Unbeknownst to many, Canada can be credited with more than the beginnings of hockey and maple syrup. The following have Canadian origins:
Peanut butter. The credit for peanut butter often goes to an American inventor, but the fact is, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal had the now popular staple patented in 1884 as a substitute for meat protein for those who couldn’t eat solids.
Egg cartons. Can anyone imagine eggs not being housed in cartons? When Joseph Coyle of British Columbia heard about eggs being broken in transport because they were piled on top of each other in a basket, he went to work thinking of a better way. In 1911, he came up with a slotted container to house individual eggs, so they wouldn’t touch each other. More than a century later, we’re still using his idea.
Luggage tags. Can you imagine not having a luggage tag for your suitcases? It would create all kinds of problems during baggage collection at the airport. John Michael Lyons of New Brunswick came up with the idea in 1882 for train and ship travel—the idea was later adopted for air travel as well.
The motorized wheelchair. Thanks to mechanical engineer George Klein and his Canada National Research Council team, the 1950s saw the beginnings of the electric wheelchair. It was operated using a joystick and its mass production changed the lives of many disabled veterans. The prototype is now located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
The pacemaker. This technological gadget has saved the lives of millions of people. The idea was the brainchild of John Hopps who was doing research on how to improve open-heart surgery. He invented the first external pacemaker in the 1950s which later progressed to today’s implantable version.
McIntosh apples. One of the world’s most favourite types of apple was created by Ontario farmer John McIntosh in the early 1800s. He grafted the first tree from seedlings he found on his property. Every single McIntosh apple produced today is a descendant from that first tree.
The snowmobile. It’s no wonder it took a Canadian to figure out how to navigate through all the snowy winters and to have fun doing it. The snowmobile got its start in the 1930s thanks to inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Quebec. He started working on the project when he was still in his teens, and in 1937 he created the first working machine, which could hold seven people. In 1959, he streamlined his design to what we see gliding over snow drifts today.