11 Great Inventions You Never Realized Were Canadian

Canadians don't get enough credit for how clever they are. People around the world know that we're friendly and polite, but we've got brains too!

Just think of all the inventions we had to come up with just to live in Canada all year round. You won't be surprised to know that the snowplow and the snowblower were both Canadian inventions. We even invented a giant snowblower for trains, because we needed it, obviously.

But people around the world use lots of things that were invented by Canadians every day - even if they don't realize it. This list includes 11 of the coolest things that were not-so-secretly created by Canadians. See if you knew about any of these!

1. Basketball

James Naismith may not look like a star basketball player, but he invented this sport that's beloved all over the world. Naismith was a gym teacher, and he came up with the idea for basketball when he needed an indoor game for his students to play. See that peach basket? That was the first basketball net.

2. Garbage Bags

It may not be the most glamorous invention, but it's definitely an important one. A pair of inventors from Winnipeg made these bags to be sold to hospitals and other businesses, but they were bought by a big company that started marketing them as Glad bags, ever heard of them?

3. The Odometer

Here's a riddle: why did Samuel McKeen from Nova Scotia invent this in 1854, before anybody had thought up the car? Because the first odometer was used in a horse-drawn carriage. Obviously, he was way ahead of his time.

4. The Telephone

Everyone agrees that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but there's some disagreement about where he's from. Bell lived most of his life in Canada, and that's where he was when he built the first working telephone, so we say he's with us.

5. Walkie-Talkies

Donald Hings built these classic gadgets at just the right time. Canada declared war on Germany as he was waiting to get a patent, so he got a great opportunity to develop lots of walkie-talkies. Back then they were serious business, but nowadays they're mainly a cool kids' toy. Over and out!

6. Wonderbra

It doesn't get more Canadian than this: this iconic women's fashion product was originally called Canadian Lady. Women around the world love the comfortable feel and eye-catching look of this classic.  Originally, the company settled on the design because it allowed for a comfy fit without using any elastic, which was being rationed during World War 2.

7. The Zipper

How's this for a world changing invention, just try putting your pants on without one! Okay, this one has a story behind it. When Gideon Sundback created the zipper, the rights to his invention went to the company he worked for, but he still owned the rights in other countries, so he set up shop in Canada and started making the zippers we still use today.

8. The Egg Carton

Amazingly, nobody thought of a better way to carry around eggs than a simple basket before 1911. That's the year Joseph Coyle, a newspaper editor who loved breaking news but not breaking eggs, built the first cardboard egg carton.

9. The Light Bulb

Okay, we know what you're thinking: Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Well, he really didn't. A Canadian named Henry Woodward sold his design for a light bulb to Edison, and after a few years of work (with the help of a laboratory full of other inventors) Edison had perfected Woodward's design.

10. Hawaiian Pizza

Bet you didn't see this coming! Yes, the Hawaiian pizza was invented by a Greek-Canadian chef at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. It was first served in 1962, and became such a hit that it would inspire their next creation together: the Hawaiian burger.

11. Peanut Butter

First served in Quebec, this gooey, delicious treat was first made by grinding up roasted peanuts and mixing in sugar to sweeten and  harden the mixture. An American named George Washington Carver got a lot of credit for making this treat, but even the US National Peanut Board agrees: he didn't invent it.

Share this list if you learned something new!

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