The Vertex Angle - Spring 2004

In the Spring 2004 issue of the Vertex Angle, we posed the following question.
"Canada has a great tradition of invention. Many key technologies and successful consumer products had their beginnings here. Listed below are ten inventions. Do you know which of them was NOT invented here?"

1. Basketball
2. Hydrofoil boat
3. Electron microscope
4. Jolly jumper
5. IMAX
6. Light bulb
7. Paint roller
8. Panoramic camera
9. Snowblower
10. Green garbage bag

Answer:
None - they were all invented in Canada. Basketball was started by James Naismith in 1892, while Alexander Graham Bell and Casey Baldwin came up with the hydrofoil boat in 1908. The electron microscope was invented by Prof. E.F. Burton and Cecil Hall, James Hillier and Albert Prebus in the late 1930s. The Jolly Jumper was developed by Olivia Poole and IMAX had its start with G. Ferguson, R. Kroitor and R. Kerr in 1968. The first light bulb was patented by Henry Woodward in 1874 (bet a lot of you thought Edison did it first - but he apparently patented an improved version later). Norman Breakey patented the paint roller in 1940, and the panoramic camera was conceived by John Connon (sorry not Mr. Kodak) in 1887. We have Harry Wasyluk and Larry Hanson to thank for the green garbage bag (1950s), while the snowblower was developed by Arthur Sicard in 1927.

So you can see Canadians have been busy. There are a number of sources of information on the web about Canadian inventions - www3.sympatico.ca/taniah/Canada/things/ and inventors.about.com/cs/canadianinventors/ are a couple of good places to start.

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