So many cool, everyday things weren’t created by inventors or scientists, but actually by children. This tells us quite a few interesting facts. For one thing, children are clearly capable of making great and useful things, because their minds think out-of-the-box. What’s more to the point, their minds are afraid to experiment, because at an early age, both the body and the mind learn through experience and experiments. Kids can do incredible things. Now let’s take a look at what some of these amazing kids created.
Ah, now how would we ever survive the blazing summer days without popsicles? Well, thanks to the 11-year-old Frank Epperson, popsicles are a reality. Back in 1905, Epperson, who lived in San Francisco, decided one day to keep stirring a powdered drink mix into a cup of water, but then he noticed something. He left the glass on his porch, and totally forgot about it. The next morning he discovered that drink transformed into a frozen lollipop. Happily enough, for years Epperson kept making frozen treats for all his friends, and family. In time, Epperson filed for a patent in 1924 and… the rest is history.
Swimming Flippers (For Hands)
Among his many inventions that were crucial to mankind (including the lightning rod, flexible catheter, 24-hour three-wheel clock, bifocals etc.), Benjamin Franklin also invented something useful when he was still a child. In his youth, he enjoyed swimming and was evidently very good at it. He wanted to increase his water speed, so when he was 11, Franklin grabbed lily-pad shaped instruments, and put them on his hands to form fins or flippers. Franklin was the first to come up with this unusual idea, which ended up being incredibly effective. So, as amazing kids go, it doesn’t get more extraordinary than good old Benjamin.
Back in 1996 Richie Stachowski (who was fifth grade at the time) come up with the Water Talkie, that expanded on the idea of the traditional walkie talkie. Unlike the standard one, this particular device could work underwater. This became an instant seller, and pretty soon Stachowski created a product line and his own company which he called Short Stack. The line up include products such as the Scuba Scope and the Bumper Jumper Water Pumper. Then in 1999, when he was 13 he sold Short Stack to a toy company based in San Francisco (allegedly for millions).
Believe it or not, there are even more amazing kids our there, and as it turns out real inventions can come from the mind of a 5-year-old. Yep, little Robert Patch was 5 years old when he put a few shoe boxes together and some added some bottle caps to create a vehicle that could change into three different trucks: a dump truck, a flatbed, and a box truck. His father saw potential and applied for a patent, which was registered in Robert’s name. Robert signed it with an “X” because he too young to spell yet. Eventually, Patch turned 6 and the patent was granted, leaving him the youngest patent holder at the time.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier from Quebec took the opportunity on New Year’s Eve in 1922 to surprised his own family with a brand new creation. He managed to mount an engine of a Ford Model T to four runners, with a handmade propeller in the back. His younger brother then steered while this new invention traveled over half a mile across the snow. When he created this Joseph-Armand was 15 years old. As the years rolled by, he perfected the snowmobile, introducing several improvements, including tank-like tracks (added in 1935). In 1959 all his hard work paid off and the Ski-Doo was born – the first ultralight snowmobile model.
So, it’s amazing kids will invent all these things. But one of the most amazing things that was actually for kids too, was the slinky. There’s absolutely no doubt that everyone had a slinky in their childhood. In 1943, at the height of World War II, US Navy engineer Richard James took part in a trial run of a brand new ship. During his voyage he was working until a torsion spring suddenly fell to the floor. The spring fascinated him – not just how it fell, but also how it started to flip-flop across the floor. When he returned from his voyage James and his wife Betty turned a long steel ribbon of tightly coiled steel into a spiral. Sadly, when they first started selling Slinky to toy stores it didn’t catch on. However, in November 1945, after setting up a department store in Philadelphia, they began to sell the Slinky again and it was a marvel. They sold 400 units within ninety minutes. The toy became a global success and after 60 years the Slinky sold 300 million units.