliest washing "machine" was the scrub board, which was invented in 1797.

There was a time when every single source of heat and illumination in a home was activated not by flipping a switch or pushing a button, but by striking a match. Stick matches were kept all around the house. Some were kept in a tin holder on the kitchen wall next to the stove, and others in more decorative containers throughout the house.

The early European umbrellas were made of wood or whalebone and covered with alpaca or oiled canvas.

There was only one pointer, the hour hand, on the first clocks made in the fourteenth century. The minute and seconds hands were added in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The Egyptians first invented toothpaste some 5,000 years ago. It was a crude mixture of wine and pumice. From the early Roman Empire until eighteenth-century Europe and America, urine was a main ingredient in toothpaste, because the ammonia in it is an excellent cleaner. Ammonia is still a main ingredient in many types of toothpaste.

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