Washington August 03, 2015
Some People Don’t Know These 10 Things Came From Washington
Our Northwest state has introduced several ground-breaking inventions to the world, some of which we utilize every day! Did you know any of these 10 things originated from around here?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Bread clips
A Yakima man named Floyd Paxton developed the infamous clips in our state in 1952. Supposedly, he was flying home one day and had opened a bag of peanuts, but then realized he didn't have a way to reseal the bag. He located an old, expired credit card and hand-carved the first one with his small pen knife.
2. Pictionary and Cranium
Both of these entertaining family games were invented in Washington! Pictionary was created by Robert Angel and his partners Gary Everson & Terry Langston, and was published through Angel Games in 1985, though it was later sold to Mattel in 2001. Cranium was founded in 1998 by two former Microsoft employees, Whit Alexander and Richard Tait. Once it became huge, it was manufactured in China for awhile until Hasbro bought it in 2008 for $77.5 million.
Seattle resident Lloyd F. Nelson went on a hike one day around 1922 and was hauling around a traditional sticks & sealskin "pack" when he decided there had to be a better way to carry his things. He made a backpack out of a wood frame and a canvas sack that could be attached to it with removable pins. The shoulder straps also distributed the weight better, making it much more comfortable. He ultimately sold his business to Trager Manufacturing, but is still considered one of the founders of modern outdoor gear.
4. Doughnut makers
Two former marine engine builders constructed these magical machines in 1924 in the Seattle area. They've sold thousands all over the world and still continue today as Belshaw Adamatic in Auburn, the world's largest distributor and maker of doughnut-making equipment.
5. Father's Day
This June holiday was started in Spokane in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. She was only 16 when her mother passed away, and after hearing a sermon at church about Mother's Day, she was motivated to see that fathers received the same amount of appreciation.
6. Slinky Dogs
You may remember these adorable toys derived from the original Slinky. They were initially debuted in 1952, but were later redesigned in 1995 for Disney's "Toy Story". It originated from Helen (Herrick) Malsed, a Washingtonian who'd sent a letter & some drawings of her idea to the company. They liked her concept, and added the classic spinoff to their line!
7. Oberto Jerky
Alhough the company didn't invent jerky itself, they've notoriously perfected it in the Seattle area!
This sport was invented by three dads on Bainbridge Island in 1965 who came home after golfing one day. Their families were bored, but weren't able to set up everything they needed for badminton. Their new activity combined some of the badminton elements with tennis & ping pong, and is now widely enjoyed in all 50 states. There are over 100 spots here in Washington where you can play!
9. Bass Guitar
Seattle native Paul Tutmarc developed this instrument in the early 1930s, though he didn't receive much recognition or success from it. It became more revolutionary after Fender and Fullerton's rendition came out shortly after in the 1950s.
10. Almond Roca
Brown & Haley had already produced some other tasty candies, but their buttercrunch concoction became an International hit around 1923 and is still produced in the same factory in Tacoma!
Do you know of any other incredible Washington inventions?? Add them to this list below!