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Mom’s Corner

Necessity is the mother of invention

Isn’t it amazing what our children can make us think about?  For example, this past week my youngest was sick.  Bless his heart he did make it through three whole days of school before he was sick.  Last year I think we only made it through two days.  I am not trying to be funny.  He was really sick and it was not his teacher’s fault or a problem with the building.  My son just gets sick easily.
Anyway, this time he was not having any luck holding anything down and we tried it all.  I ran to the store to get some Pedialyte, Gatorade, Popsicles, and Jell-O, hoping he would be able to tolerate one of them.
As I am putting things in the refrigerator, he asked me who came up with Jell-o and when.  I just looked at my sick little boy and thought, “Are you kidding?  Who made this stuff is the least of my worries, you haven’t even been able to keep it or anything else down for over 24 hours!”  Of course, I did not say that.  I just looked at him and said, “Um, I’m not sure, but I’ll try to look it up later.  Here, try a little bite for me.”  Just in case your wondering.  It did not work and it was over 36 hours before he finally held something down for more than 15 minutes!  Not a fun weekend, but it did get me thinking about what was invented and when.
This is what I found:
1901 King Camp Gillette invented the double-edged safety razor
1902 Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner (My hero!  Especially the last few weeks!)
1903 Edward Binney and Harold Smith co-invent crayons
1904 Thomas Sullivan invents tea bags
1906 William Kellogg invents cornflakes
1909 G. Washington invents instant coffee
1912 Clarence Crane develops Life-Savors candy
1919  Charles Strike comes up with pop-up toaster. (Bless that man!)
1920  Earle Dickerson develops the first Band-Aide
1924  Spiral notebooks are invented  (I know some teachers that wish these things would be un-invented!)
1927  This is a big year for inventions including PEZ candy, the iron lung, aerosol cans, penicillin, bubble gum and the electric razor.
Amazingly, even though the country was fighting a major economic depression in the 1930s quite a few things were still invented such as Jell-O, Scotch tape, frozen food, jet engines, Polaroid photography, drive-in-movie theaters, Monopoly and photocopiers.
The 1940s have their own significant inventions such as computers that actually used software, turboprop engines, aqualung, cortisone, microwave ovens, mobile phones (invented but cell phones weren’t sold until 1980s) and transistors.  However, the 1940’s also had some pretty fun inventions like the slinky, silly putty, the Frisbee, Velcro and jukeboxes.
Are you ready for the 1950’s?  This era gave us credit cards, super glue, Mr. Potato Head, bar codes, diet soft drinks, black box flight recorders, Teflon, tetracycline, optic fiber, liquid paper, hula-hoops, pacemakers, and Barbie dolls.
We left the ’60s with valium, nondairy creamer, audio cassettes, the first video-game called “Spacewar,” silicone breast implants, permanent press, Astroturf, soft contacts, Kevlar, fuel injection for cars, artificial hearts, ATM, and bar-code scanner.  Remember the bar codes from the ’50’s.  Well, the ’60’s give us scanners for the bar-codes.
The 1970s lay the foundation for the first practical computers with the inventions of floppy disks, and microprocessors.  Believe it or not VCR’s were also invented as was liquid crystal displays, laser and inkjet printers, and MRI’s.
Of course to match the breast implants from the ’60s, the ’70s gave us liposuction.
Well, my curiosity is finally satisfied — somewhat anyway.  Hope you have a great week. If you have a question or comment for Mom’s Corner, please e-mail it to: