Friday, 17 January 2020

Five Kids' Inventions

Friday Five

Today is Kid Inventors' Day, celebrating the accomplishments of kid inventors. So, in honour of the day, here are five things you probably didn't know were invented by children...

#5. Trampoline

Gymnast George Nissen was 16 when he came up with the idea of the trampoline. He built the first prototype in 1934, aged 20, and by the 1940s they were in mass production. In 2000 Nissen, then 86, got to see a dream come true at the Sydney Summer Olympics when trampolining was included in the Games for the first time.


#4. Glo-Sheet

Becky Shroeder was just 12 when she invented the Glo-Sheet, aka a phosphorescent sheet which you put under paper, enabling you to read and take notes in the dark. The patent made her the youngest female inventor in US history, and the device was sold to everyone from toy stores to NASA.


#3. Earmuffs

Chester Greenwood was 15 when he came up with the idea for earmuffs. By 19 he had a factory to manufacture them, an industry that would go on to employ over 60 people for decades. Greenwood actually invented a whole bunch of stuff, usually improvements on existing ideas, and in 1977 the state of Maine declared December 21st would henceforth be Chester Greenwood Day. His hometown of Farmington celebrate it with a full blown parade on the first Saturday of each December.


#2. Braille

Louis Braille was just five when he lost the sight in both eyes, the result of an accident followed by infection. Determined not to let it affect his studies, Braille worked on improving and adapting the touch reading systems developed by HaĆ¼y and the French military. By 15 the first version of Braille was complete, and Louis would spend the next few decades simply refining the system.


#1. Thermoelectric Flashlight

Ann Makosinski is a Canadian inventor specialising in alternative power sources. At 14 she invented a flashlight powered by the heat of a human hand, and followed it up with the eDrink mug which can charge a phone using the heat from a hot drink. Expect to hear of more from her in the years to come!

Thermoelectric Flashlight

Have I missed out any cool inventions? Let me know in the comments! :)

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Friday Five

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