Some People Don't Know That Washington Was The First To Do These 10 Things
Washington has introduced several notable inventions to the world along with other Washington firsts you may not be aware of. Did you know about any of these 10 things that started here in our state first?
We were also the first to celebrate Father’s Day – in Spokane – as we detailed in our Inventions In Washington article! This state is so innovative… what are some other Washington firsts you’ve heard about?
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Even more Washington firsts
What are some inventions from Washington State?
There are plenty of things Washington was first at, that includes many things that were invented here. Let's take a look at a few of the inventions that came from Washington State:
- The backpack: It's fitting that the backpack was invented in Washington as we have so many wonderful hiking trails. Without the backpack, we'd have to have a lot more arms in order to carry our gear. Lloyd Nelson discovered that the hard way in the 1920s when he realized there had to be a better way to carry all of his stuff. He sold the patent for his idea to Trager Manufacturing.
- Vinyl: Waldo Semon is credited with the invention of the Vinyl record and 116 different inventions derived from his work with vinyl, rubber, and synthetic rubber compounds. He attended the University of Washington so we'll claim him as one of our own, even though he was originally from Alabama and spent much of his life in Ohio.
- Pickleball: Sometimes a new invention comes from necessity. In 1965, Washington Congressman Joel Pritchard and friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum didn't have the right gear for badminton so they improvised and came up with what is now Pickleball.
- The automatic car wash: If you have spent any time in Seattle you have probably seen signs for the Elephant Car Wash. What you may not have known is that this company is credited with the invention of the first fully automated car wash in the US.
- Waterskiing: Next time you are out on Lake Chelan strapping on a pair of waterskis you'll have to thank Washingtonian Don Ibsen for his role in the invention of the sport. It turns out three different people at three different times were attempting to be the first to ski behind a boat on a pair of wooden planks. Ralph Samuelson of Minnesota in 1922, Fred Waller in Long Island, NY in 1924, and Don Ibsen in 1928.