Special Sub-Topic: Ten of Those Minor Inventions
|Who invented the wire coat hanger in 1903?|
Albert J. Parkhouse. He was an employee of the Timberlake Wire and Novelty company in Jackson Michigan. After hearing many employees complain about insufficient coat hooks he bent a piece of wire into two ovals with each end of the wire twisted to form a hook.
|Who invented the first workable adding machine in the 1800s?|
William Seward Burroughs. The first machines his company sold in 1887 were almost impossible to use properly. They were recalled, corrections made and by 1895 the company he cofounded sold 284 machines. He passed away in 1898 at the age of 43.
|What did the Swiss Jost Burgi invent in the 16th century that made the day for clock watchers?|
The minute hand.. He invented it in 1577 for the astronomer Tycho Brahe who wanted an accurate clock for star gazing.
|Who was credited with being the first person to wear a wrist watch?|
Blaise Pascal. This young French genius (1623-1662) attached his pocket watch to his wrist with a piece of string. He is also credited with inventing an early calculator.
|What product that typists often use did Bette Nesmith Graham invent?|
White Out. In the 1950s she noticed that painters covered their mistakes with paint. This led her to think why not paint over typing errors. This mother of "The Monkees" Michael Nesmith went on to make a fortune with a company originally called Mistake Out. She died in 1980 just months after selling the company for 47 million dollars.
|What is the name of the card filing system that rotates on a cylinder?|
Rolodex. Arnold Neustadter started selling Rolodex in the 1950s. This Brooklyn born inventor died in 1996.
|What multipurpose office and home product did Richard Drew invent in 1930?|
Scotch tape. He also invented masking tape in 1925 while working for the 3M company. Another 3M employee John A. Borden invented the tape dispenser in 1932.
|Who invented the telephone pager in 1949?|
Al Gross. Also known as a beeper, it first saw use in New York City's Jewish hospital. This Canadian born (Toronto) US citizen also invented the walkie talkie.
|In what country was the first ballpoint manufacturing factory opened?|
Argentina. Hungarian brothers Ladislas and Georg Biro fled to Argentina when World War II broke out but by 1943 they had enough money to set up a factory. The pens were not very useful yet as they had to be held straight up and still left smudges on the paper.
|In what country was the double oval standard (or GEM) paperclip designed?|
England. The first patent for the "Gem" clip was issued to William Middlebrook in 1899. After over 100 years it is still proving to be the most popular type of paperclip!
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