When you think about Northern Californians you might think of Mediterranean weather, healthy eating, gorgeous sandy beaches, or sky-high Redwood forests – and you’d be right. But we’re not just a pretty face. We’re dang smart, too.
We hate to brag, but we’re going to.
By the time you’re done looking over our list below, you’re going to discover you probably own or have eaten some of the very items created and invented here in Northern California.
11-year-old Frank Epperson invented popsicles in 1905. He left fruit juice out overnight on a very cold night with a stirrer in it at home in San Francisco. Epperson later got a patent on his frozen treats, which were originally called Epsicle. He was quite the frozen-over achiever and went on to invent the twin popsicle, Fudgsicle, Creamsicle and Dreamsicle.
2. Apple Computer
Tech giant Apple Inc. was founded by the late Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 in Cupertino. The company is the largest publicly traded corporation in the world.
Since we're already talking about Apple, lets share a few facts about another Apple product-: the iPhone. Released June 29, 2007, this phone has over 101 million users in the U.S. alone and over 700 million users worldwide. And, it all began in Northern California!
4. Levis - AKA: Blue Jeans
Levi Strauss and Company was founded in 1853 and began making blue jeans in San Francisco. Strauss designed the first pair of jeans by stitching canvas together to help withstand the wear and tear Gold Rush prospectors put their clothes through.
If you use one of these on your car or house windows, or even in your shower, you have Ettore Steccone from Oakland to thank. The window cleaning aid was invented in 1936 by Italian immigrant and professional window cleaner. His original family-owned factory, Ettore Products Co., is still in operation near the Oakland International Airport.
6. Steam Donkey Engine
John Dolbeer (March 12, 1827 – August 17, 1902) was a partner in the Dolbeer & Carson Lumber Co., one of the early major Humboldt County, California lumber operations based in Eureka. While in that business, he invented the logging engine, more commonly known as the steam donkey or donkey engine. This invaluable equipment, especially with regard to difficult terrain and very large trees, revolutionized 19th century logging so significantly that variations of the engine were still used well into the 20th Century.
7. Wet Suits
Hugh Bradner, a physicist at the University of California Berkeley, created the first wetsuit in 1952. His invention took awhile to catch on and others created their own brands, but in the 1990s, research confirmed Brander was the inventor of the wetsuit. Whew...
8. The Wave
Oakland Coliseum in 1981 was the birthplace of the very first full-stadium wave. It was during a sold out game between the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees. You know you're impressed.
9. Dreyer's Ice Cream
The famous ice cream brand was founded in 1928 in Oakland by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy. Mr. Dreyer was the ice cream maker and Mr. Edy was a candy maker and it was a match made in heaven. Together, in 1929 they invented Rocky Road ice cream.
10. Fantasy Football
An Oakland Tribune sports editor, 2 Oakland Raiders employees and a sports reporter returned from a 3-week East Coast road trip with the Raiders in 1962. Following the trip, they started the weekly Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League -- leading the way for Fantasy Football -- at King's X bar, which is now the Kona Club.
11. Videotape Recorder
Charles Ginsburg, who had a background in radio engineering, is credited with inventing the first videotape recorder. Born in San Francisco in 1920, he received his bachelor's degree from San Jose State University. He worked as an engineer at AM-radio station KQW (now KCBS). He then joined Ampex in 1951, where he led the group that invented the videotape recorder. This photo here is from an early 80s model and was used at a local TV station. We've come a long way, baby!
12. The Martini
One of the most famous drinks in the world. Legend has it that it was originally called the Martinez, after the city of Martinez in the Bay Area. It was the popular drink in the early 1860s at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco before taking a ferry over to Martinez.
Admit it. You’re impressed.
We could go on and on and on about all the things to come from this golden part of our state. But, hey, we have a lot of class. So, we’re going to let you share below all the things YOU know got their start here.