Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History On September 4, 1957, the Ford Motor Company introduced its latest product, the Edsel.  Named after founder Henry Ford’s son, the Edsel was supposed to be an upscale mass-market car and vital part of Ford’s marketing plan.  It turned out to be a flop, and has since become synonymous with the word “failure.”  The ugliness of the car did not hurt or kill anyone, but some do products end up being fatal.  Here 10 products that for a variety of reasons have become infamous, notorious and reviled are listed.  A previous article already covered Zyklon B and DDT.  What other products would you add to the list?…

A Brief History On August 14, 1880,  work on the Cathedral of Cologne was finally finished after it had been started 600 years earlier!  One of the most iconic landmarks in Germany, the cathedral survived World War II despite having been hit by at least 14 bombs in the many bombing raids on the city.  Allied bomber crews even used it as a navigation point.  Nonetheless, the product most often associated with Cologne is, of course, Eau de Cologne, a perfume.  Many products are associated with the names of cities.  Here 10 of them are listed, in no particular order.  What other products can you…

A Brief History On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman granted a US patent. She had invented a process for weaving straw with silk and thread. Over the years women have showed ingenuity and we would like to tell you about 10 of them. Please give us your nominations for women and their inventions (Hint: There are a lot!) you think should have been on the list. (Honorary Mention: Eve, The Headache, Day 6. Not only did she invent how to get one, but how to give one as well!) Digging Deeper 10. Mellitta Bentz, Paper Coffee…

A Brief History Earlier today, we showcased an article on the first Automatic Street Light, but did you know that this invention was just one of many invented by brilliant Ohioans? Digging Deeper 10. Safety Hood type Gas Mask (1912) Garett Morgan was born in Kentucky of former slaves, but lived in Ohio after age 14.  His device saved many lives of firefighters and miners, and was the basis for the gas masks of World War I.  He also invented hair care products and a successful traffic control signal.  Cracked fact: Because of racial prejudice he dressed up as an…

A Brief History On February 5, 1909, New Yorker Leo Baekeland presented his invention of Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic, to the American Chemical Society. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find the Belgian-born Baekeland trying to invent a replacement for shellac, a product made by processing lac insects. Shellac was used for many diverse purposes, such as dye for clothing, make-up and a variety of coatings such as varnish and lacquer paint.  Of the several different lac insect species, thousands and thousands were required to harvest enough of the lac resin to produce even a small amount of shellac, making…

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