7 Terrific Things Invented By Kids
1. Makin' Bacon Dish
After running out of paper towels, and placing a greasy piece of bacon on the newspaper, eight-year-old Abbey Fleck's mom wasn't too happy with the mess. Her dad grumbled, "I could just stand here and let it dry," prompting Abbey to offer an solution that would later become the makin' bacon dish. She thought if the bacon was hung over a dish while it was being cooked, the fat would drip down into the dish and there would be no need to lie the bacon out on paper. Not only is it less messy, it's also healthier. According to Squidoo.com, the device reduces the bacon's fat content by 50%.
This was actually a creation made from a mistake around 1905. Frank Epperson, 11 years old, left a mixed soft drink on the porch overnight with a stirring stick inside. Since temperatures were at record lows that night, Epperson found that the stick was stuck in the frozen liquid. He pulled it out and enjoyed the first popsicle. Though he allegedly showed his friends his accidental invention, he didn't think to patent it until more than 18 years later, when he would initially name them, "Eppsicles," after his own name. He changed the name a little later, which has stuck for more than a century.
As he tested out a pair of ice-skates, Chester Greenwood grew frustrated as he struggled to keep his ears warm. For a little relief, he wrapped a scarf around his head. It might have worked fine if he didn't need to see. Determined to solve the problem, the 15-year-old bent some wire into two ear-shaped loops around his ears and asked his grandmother to sew on some fur on them. He improved the design with a band to go over one's head, connecting the two muffs, and named them "Greenwood's Champion Ear Protectors." He then created Greenwood's Ear Protector Factory and made a fortune. Later in life, Greenwood made over a hundred patents, including the steel-toothed rake.
George Nissen rented a kangaroo to help demonstrate his trampoline in New York's Central Park in 1960. He introduced trampolines in 40 countries. (Nissen Family), LA Times
16-year-old George Nissen was a member of his high school's gymnastics and diving teams. One night, in 1930, he was goofing off in his parents garage when he stretched a canvas over a rectangular steel frame, using materials he found in a junkyard, according to MIT. When he was in college at the University of Iowa, he recreated the contraption and brought it to a summer camp where he and some of his friends were counselors. It was an instant hit and Nissen thought he could commercialize it. With his gymnastics coach, he refined it with nylon and traveled across the country with an acrobatics troupe called the Three Leonardos. It was initially called a "bouncing rig" but after learning the Spanish word for diving board, "el trampolin," they changed it to trampoline.
5. Toy truck
Robert Patch, age six, created the first toy truck. According to Business Insider, it could be disassembled and re-assemebled into different versions of the same truck. Basically, this means Patch also created the pre-cursor to Transformers. Dang.
6. Swimming Flippers
These were invented by America's most lauded inventor, Ben Franklin. He was only 11 when he created the first pair, borne out of a love of swimming. According to PBS, Franklin dreamed of being a sailor when he was a kid. His vocation as inventor began earlier than his dream could be realized, however. The fins were modeled after lily pads, which he wore on his hands and his feet. They were the first in an impressive line of inventions to come, including bifocals, the library chair, and the lightening rod.
Louis Braille was accidentally blinded in one eye at age three. Within two years, a disease robbed him of his sight in his his other eye, leaving him completely blind. At age 15, he created a reading system by means of feeling raised dots, commonly known as braille. Today, braille is the standard form of reading and writing for every language around the world, and is the most epic example of turning lemons into lemonade.