We’re not just another pretty face. Sure, Canada is known for the Nanaimo Bar, Poutine, and Bob and Doug, but below is an impressive list of inventions that came out of our fair country. Many of them may surprise you.
Happy Canada Day!
Food and agriculture
- Canola was developed from natural rapeseed by NRC personnel in the (1970s).
- Marquis wheat was invented by Charles E. Saunders and tested at the Agassiz experimental farm in British Columbia. (~1900)
- McIntosh Red apple was developed by John McIntosh. (1811)
- An early form of peanut butter was first patented by Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884.
- Instant mashed potatoes were invented by Edward Asselbergs in 1962.
- Pablum was invented by Canadian doctors Frederick Tisdall, Theodore Drake, and Alan Brown in 1930.
- Canada Dry Ginger Ale was invented by John J. McLaughlin in 1907.
- Nanaimo Bar
- Butter Tarts
- Yukon Gold potato was invented by Gary .R. Johnston in 1966.
- The Walkie-Talkie was invented by Donald L. Hings and Alfred J. Gross for military use. (1942)
- Amplitude modulation was invented by Reginald Fessenden in 1906.
- Standard time was introduced by Sir Sandford Fleming (1878).
- The Cesium Beam atomic clock was developed by National Research Council personnel in the 1960s.
- Development of the BlackBerry was led by Mike Lazaridis.
- The pager was invented by Alfred J. Gross in 1949.
- The 56k modem was invented by Dr. Brent Townshend in 1996.
- Brunton compass was patented by David W. Brunton in 1894.
- Radio telephony was first demonstrated by Reginald A. Fessenden in 1901. 27.
- Fathometer an early form of sonar invented by Reginald A. Fessenden in 1919.
- Computerized Braille was invented by Roland Galarneau in 1972.
- Hot wire barretter was invented by Reginald A. Fessenden in 1902.
Transportation and mobility
- The first wheelchair accessible bus was invented by Walter Harris Callow, 1947
- The separable baggage check was invented by John Michael Lyons in 1882.
- The hydrofoil boat was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and Canadian Casey Baldwin(1908).
- The first commercial jetliner to fly in North America was designed by James C. Floyd, the term jetliner being derived from his Avro Jetliner (1949).
- The overhead power connection for electric streetcars was invented by John Joseph Wright (1883).
- The Canadarm was developed by staff of the SPAR Aerospace (1981).
- The electrically-controlled variable-pitch propeller was invented by Wallace Rupert Turnbull and tested at CFB Borden (1927).
- The snowmobile was invented by Joseph-Armand Bombardier (1937).
- The crash position indicator was invented by personnel of the National Research Council in the 1950s
- The Parclo (partial cloverleaf) interchange was developed by planners at the Ontario Department of Highways (20th century)
- The Uno motorcycle was invented by Ben Gulak while still a teenager in 2006.
- Bixi, a public bicycle sharing system launched in Montreal in 2009.
- JACO, a robotic arm for wheelchair invented by Charles Deguire and Louis-Joseph Caron L’Écuyer from Kinova.
- TM4 MФTIVE, a lightweight magnet electric motor invented by Pierre Couture in 1982.
- The Quasiturbine was invented in 1996
- The Electric wheelchair was invented by George Klein in 1952.
- Prosthetic hand was invented by Helmut Lucas in 1971.
- Compound steam engine for marine use was invented by Benjamin Franklin Tibbetts in 1842.
- Electric car heater was invented by Thomas Ahearn in 1890.
- The snow blower was invented by Arthur Sicard (1927).
- The steam-powered foghorn was invented by Robert Foulis (1854).
- The rotary snowplow for railroads was invented by a Canadian dentist in 1869, and perfected by Orange Jull of Orangeville, Ontario.
- The first widely used military gas mask was introduced by Cluny MacPherson in 1915.
- The G-suit was invented by Wilbur R. Franks in 1941.
- The Canadian pipe mine, a land mine used in Britain in World War II
- Sonar was invented by Reginald Fessenden.
- ASDIC was invented by Robert William Boyle in 1916.
- The Beartrap (helicopter device) was invented for the Royal Canadian Navy in the early 1960s
- The CADPAT was the first “digital” camouflage system, which was then used for the US MARPAT (1996).
Sport and entertainment
- Jockstrap hard cup in 1927
- Table hockey game was invented by Donald Munro (1930s).
- The goalie mask was invented by Jacques Plante in 1959.
- DigiSync a bar-code reader used in motion picture production was invented by Mike Lazaridis (it won Emmy and Academy Awards in 1999)
- Five pin bowling was invented by Thomas F. Ryan in Toronto in 1909.
- Lacrosse was codified by William George Beers around 1860.
- Instant Replay was invented for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in 1955.
- Abdomenizer was invented by Dennis Colonello in 1984.
- Trivial Pursuit was invented by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott in 1979.
Science and Medicine
- Medicinal insulin was invented by Frederick Banting, Charles Best and James Collip (1922)
- The first practical electron microscope was built by James Hillier and Arthur Prebus in 1939.
- A process to extract Bromine was invented by Herbert Henry Dow in 1890.
- Thomas Willson invented a process for producing Calcium Carbide for Acetylene in 1892.
- Pablum was invented by Frederick Tisdall, Theodore Drake, and Allan Brown in 1930.
- Plexiglas was made practical by William Chalmers’ invention for creating methyl methacrylate while a graduate student at McGill University in 1931.
- Easy-Off Oven Cleaner was invented by Herbert McCool in Regina in 1932.
- The garbage bag was invented by Harry Wasylyk, 1950.
- The jolly jumper was invented by Olivia Poole in 1959.
- Caesar (cocktail), introduced in Calgary in 1969.
- Bi-pin connector was invented by Reginald Fessenden in 1893.
- The modern plunged-style Wonderbra was invented by Louise Poirier in 1964.
- Cardiac pacemaker was invented by John Hopps.
- Alkaline battery was invented by Lewis Urry in 1954.
- Caulking gun was invented by Theodore Witte in 1894.
- Electric Oven was invented by Thomas Ahearn in 1882.
- WEEVAC 6 was invented by Wendy Murphy.
- Egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle of Smithers, British Columbia in 1911.
Tools and manufacturing
- A process for distilling Kerosene was invented by Abraham Gesner and made the fuel popular.
- A process for making pulped wood paper was invented by Charles Fenerty
- The paint roller was invented by Norman James Breakey.
- The Robertson screw was invented by P.L. Robertson in 1908.
- The rotary vane pump was invented by Charles Barnes and patented in 1874.
- Automatic Lubricating Cup was invented by Elijah McCoy in 1872.