14 Canadian Inventions You Didn’t Know About But Use All the Time
As if you didn’t already know, we’re pretty awesome.
Not only do we have one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Canadians have been responsible for the creation of some of our most reliable daily go-tos.
Want to entertain the in-laws at the cottage? No problem.
Hell of a hangover? We got you.
And so, in no particular order, here are 15 different things you didn’t know were invented by Canadians – and they’re making your life better every day.
1. The Snow Blower
As fun as manually shovelling snow in the middle of a Polar Vortex may be, the snow blower makes the winter a little less swearword inducing. The Canadian winter became a little more tolerable in 1925, when Montreal’s Arthur Sicard invented the snow blower.
2. The Luggage Tag
Anyone who’s experienced the joy and convenience of losing a piece of luggage while flying knows that a luggage tag is as essential as the suitcase itself. New Brunswick’s John Michael Lyons reduced levels of “travel anxiety” with the first baggage tag in 1882, containing information about the point of departure, destination, and owner.
3. The Telephone
Though issues of his nationality remain grey, Alexander Graham Bell was a Canadian when he invented the telephone in 1877, an invention that would later become the most important thing in our teenage lives (MOM, GET OFF!!! YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME). Not long after, he founded the Bell Telephone Co., which is Canada’s largest communications company today. The telephone changed the way we do business, socialize, and even date.
4. Jockstrap Hard Cup
Nobody wants their man arriving home from his weekly hockey game so crippled in the crotch department that he’s useless in bed for a week. And he likely doesn’t want that either. That’s why the jockstrap hard cup was many a Canadian boy’s favourite accessory growing up. And why Canada’s Elastic Hosiery improved the jockstrap in 1927 by adding the hard cup.
5. Trivial Pursuit
A good old-fashioned game of Trivial Pursuit is always the game-saving hero on a cottage weekend away with your family or the in-laws. Especially if wine is involved. A Montreal sports editor, Scott Abbott, and photo editor Chris Haney invented the board game – which somehow never seems to get old – in 1979.
Nothing soaks up booze at the end of the night better than a fully loaded poutine. Alternatively, this Canadian delicacy can also work wonders on a hangover. Basically, it’s a miracle dish in the post-party department. And it’s a 100 per cent Canadian creation, with various parties taking credit for its founding in the 1950s.
7. The Paint Roller
If you thought that painting your place yourself was an experience that you’ll never do again, think of how much more brutal it would have been without a paint roller. It was invented by Canadian Norman Breakey in 1940, and later tweaked and patented by American inventor Richards C. Adams. We’ll still take the credit, though.
8. Peanut Butter
Whether on apples, celery, or in good, old-fashioned peanut butter and banana sandwiches, PB is a definite favourite. Also: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The goey goodness was the vision of Montreal pharmacist Marcellus Gilmore Edson, who patented it in 1884.
9. Instant Mashed Potatoes
Instant mashed potatoes played an important role in university when it came to cooking a half decent meal for your significant other of the month. When you’re working within the confines of a university house kitchen, there’s no chance of the real thing happening. Housewives breathed a collective sigh of relief when Canadian Edward Asselbergs invented the first form of instant mashed potatoes in 1962.
10. The Walkie-Talkie
Donald L. Hings invented the walkie-talkie for the Canadian military during World War II. Not only are walkie-talkies a must when organizing large-scale events, they also offered hours of fun when we were kids. And if it weren’t for the walkie-talkie, how would the bouncer have been able to radio to his boss (your friend) for VIP treatment when you showed up at his club? Or alternatively, call for back up when you started screaming to be let in…
11. The Egg Carton
It’s enough of a challenge to get your eggs home from the grocery store without them breaking; imagine life without the egg carton. Because that was reality before British Columbia newspaper editor, Joseph Coyle invented it in 1911.
12. Instant Replay
Think of how many amazing sports moments you would have missed if it weren’t for instant replay. CBC Television producer George Retzlaff created the first-ever instant replay in 1955 during a broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada. And in the last 60 years it’s managed to stop millions of bar fights by offering solid proof of what actually just happened.
13. The Caesar
Where do we even start when it comes to the beloved Bloody Caesar cocktail? How about first thing in the morning. Or on the dock in summer? Or just about anytime you want. It was invented in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell to complement the cuisine at his new Italian restaurant.
14. Green Garbage Bags
Though it’s not exactly a work of art, we can’t imagine taking trash to the curb without them. Canadians Harry Wasylyk of Manitoba and Larry Hansen of Ontario invented the first plastic garbage bag for commercial use in 1950, armed with stretchy, waterproof polyethylene. They’ve been trash talkin’ their competitors ever since (sorry, we had too).