Have you ever thought “Hey, I wonder what random things Connecticut has invented.”

Well, whether or not you have before, we’re sure you’re curious now and we’ve compiled a list for your CT education.

1.

The Lobster Roll When you think of lobster rolls, which is most likely very often, you probably think of Maine.  But no!  Lobster rolls were actually invented in Connecticut in the late 1800s, according to the Huffington Post. They eventually becoming standardized in the 1920s when we  assume they migrated up the coast to Maine.

2.

The Frisbee An iconic staple of college life, frisbees would never have been thrown on a school quad without baker and Connecticut resident William Russell Frisbee.  Controversy over whether the original thrown frisbee was a pie tin or a cookie tin sparks heated debates to this day, according to the World Flying Disc Federation.

3.

The Vacuum CleanerIra Hobert Spencer, experimenter of air and church organs, turned his attention to dirt and dust in 1905 to create the modern vacuum cleaner, spencerturbine.com reports.  This Hartford man had ideas that certainly didn’t suck.

4.

The Sewing MachineOne of a few technological pioneers, Elias Howe of Connecticut capitalized on the industrial revolution, The Mill Museum reports.  Modernized in the 1840s, the sewing machine changed the world.

5.

The DictionaryNoah Webster, a Hartford native, published the first American dictionary in 1806.  His publications included- for the first time- inherently American vocabulary such as “chowder” and “skunk”.

6.

Vulcanized RubberTalk about re-inventing the wheel. In 1843 Charles Goodyear of Connecticut discovered a process which allowed rubber to retain its elasticity, making it waterproof and winter proof, according to inventors.about.com. About  50 years later the first rubber tires appeared on cars.

7.

The Can OpenerArguably as important as tires and dictionaries, the can opener first debuted in Waterbury Connecticut in 1858.  ConnecticutHistory.org says that it only took 50 years and the switch from wrought iron to tin cans for Ezra J. Warner to realize that these things were actually really hard to open.  Hence the can opener.

8.

The SubmarineThe first submarine to ever make an attack on an enemy warship was created by Connecticut native and Yale graduate David Bushnell.  Though it was unsuccessful, its use against the British in 1776 was utterly revolutionary.

9.

LollipopsThough the Lollipop has most likely been around since ancient times, George Smith of New Haven gave it its name and, almost, modern appearance in 1908, according to GroovyCandies.com. Then though, lollipops were soft candy – good thing they eventually solved that sticky situation.

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10.

AnesthesiaAfter attending a demonstration on Laughing gas (a form of popular entertainment in the 1840s) Hartford man Horace Wells got serious. ConnecticutHistory.org reports that he used the gas on himself and enlisted a student of his to remove one of his wisdom teeth – after awakening and having felt no pain he began to use it on his own patients.

11.

Mechanical HeartUsing an erector set (also invented in Connecticut) and various other pieces of mechanical toys, William Sewell Junior successfully created -in essence- the first artificial heart.  The heart managed to circulate blood through a dog’s body for a prolonged period of time – thus spurring a revolution in the field of cardiac medicine.

12.

Colt .45 Revolver Another Hartford born inventor, Samuel Colt created his famed revolver in 1836.  A key player in the Mexican war, and later, the Civil War (also a classic staple of old western movies) the colt firearm was a real game changer.

13.

The Cotton GinEli Whitney literally changed the course of history with the invention of the Cotton Gin.  Though he was not born in Connecticut he attended Yale and eventually moved to New Haven where he continued his inventing ways, according to Biography.com.

14.

The HamburgerIn 1900 Louis Lassen claims to have served the first real American hamburger from his New Haven lunch wagon.  Though the burger was a result of his cheapness – he didn’t want to waste meat in his sandwiches – we have to wonder where America would be without his ingenuity.

15.

Portable TypewriterIn 1892 the patent for the first truly portable typewriter was issued to George C. Blickensderfer (he probably needed one the most with typing that name) of Stamford CT.  I wonder what he would think about laptops …

16.

Whiffle BallsAccording to MentalFloss.com, in 1953 Fairfield man David Mullany was inspired by his son to create a cheap ball that could break on pitches and not hurt young arms.  And so became the Whiffle ball – named for its strike-out prowess – a backyard party hit for more than 50 years.

17.

Speed Limit LawsThey say New York drivers are crazy, but Connecticut drivers really had the need for speed back in 1901.  A need for speed which forced CT lawmakers to instate the first speed limit for motorized vehicles – a whopping 12 mph in cities and 15 on country roads.

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