15 Inventions You Never Knew Were Canadian - Refresh Financial

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15 Inventions You Never Knew Were Canadian


Quick, off the top of your head, name five Canadian inventions! Surprisingly, most people I’ve asked that can’t think of more than three or four. That’s a sad state of affairs considering Canadian inventors have been making lives longer, easier, safer, and more fun since we first started calling this place Canada. Here are fifteen inventions that found their origins here in the True North, Strong and Free:

1. IMAX - Graeme Ferguson and his colleagues invented IMAX films, producing the very first IMAX movie ever, called North of Superior. The Toronto native and member of the Order of Canada worked on movies well into his 80s.

2. Basketball - When you think Canadian sports, you think hockey… you think lacrosse. You might think curling. You probably don’t think March Madness, do you? Well, you should! Basketball is as Canadian as a beaver drinking Molson Canadian in a canoe in Bobcaygeon. Well, the inventor was a Canadian, anyway. Dr. Naismith, a good Ontario kid, invented it in Massachusetts in 1891.

3. Peanut Butter - Peanut butter was patented in Quebec in 1884. Marcellus Gilmore Edson invented the sticky treat and it’s been a North American staple ever since!

4. Walkie Talkies - Canadian inventor, Donald Lewes Hings, invented these handheld communication devices for military use in 1937. I wonder if he’d be happy to know it’s now the most chosen option by 6-12 year olds for tree-fort-to-tree-fort communication?

5. The Blackberry - Turkish Canadian businessman and investor, Mike Lazaridis, was behind the beginnings of Blackberry. That might explain why so many Canadians stay faithful to the device despite there being far better ones on the market now.

6. Snowmobile - This probably doesn’t really come as a shock to you, being as we live in the Great White North, eh? It’s true though, the snowmobile is a Canadian invention through and through. Its modern version was first patented by Joseph-Armand Bombardier in 1937 in the tiny, little town of Valcourt, Quebec.

7. Prosthetic Hand - Helmut Lucas, a Canadian inventor, created the first mechanical prosthetic hand, changing the lives of people all over the globe.

8. Snow Blower - Another shocker! Sicard Industries of Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec developed the very first snow blower in 1925. Sicard Industries has since been bought up by SMI-Snowblast Inc. which is an American owned company.

9. Insulin - In 1921, in a borrowed lab at the University of Toronto, Frederick Banting and student, Charles Best, proceeded to develop a method of extracting a purifying insulin and by January of 1922, they had successfully injected a dying diabetic boy with insulin. The patient survived and diabetics have been using insulin injections as maintenance for their disease ever since.

10. Sonar - Sonar uses sound to see what is in the water around the source of the sonar. It’s also used to communicate with other vessels. It was developed in 1912 by Canadian serial-inventor, Reginald Fessenden.

11. Trivial Pursuit - Yes! My favourite board game of all time is Canadian! In 1979, two members of the Montreal media, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, came up with the very first edition of Trivial Pursuit, forever brightening the lives of generations to come.

12. Egg Carton - This handy container came from the tiny town of Smithers, B.C. where a newspaper editor named Joyce Barnes created the first prototype in order to save some broken eggs.

13. Robertson Screw - Those little square-holed screws are probably all over your house as we speak. They were first patented by P.L. Roberston, a Canadian, in 1909.

14. Pacemaker - In 1951, John Hopps of Winnipeg, developed the first external cardiac pacemaker, leading the way to the technology that has saved millions of lives since.

15. Hard Cup Jockstrap - Hey, this is just as important as the rest of these inventions! Just think, if your dad hadn’t worn one that day he played shortstop, you might not be here! Guelph Elastic Hosiery of Guelph, Ontario is the founder of this amazing invention, dating back to 1927.

Did you know about any of these inventions and their origins here in Canada? Did we miss any you might have added? Let us know in the comments!

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