Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Piece Of Canada

Last night P and I watch a show called The Greatest Canadian Inventions on CBC. The host, Bob McDonald, counted down a list of the top inventions, many of which were very surprising to know started in Canada and NOT the US as most people might think.

Quite frankly I was shocked, but also amazed that Canada's Top 100 inventions have not been in the limelight for most of these inventions. Canucks to many are quite selfless in their inventions, and usually let someone else steal the limelight to mainly the US.

Yes the US actually bought many of the patents from Canadians. Sorry Thomas Edison but you didn't actually invent the light bulb. You only bought the patent for $5000 to claim it as your own!

Some Great Canadian Inventions Include (in random order):

1. The Light Bulb - not Thomas Edison didn't invent it!
2. Pace maker
3. Telephone
4. WonderBra of 1935
5. Robertson Screw Driver
6. Plexi Glass (think Hockey games)
7. Basketball game
8. Electric Wheel Chair
9. Insulin
10. Propeller boat motor
11. Canoe
12. Electron Microscope
13. 5 pin bowling
14. The First Replay - think super bowl!
15. The Zipper
16. Poutine!

Since I didn't have a clue what a Robertson Screw Driver was, I thought I'd also tell you guys what I learned about this unique driver. The inventor, Peter Lymburner Robertson, was planning to sell tools from a street booth. As he was setting up this booth, Peter slashed his hand open. So Robertson vowed to create the ultimate driver so that he would never slash his hand with a flat head screw driver again.

P.L. Robertson went one step further and patented his square-headed driver in 1908. In fact, this driver was so cool the Fisher Body Company which constructed the Ford Model T decided to use his invention in its product line. Today 85% of Canadian screws sold use the Robertson head. See how simple the screw is! It's about a logical as the metric system if you ask me.

What's even harder to believe is that I've never seen this screw in Canada yet! Only 10% of the US uses this more practical screw but if things go their way, you'll be seeing a lot more people switching to this Robertson screw.

I'm thinking a few more inventions are on the horizon for the future to tell you about what Canada has done for the world. So this is the first of a series which I'd love to learn more about Canada too..

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