Many geniuses and out-of-the-box thinkers have come from Oklahoma. They have made life easier for many Americans and others all over the world. From the shopping cart to the Ditch Witch, Oklahomans have created some innovative products that have changed the way we live life.
1. Parking Meter
Carl C. Magee invented the "coin controlled parking meter" in 1935. The first meter was installed in Oklahoma City and it charged 5 cents per hour. In the U.S. today, parking meters generate over 1.25 million dollars per day.
NEXRAD stands for Next-Generation Radar and was invented by a couple of professors from The University of Oklahoma's School of Meteorology. It provides better forecasting and the first operational prototype was finished in 1990 in Norman.
3. Pressurized Flight Suit
In 1934, Wiley Post, with the assistance of R.S. Colley, invented the pressurized suit that would make high altitude flights possible. He was concerned about getting sick on a flight so he designed a three layer suit that would help with altitude sickness and pave the way for other designs.
4. Shopping Cart
Sylvan Goldman owned the Humpty Dumpty Supermarket chain in Oklahoma City and noticed his customers could not fit all their goods in the hand-held baskets. In 1937, he designed the first "shopping cart" on wheels and received a patent on it in 1940, which paid him royalties for 17 years.
5. Ditch Witch
Farmers and gardeners were very thankful when Ed Malzahn created the mechanical trencher that would replace hand tools when preparing the ground for crops. He perfected the "Ditch Witch" in 1949 in Perry, OK and now the line of products has expanded to many different devices.
6. Yield Sign:
The triangular yield sign was invented by Clinton Riggs in 1950. Riggs was from Tulsa and served in the Tulsa Police Department before he joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. One of the early designs is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Tulsan, Gordan Matthews, patented the technology for voicemail in the 1970's.
We can thank Oklahoman, Arthur A. Jones, for some better looking bodies. Jones was raised in Seminole and developed exercise machines that used variable resistance to build muscles.
9. Electric Guitar
The first to electrify his guitar successfully was Bob Dunn. Dunn was a musician from Beggs and the first recording of his electric guitar was in 1935. In 1992, he was elected to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.