Vertex Angle - Summer 2008

In the last issue, we asked "Which of the inventions listed below were not made by a Canadian?"

1. Basketball (1892) 6. Imax Movie System (1968)
2. Jetliner (1949) 7. Electric Light Bulb (1874)
3. Five Pin Bowling (1909) 8. Anti-Gravity Suit (1941)
4. Table Top Hockey Game (1932) 9. Caulking Gun (1894)
5. Electric Streetcar (1883) 10. Green Ink for Banknotes (1862)

Well, actually, they all were invented by Canadians. Basketball was the brain child of James Naismith of Almonte, Ontario and Donald Munro came up with the table top hockey game some forty years later. Thomas E. Ryan of Toronto gave us five pin bowling, perhaps to encourage people to take advantage of the electric streetcar invented by John J. Wright some years before. One of the inventions that might have tripped you up is the electric light bulb, invented by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans, who later sold their patent to Thomas Edison. The other is the green ink for banknotes, developed by Thomas S. Hunt. We have Grahame Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr to thank for the IMAX Movie system. The first commercial jetliner was designed by James Floyd and the first one built by AVRO had its inaugural test flight on August 10, 1949. And if you’re a high altitude jet pilot, you would likely want to give a tip of the hat to Wilbur R. Franks for the anti-gravity suit he came up with in 1941. Finally, homeowners everywhere are indebted to Theodore Witte for the caulking gun, inspired by a cake decorating tool.


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