Massachusetts May 25, 2016
Some People Don’t Know These 11 Things Came From Massachusetts
Massachusetts has given the world some pretty amazing stuff. From incredible inventions that changed the world to modern comforts that we just couldn’t live without, our state has truly contributed a lot to this country. Check out these awesome inventions that have their roots in Massachusetts.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1938. The owner of the Toll House Inn (get it?), Wakefield apparently ran out of baking chocolate while making a batch of cookies. She decided to bake the cookies with chocolate pieces, expecting them to melt and create chocolate cookies. Instead, America's favorite cookie was born.
2. Disposable Safety Razors
King Camp Gillette (yes, that was his actual name) conceived of the idea of a disposable razor in 1895, but did not start mass-producing his invention until 1903. Boston became the world headquarters of the Gillette Safety Razor Company.
3. The Telephone (sort of)
The history of the invention of the telephone is a bit muddy, but it is known that on March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell used an early version of the telephone to communicate with his assistant in the next room. Graham later completed the first successful long-distance telephone call from Boston to Cambridge.
4. Microwave Ovens
After passing close to a radar set, and noticing that a candy bar had melted in his pocket, Percy Spencer invented the microwave oven. Though Spencer's original microwave was completed in 1954, the consumer model of the machine wasn't available until 1967.
The speaker and headphone company known for engineering top-quality audio production actually started right here in Massachusetts. Amar Bose was an electrical engineering professor at MIT, and has donated most of his stock in the company to MIT. This means that MIT technically owns most of Bose.
Invented in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, basketball has become one of the most popular sports in America. The original game was played with soccer balls, using peach baskets as instead of today's nets.
7. Computerized Spreadsheets
You can thank two Boston graduate students for this one. In the late 1970s, Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston invented VisiCalc, the precursor to today's modern digital spreadsheets.
8. Rubber Tires
Charles Goodyear developed the process of vulcanizing rubber in 1839, in Woburn. Prior to this breakthrough, Goodyear was extremely poor. He patented his process in 1844, and revolutionized the way the world travels.
Earl Tupper invented Tupperware while employed at a plastic factory in Leominster. He began selling his products at home parties in 1951.
10. The World Wide Web
Invented in 1990 by MIT professor Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web (which is not the same thing as the Internet you and I use every day) made accessing online data much easier and more accessible to the general public.
11. The Iron Lung
Developed at Harvard in 1927, this artificial respirator allowed people afflicted with illnesses such as polio to continue to breathe while other treatments were being explored.
Did any of these surprise you? Or are you a Massachusetts history buff in the know?