The following are Fun Facts taken from the Alberta Inventors and Inventions Website.
- Grant Skinner developed the world’s first 3-D shooter flash game, where players fight against the bloodthirsty Pukis.
- The Lacombe swine is the only breed of pig developed in Canada. It is bred in countries such as the United States, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, Great Britain and Germany.
- Charles Sherwood Noble, inventor of the Noble Blade, lived on a farm called Noble Farms in Nobleford, Alberta.
- Roman Gonsett, known as the “Ukrainian Edison”, invented the telephone answering machine in 1912.
- Cold-fX is used by sports teams such as the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary Flames, Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens to help keep their players healthy.
- Former Bon Ton Bakery owner Eugene Edelmann introduced both the bagel, in 1956, and Omega-3 bread, in 1989, to Edmonton.
- Edmonton-based BioWare Corp was founded by medical doctors Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and has developed games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, and Jade Empire.
- Ron Quaife combined 20th century chemical knowledge with animal training dating back to the earliest days of human civilization to invent Tekscent, which uses a special chemical odorant that can be detected by trained sniffer-dogs when it leaks from pipeline cracks.
- Canada's most popular cocktail, the Caesar, was invented in Calgary, by bartender Walter Chell. Its ingredients include Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, vodka, and a celery stick.
- Cheemo’s north Edmonton plant produces eight million perogies per week.
- John Edlund’s invention, the Flotation Suitcase, weighed twelve pounds (about five and a half kilograms) and included room for a few suits or dresses. It offered a small, round glass window through which to peak through.
- There are over fifteen million patents worldwide and hundreds of thousands of them in Canada. To keep them all organized, they are separated into different categories, this way the Canadian Patent Office does not have to search through all the patents when an inventor applies for a new one.
- Patents are only granted to material forms of ideas. Works of art (such as novels) are protected by copyright, while symbols and names are trademarks. Patents exclude other people from making, selling, or using an invention for up to twenty years.
- The Alberta Research Council (ARC) is the first and largest provincial research organization in Canada. Its headquarters are located in Edmonton’s Research Park with other facilities located in Calgary and Vegreville.
The following fun facts all come from other sources, linked to at the end of each fact.
- Joseph-Armand Bombardier, the inventor of the snowmobile produced the first Ski-Doo in 1959. Bombardier, from Valcourt, Quebec, invented his first snow vehicle over thirty years earlier, in 1922, at the age of fifteen (Canadian Youth Encyclopedia).
- In 1890 a Calgary woman invented a skirt-lifter. It was intended to hold a woman’s skirt up when she was crossing wet or muddy ground (CBC – Patents).
- In 2004-2005, 39,640 there were patent applications in Canada, of those 13,553 were approved. Some of those not approved were because the applicant did not finish the application process or they decided the product was not economically viable (CBC – Patents).
- The person who applied for the most patents in Canadian history was George Albert Lyons who patented over nine hundred patents, mostly relating to automobile tires (Canadian Intellectual Property Office).
- The first practical electric wheelchair for quadriplegics was invented by Canadian George J. Klein in 1955. Its invention was due to collaboration between Veteran Affairs Canada and the Canadian Paraplegic Association. The prototype is housed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Canada Science and Technology Museum).
- Peter Lymburner Robertson was a Canadian inventor who invented the Robertson Screw. The Robertson Screw is unique because of its square head. It became widely used because it only required one hand to use and a tighter fit meant the screwdriver slipped less often, reducing damage to both project and person (Collections Canada).
- According to Time magazine the coolest inventions of 2003 included a fish skin bikini and a snorkel with an FM radio. It also included something called Luminex—a fabric that actually glows. Tiny optical fibres were weaved into fabrics and are powered by a small batter sewn into the product. The fabric has been used in stage costumes and handbags, with more designs on the way (Time – Inventions).
- The exploration of space has led to many new inventions and innovations, some of which have been adapted for everyday life here on earth. Examples include the ear thermometer, joystick controllers, ski boots, and the smoke detector (NASA).
- There have been many Irish inventors through the years. Some of the more famous include Dr. Francis Rynd who invented the hypodermic syringe in 1844, Sir James Martin who invented the world’s first ejector seat in 1945, and John Phillips Holland who launched the first submarine, known as “Fenian Ram” and 1881 (Irish Patents Office).
- The website Crazy Patents lists bizarre patents filed in the United States. These include a Self Containing Enclosure for Protection from Killer Bees, a Bird Trap and Cat Feeder, and a Combination Toy Dog and Vacuum Cleaner.
- In 2003, the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index (an annual survey of Americans' thoughts about inventions) found that the toothbrush is the most important invention in people’s lives; beating competition from the automobile, computer, microwave, and cell phone (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
- The first balloon ride took place in 1783 in France. The first passengers were a duck, a sheep, and a rooster (Canadian Youth Encyclopedia).
- In England, listeners of the You and Yours radio program voted the bicycle the most important invention since the 1800s; it captured 59 percent of the vote (BBC News).
- The first record of toothpaste is found almost five thousand years ago in Egypt. People spread a paste made of ashes, eggshells, pumice, and myrrh on their teeth with their fingers (CBC – History of Invention).
- The world’s first flush toilet was invented by Sir John Harington in the 16th century for Queen Elizabeth. It was installed in her palace in Surrey (CBC – History of Invention).
Copyright © 2008 Heritage Community Foundation
All Rights Reserved