Forgotten Geniuses That Made Our Lives Better

by Swetha Rajagopal

Have you ever wondered who invented the things that we use in our everyday lives? Who are these geniuses? Read on to find out!

1. The Popsicle

This delicious frozen treat was invented by Frank Epperson when he was 11 years old. On a cold night in San Francisco, Epperson left a mixture of  flavored powder and water with a stirring stick on his porch. The next morning, the drink was frozen, and this creation became named the “Epsicle.”  Later on, the name was changed to “Popsicle” and then here it is. Now, many people enjoy this yummy frozen drink on a stick!

2. The Toilet

There are two people who had invented versions of the toilet. First was Thomas Crapper. Crapper ran the world’s first bath, toilet, and sink showroom which is now one of London’s minor tourist attractions. The person who invented our modern-day flush toilet was John Harington. Harington was also a writer and artist, and he became an important member in Queen Elizabeth I’s court.

3.  The Computer

Aside from being a mathematician and philosopher, Charles Babbage also invented the first programmable computer. Even though Babbage’s computer was nothing like these modern-day devices, the engine plan was similar to what it is now. Some parts of Babbage’s machine can be found at The London Science Museum.

4. The Roller Coaster

LaMarcus Adna Thompson was a businessman, and he was patented for the creation of the roller coaster. Thompson received the patent on January 20,1885 for a roller coaster which was made out of wood. Imagine how scary that ride must have been!

5. The Diaper

The disposable diapers that we all wore when we were babies were invented by Marion O’Brien Donovan. This idea sparked after Marion had gotten tired of leaking cloth diapers that wetted the bed as well as the cloth itself. So, she decided to make a diaper that was leak-proof. Marion then sewed up a shower curtain and called it the “boater”. Instead of using safety pins( which usually ended up poking the baby), she attached snaps to the diapers so that they could be easily attached and detached. Knowing that other moms probably felt annoyed about cloth diapers as well, Marion decided to sell the disposable diapers at Saks Fifth Avenue, where it became an instant success.

6. Football

This highly-admired sport was created by a Yale and John Hopkins graduate named Walter Camp.  Now, he is referred to as “The Father of American Football.”

7. The Selfie

This trending “thing”  refers to a picture taken of  a person by themself, typically taken using a smartphone or an electronic device was claimed to be invented by 67 year-old camera man named Lester Wisbrod. He claims to have invented the first selfie in 1981, and he has been taking selfies with celebrities ever since.

8.  The Pencil 

The pencil was invented by Conrad Gessner. Gessner was a Swiss naturalist, bibliographer, botanist, physician, and classical linguist. No wonder the pencil was invented by him! He probably really needed it!

9. The Backpack

Dick Kelty invented the backpacks that we now bring to school everyday. He thought of this idea when he was hiking up the Sierra mountain range and was carrying many heavy things. He designed the backpack to carry heavy loads easily.

10. Walmart

Sam Walton founded the well-known Walmart. In 1945, Walton moved with his wife, Helen, to Iowa then Arkansas where Sam got early retail experience. Later on, he moved to Bentonville where he opened up a shop called Walton’s 5 & 10. Inspired by Walton’s 5 & 10 and its customers, he opened up the first Walmart in 1962, and that’s how we all started saving money and living better!






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