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The things we take for granted today had to start out as someone’s good idea. From blue jeans to the weather service and the Brownie camera to traffic controls, read about how these items and more came to be.


A time-saving device for curling hair (or straightening very curly hair) was invented in 1928 by Marjorie Stewart Joyner.

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Blue jeans were invented by Jacob Davis

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Crayola crayons are remarkable for their market staying power. Here's the story of the two men who created the company that makes them:

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The first Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was set up by construction workers, grateful for a paycheck in 1931.

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Aaron Montgomery began the world’s first mail-order business in 1872.

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The bread-slicing machine was created by Otto Rohwedder (1880-1960)

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A pill that could easily be dissolved in the stomach (known as a "friable" pill) was invented by William Upjohn (1858-1932)

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The Yale lock (tumbler lock) was first created for banks in 1847 by Linus Yale, Sr. (1797-1858). It was adapted for use on other doors by Linus Yale, Jr. (1821-1868)

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The first commercially produced chewing gum was created by John Curtis (1827-1897)

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The invention that contributed the most to advances in weather prediction and the creation of the national weather service was the telegraph in 1835.

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The disposable diaper was invented by Marion Donovan who also invented a pin-less diaper cover and several other practical, convenient inventions.... learn more »

Groundhog Day came about in 1887 and was created by a group of Groundhog Hunters in Punxsutawney.... learn more »

The drunkometer was invented by Dr. Rolla N. Harger followed by the Breathalyzer by Robert Borkenstein... learn more »

Safety razors were invented by King C. Gillette (1855-1932)... learn more »

The remote control was invented by Eugene Polley in 1955... learn more »

Willis Haviland Carrier invented air conditioning in 1921.... learn more »

In May 1886, Coca Cola was invented by Dr. John Pemberton.... learn more »

The popsicle was invented by Frank Epperson when he was 11.... learn more »

Newborn evaluation system (Apgar Score) was invented by Virginia Apgar in 1952... learn more »

Patricia Bath pioneered cataract surgery.... learn more »

Scotchguard was invented by Patsy Sherman.... learn more »

The Fold-a-way bed was created by Sarah E. Goode who was the first AFrican-American woman to ever receive a patent (1885)

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The first Brownie camera was created in 1901 by Kodak.... learn more »

Garrett Morgan was given the first patent on a three-signal traffic light... learn more »

The inflatable life preserver (the Mae West) was invented shortly before World War II

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The bra was designed and patented by Caresse Crosby in 1913... learn more »

Political cartoonist Thomas Nast was the first to draw Clement Moore's description of what we now know as Santa Claus... learn more »

Today's typing keyboards are the same design as the originals in the 19th century.... learn more »