Our state is filled with awesomeness and just so the rest of the world doesn’t feel left out, Mississippi inventors and innovators have made some contributions for all to enjoy. Check out the list below for some of the valuable things that have come from our wonderful state.
In the late 1920’s, Harry Cole, a chemist from Jackson, came up with this distinctively-scented cleaning product that is so widely known today.
2. The Gamma-Electric Cell
Jackson native, Dr. Henry Sampson, received a patent for the gamma-electric cell in the 1970’s. No stranger to innovation, the brilliant nuclear physicist has also been awarded patents for two other inventions, both of which are related to solid rocket motors.
Mississippi native Elizabeth Lee Hazen worked with fellow researcher Rachel F. Brown to develop the anti-fungal antibiotic Nystatin. Not only can the drug be used to cure a number of fungal infections but it can also be used to restore artwork that has been damaged by water.
Ever received a package from this shipping giant? Well, you can thank Fred Smith of Marks, Mississippi for that. The successful entrepreneur did not always know if the business would make it. At one point, he took the company’s last $5,000 to Vegas in hopes of winning enough to keep FedEx afloat (and if you’re wondering, his plan worked - he won $27,000).
5. The Flexible Flyer
Snow may be a rare sight here in Mississippi but apparently that doesn’t mean we can’t make a good sled. Blazon-Flexible Flyer, Inc. of West Point is known for making the nation’s best snow sled.
The first fibers of rayon were developed by Dr. Emmette F. Izard of Hazelhurst. This was a big step as these fibers were considered the first real synthetics.
7. Soft Toilet Seat Covers
Aiming to make life a bit easier, David Harrison of Columbus patented this invention which is obviously much appreciated as 1,000,000 are sold annually.
8. The Dollar Sign
This seems so simple, yet where would we be without it? Apparently Oliver Pollock realized the need for the dollar sign and came up with it in the late 1700’s. And while Pollock isn’t from Mississippi, he did move to our great state in the 1800’s and stayed until his death, so we’ll consider him an honorary Mississippian.
9. Viking Range Corporation
The company responsible for bringing “professional cooking to the home” was founded by Greenwood native Fred Carl, Jr. in the 1980’s. As of today, the company’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant are still located here in Mississippi.
10. Barq’s Root Beer
No list of Mississippi inventions would be complete without Barq’s Root Beer, which was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward C. Barq, Sr.
Considered America’s oldest game, stickball originated right here in Mississippi as it was played by the Choctaw Indians.
12. The Stetson Hat
Following the Civil War, John B. Stetson headed to Dunn’s Falls where he learned, practiced and perfected his craft of hat making.
13. The Order of the Eastern Star
With over 500,000 members, the Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world and it originated right here in Mississippi.