In almost 250 years of history, the U.S. has been responsible for many inventions that have made a considerable impact on the world.
Everyone knows about the big ones, like the internet, the airplane, or the credit card, but there are literally thousands of other interesting inventions that fly under the radar. These advancements in technology have come from every corner of the country, and it’s worth knowing some of the more important ones.
Today’s infographic comes from MNU and it breaks down the most impactful inventions from each state, along with the year and inventor associated with each advancement.
It’s pretty hard to argue against the importance of inventions like the iPhone, the television, or the helicopter. However, as with any list like this, many of the choices are still quite arbitrary and subjective.
With that in mind, let’s look at the contributions from the biggest states, as well as important advancements in technology made in other parts of the country.
The “Big” States
To begin, here are the inventions from the “big” states – the three that dominate the country in terms of GDP and population.
California: The iPhone, finally released in 2007, is credited to Steve Jobs and the Apple engineers that made it possible. It’s worth noting that you can also thank the folks in the Golden State for inventing the popsicle, WD-40, hula hoops, and of course, many of the digital goodies coming out of Silicon Valley.
New York: The credit card is credited to Frank McNamara, a founder of Diners Club International. The story behind the first Diners Club card is famous. The gist of it is: McNamara was in a restaurant with clients in NYC, but forgot his wallet. His wife had to drive to the restaurant to pay the tab for him, and in that moment he conceived of a multipurpose charge card that could be used with just a signature.
Other famous inventions from the Empire State? Jell-O, toilet paper, potato chips, and air conditioning.
Texas: From the Lone Star State comes the electric typewriter, which is also an obvious precursor to the PC. You can also thank Texans for a variety of food innovations. Corndogs, chili, frozen margaritas, and even fajitas are all allegedly from Texas.
Contributions like the iPhone and credit card are pretty impressive – but other states have also made incredible contributions to the modern economy.
The first gas-powered automobile was made in Ohio, and then Michigan took autos another step forward with the invention of the assembly line. In nearby Indiana, the gas pump was invented to put fuel in cars.
People in other states built on what Texas did with the electric typewriter. The first digital computer was built in 1937 in Illinois, the first computer mouse was built in Oregon, and the first IBM PC was made in Florida in 1981. The good folks at MIT in Massachusetts also helped create the World Wide Web, which prompted the information revolution we live and breathe today.
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