Pennsylvania May 08, 2020
9 Incredible Inventions The World Can Thank Pennsylvania For
Pennsylvanians all know just how awesome our state is, but the world might not realize it – yet. PA has always been an innovative state, responsible for introducing the United States to the first roller coaster, the first zoo, and the first hospital. What’s more, it also lays claim to some amazing inventions. In fact, if it wasn’t for these nine incredible Pennsylvania inventions, the world would be a much poorer place.
1. The Slinky
The Slinky has been a popular toy for generations. You don’t even have to be a kid to love it. Invented by Richard James, the slinky “sprang to fame” when it first debuted in the winter of 1945 at Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia.
2. Polio Vaccine
During his time at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine. The vaccine was introduced in 1955, and Salk was a proponent of making the vaccine mandatory globally.
3. The Revolving Door
Philadelphia’s Theophilus Van Kannel invented the first revolving door in 1888. Ten years later, the first wooden revolving door debuted in Manhattan. Van Kannel was honored for his contribution with a humanitarian award from the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia.
4. Ferris Wheel
George Ferris invented the very first Ferris Wheel in Pittsburgh in 1892. It debuted at the World Fair in Chicago. Each ride cost just 50 cents, and for a half a dollar, visitors enjoyed a 20-minute ride.
5. Pencil with eraser
Hymen Lipman, the inventor of the pencil with attached eraser, certainly saved all of us plenty of headaches during our school years. Lipman invented the pencil with eraser in Philadelphia, selling the patent in 1862 for $100,000.
Benjamin Franklin earns a nod for his invention of bifocal glasses. Invented in the 1600s, bifocals allow individuals who are both near-sighted and far-sighted to see using a single pair of glasses.
It was Benjamin Franklin who took the ancient version of the odometer and adapted it for his own purposes. The odometer then and now measures how much distance a vehicle travels by using mileage.
You can thank Dr. Scott Fahlman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, for the start of the smiley face and the sad face emoticon. He first used the emoticon in an online discussion board, paving the way for the future invention of emojis.
9. Heinz Ketchup
If you live in or have spent time in Pittsburgh, you know it's a Heinz city. Heinz Ketchup, the unofficial ketchup of the city, was invented by Henry John Heinz in the late 1870s. Today, it remains the most popular ketchup in the United States.
What are some other incredible Pennsylvania inventions you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments! Did you know that
Pennsylvania was first to do these 10 things? Address: Pennsylvania, USA