Happy birthday, Canada! You beautiful, lake bearing, mountainous, world’s most northern settlement-est, and many other great things, nation of awesomeness! I want to thank you for every awesome thing you’ve done, and conceived! In honour of your 152nd birthday, I’ve thrown together a short, sweet little list of cool things that have been invented in Canada.
1. Java (the computer language).
Starting local! We all know how computers work, right? Unicorns, leprechauns, flying monkeys and a sprinkling of salt make these powerful machines come to life! Well, jokes aside, did you know that Java (also known as Java Script), is a computer language that basically allows you to develop computer applications.
Needless to say, since it’s come into existence in the mid 1990’s, it’s been used the world over and is still used by major corporations to this day.
Alberta born James Gosling (no relation to Ryan), known as the father of Java, created the language with his colleagues at Sun Microsystems in California.
2. The Twenty-Four Hour Clock
Ever seen one of these and gone, huh? Well, wonder no more! This is a 24 hour clock and it’s a Canadian invention! Although it’s been known throughout history that a typical day roughly has 24 hours in it, the first use of the 24 hour clock was for the Canadian Pacific Railway back in the late 1800’s!
If you don’t know how to use a 24 hour clock, it’s very simple! Long story short, any number on the 24 hour clock you see greater than 12, subtract 12 from that number, and you get the time in the traditional AM/PM format. For example, 13:00 is 1pm (13 – 12 = 1).
Bonus! Using a 24 hour clock keeps your quick mental math sharp.
3. Two-Way Radios (AKA Walkie Talkies)
Yup! Originally called the “packset”, the two-way radio (later known as Walkie Talkie) was first popularized during World War II as means of communication. Since then, it’s made a cameo in all sorts of pop-culture, as well as the above Vin Diesel GIF.
4. The Egg Carton
Yes! The egg carton is a Canadian invention made by Joseph Coyle in the early 1900’s. The story goes that he created the egg carton after overhearing an argument between a farmer and a hotel owner regarding constantly broken eggs. The first egg cartons were made out of newspaper, by hand until Coyle created a machine to do his dirty work for him.
5. The Instant Replay
The instant replay has changed the way we watch sports forever. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a single sport on broadcast television that has not adopted the instant replay. It better helps officials make tough calls and us at home see that sweet play just one more time. The instant replay was first used in the mid 1950’s during you guessed it, a broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada!
6. The Paint Roller
Bit of a sad story about the paint roller. It was invented in the 1940’s in Toronto by Norman Breakey. Norman unfortunately passed away before patenting his invention. Inevitably, an American inventor took Breakey’s invention, tweaked it, and filed the first patent for the paint roller… what a mess.
7. Road Lines
Yup! Believe it or not, roads didn’t have any form of marking before 1930. This made it incredibly difficult to know exactly where your lane is, as well as where oncoming traffic can be expected from. So, to prevent the world from falling apart, John D. Millar of the Ontario Department of Transportation stepped in and the first ever road lines were painted on a stretch of highway close to the Ontario/Quebec boarder.
8. Um, Hello! The Radio!
Yeah! The very thing you hear us on every single day is a Canadian invention! Well, kind of. There was a great radio race in the late 1800’s, and to this day it is unclear as to who specifically created the radio (that’s literally a massive history lesson in of itself). However, the very first wireless radio transmission was broadcast in Canada by the Canadian inventor, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (pictured above).
So, there you have it! Canada is a lot more than just a pretty face and a charming smile. Happy 152nd, Canada! We love you lots.
What is your favourite Canadian invention?