6 Fascinating facts about quirky American inventors
It’s no secret that the geniuses of history often have plenty of funny and fascinating quirks, qualities, and interests. Many of the most brilliant scientists, mathematicians, and inventors have had odd quirks associated with their work and personalities. From Nikola Tesla’s strange hatred of pearls to the terrifying properties of Marie Curie’s paperwork, these 6 few fascinating facts about quirky American inventors.
Corn Flakes creators ran a sanitorium
Cereal inventors by day…sanitorium owners by night. John Harvey Kellogg and W.K. Kellogg, the men who invented Corn Flakes, did more than provide breakfast to the masses. They also provided treatment to mentally ill patients in a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. Battle Creek Sanitarium was a psychiatric facility built on the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The Kellogg brothers provided treatment to thousands of patients while Battle Creek was open, and employed no less than 800 doctors, nurses, and psychiatric professionals at any given time. Kellogg’s treatment focused on fairly basic life principles, such as a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and hygiene (the modern-day equivalent of “have you tried yoga?”). However, they also utilized some more barbaric early practices, such as electroshock therapy. No matter how quality life in the sanatarium was, at least we know the breakfast was good.
Marie Curie’s research is literally radioactive
Could you imagine signing a waiver of liability just to read some research papers? When it comes to Marie Curie’s work, you just might have to. Marie Curie was one of the first famous female scientists honored for her accomplishments, particularly in the field of radiation and radioactivity. In fact, she was the only person on earth who managed to win Noble prizes in both physics and chemistry. Since studying radioactivity and discovering new elements requires plenty of time in a laboratory, a number of Curie’s personal belongings received heavy exposure to radiation, including her furniture, clothing, and research papers. Due to this, in order to read Curie’s work, you must sign a liability form and put on protective clothing before handling her papers. But hey, it might be worth risking radiation exposure to peruse through some of the brilliant thoughts of Curie’s genius brain.
‘Game Boy’ inventor was Nintendo’s electrician
Plenty of children of the 90s and early 2000s couldn’t imagine going home after school to anything other than a Pokemon, Mario, or Dogz marathon on their Game Boys. However, if the Nintendo C.E.O. never noticed the quirky creation of one of Nintendo’s electricians, the Game Boy wouldn’t even exist. Gunpei Yokoi was first hired as an electrician for an assembly line for one of Nintendo’s products. However, C.E.O. Hiroshi soon eagerly promoted Yokoi due to an odd “Ultra Hand” extendable arm that Yokoi had created. If he hadn’t scored that promotion, we wouldn’t have a number of game systems or video games that we do today. Yokoi is still widely credited for bringing Nintendo commercial success as a gaming company.
Nikola Tesla had a hatred for pearls
While it may be normal to prefer one type of jewelry over another, Nikola Tesla took his hatred for pearls to another level. Considering that the Serbian-American inventor was essentially the father of modern electricity, his utter disdain for pearls seems a bit trivial. However, it impacted his daily life substantially, so much so that he refused to talk to any women who were wearing pearls. He would also send home employees and secretaries who showed up in them. While this may seem a little extreme, Nikola Tesla’s patterns of odd quirks may have been indicative of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The super genius was also obsessed with patterns of three, often only being able to enter a building after he had walked around it three times. His obscure hatred for pearls may have simply been a symptom of his O.C.D.
Alfred Fielding and Marc Shuvon created bubble wrap making 3D wallpaper
For God knows what reason, engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Shuvon felt the need to try to produce a 3D, textured wallpaper. Even better? They wanted to make it out of literal plastic. Useful? Hardly. However, their efforts ended up resulting in the creation of what we now know as bubble wrap. Once they produced their dazzling product, they began to try to shop it around as wallpaper, but (obviously) no one was taking the bait. They decided to form the Sealed Air Corporation and market their failed design as a way to safely package fragile objects in the mail. Fortunately for them (and their wallets), it was a successful turn of events. These days, most mail carriers are still utilizing bubble wrap on the daily, and no one can resist popping the tiny bubbles that their products are shipped with. It may not be what Fielding and Shuvon dreamed of, but their product sure is keeping millions of people entertained.
Romantic Earle Dickson created Band-Aids for his wife
Most husbands don’t invent new products for their wives when they’re faced with an inconvenience, but Earle Dickson is the super-hubby of the 20th century. The creator of Band-Aids first got the idea to create Band-Aids when he noticed that his wife was frequently injuring herself while cooking. From little cuts to tiny burns, she needed a way to cover them to prevent infection without disabling her hand with thick gauze. Dickson used items from his job at Johnson & Johnson to fix the first makeshift Band-Aid: gauze and surgical tape. Before long, his product was noticed by his bosses, and one such boss helped his brand hit the market in 1921. Before long, demand for the injury-protectant item swelled, leading to an influx in production of the nifty product. Dickson’s wife’s klutziness (and his romantic spirit) led to one of the most essential injury-treatment products in the 21st century.