Sometimes as we’re going about our day-to-day lives, we become so used to using certain items that we don’t stop to think about where they came from. Have you ever wondered what the world was like before the invention of commonplace things like egg cartons or garbage bags? Let us tell ya, it was a whole lot messier! Well, these convenient creations and more were actually brought to us by the genius minds residing right here in the True North Strong and Free. That’s right! They were all invented in Canada. We always knew our country was full of creative minds. But these items on this list only further prove our point!
Here are 10 everyday items we bet you never knew were invented in Canada.
THE EGG CARTON
If you had eggs for breakfast this morning, you have a Canadian to thank. Well, not for the eggs themselves. But for the convenient carton they were probably stored in. This everyday container was invented by a man named Joseph Coyle. Way back in 1911, the newspaper editor came up with the nifty creation to settle a dispute between a farmer and a hotel owner who was upset their eggs were always delivered broken. Prior to the egg carton, eggs were delivered in egg baskets. Needless to say, this invention was an upgrade. Mmm, we’re suddenly in the mood for scrambled eggs!
We’re two-for-two on breakfast items here in the True North Strong and Free. This delicious spread was first invented way back in 1884 by Montreal resident Marcellus Gilmore Edson. He first obtained a patent for the early peanut butter product made by roasting the nut and then transforming it into a butter or lard-like consistency. The healthy snack quickly took hold and is still a staple on toast and sandwiches today. Scratch the eggs, we’re making peanut butter toast!
This next pick may not be an everyday item for everyone, but for those who need it insulin is a life-saver. Literally. It was discovered by Sir Frederick G Banting, Charles H Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto back in 1921. But it wasn’t until January of 1922 that insulin was first used in the treatment of diabetes. Up until that point, it was uncommon for people with Type 1 diabetes to live longer than a few years. This amazing Canadian discovery is still thought of as one of the greatest in medical history. Give it up for these amazing Canadian inventors!
THE PAINT ROLLER
Although many people credit an American by the name of Richard C. Adams for the invention of the paint roller, we’re here to set the record straight. Adams did play an important role in making the item a widespread staple – he tweaked the original design and filed the first patent on it. However, it was actually originally invented by a Canadian named Norman Breakey. He developed the item in the 1940s in Toronto as a way to paint quickly without losing a smooth finish. We still use the paint roller for the same purpose today. Hmm, this has us feeling like a little redecorating…
It’s hard to imagine a world where taking out the trash was even yuckier than it is today. But before this Canadian invention, it really was. You’ve got three Canadians by the names of Frank Plomp, Harry Wasylyk and Larry Hansen to thank for the method of garbage disposal we use today. Prior to the invention of garbage bags in the 1950s, folks would burn their trash or simply toss it into the streets. Farmers were known to feed garbage to their animals and city folks would dispose of waste directly into dirty metal cans. Of course, there are some environmental issues to deal with now thanks to the rise of plastic in the garbage bags, but we’ll tackle one issue at a time.
The lines on the road are such a part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time before them. Well, we’re here to tell you that time once existed and it may still exist if it weren’t for Canadian John D. Millar. This transport engineer came up with the idea in 1930, when he painted the first road lines on a stretch of highway between Ontario and Quebec. As roads have only gotten larger and busier since then, it’s no surprise that this traffic feature is commonplace today. We can’t imagine the roads without them!
Okay, this one technically wasn’t invented in Canada. But it was invented by a Canadian! The story behind basketball begins in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. A Canadian physical education teacher by the name of James Naismith was on the hunt for a less injury-prone sport than football and one that could be played indoors during the winter. He may have been in the States, but concerns for cold weather sure was Canadian of him! He came up with a sport using peach baskets and soccer-style balls, which slowly developed into the game of basketball we know and love today. Shall we head outside and shoot some hoops?
Perhaps the most Canadian invention was originally conceptualized by Torontonian J.W. Elliot back in 1869. The dentist at the time came up with a rotary design that was intended for use on railroads. Although his creation was never brought to life, it did pave the way for later versions of the item. Eventually, Quebec resident Arthur Sicard invented the snowblower in 1925. This contraption is still used when those classic Canadian flurries hit in the winter months. Whew, aren’t ya glad it’s springtime now?
These days, we can’t really consider visiting any theatre an everyday occurrence. But in normal times, you may find yourself stopping by an IMAX Theatre much more often. Did you know the insane technological feat was invented right here in Canada? Now you do! More specifically, it was created by the IMAX Corporations, which was founded in Canada by Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroiter, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw in 1967. The first permanent IMAX Theatre was opened in 1971 at Toronto’s Ontario Place. It is called the Cinesphere and you can still catch flicks there today (when there isn’t a pandemic going on, that is!).
THE BAGGAGE TAG
Planning your post-pandemic trip? Thanks to a Canadian you’re much less likely to lose you luggage along the way. John Michael Lyons of New Brunswick came up with the convenient creation back in 1882. In those days, folks were really only travelling by train, if they travelled at all. But these nifty tags made the whole process more organized, easy, and enjoyable. Just imagine the mess travelling by air would be if we didn’t have a well thought-out system for keeping our baggage on track! Now if you don’t mind us, we’ve got a post-pandemic vacation to plan…
So next time you’re making breakfast, going for a drive, plowing some snow, or even taking out the trash, don’t forget it’s the inventions of amazing Canadians that are helping you do these everyday tasks. The world sure wouldn’t be the same without these everyday inventions by creative Canadians!
Did you know all these everyday items were invented in Canada?