Inventions (Return)

Name the invention:

1. A team of Pfizer scientists were working to develop a treatment for angina. In clinical trials, the drug (sildenafil citrate) did little to alleviate the symptoms of coronary heart disease. The pill did, however, have one noticeable side effect: Some men in the study reported having erections while taking the drug.

2. John Shepherd-Barron hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash.

3. Boiled animal remains (mostly bones, cartilage and tendons) strained and with fat skimmed off. A recipe from the Middle Ages.

4. In a church in Minnesota, a 3M engineer was frustrated that the bookmarks in his hymnal kept falling out. He had a fix for it.

5. Richard James, a naval engineer, was working on a horsepower detection meter for naval battleships. A large torsion spring involved in the design fell from his worktable and toppled to the ground in an end-over-end manner.

6. While hunting, Swiss engineer George de Mestral noticed several burrs clinging to his wool trousers. He examined the burrs under a microscope and discovered their needles didn't come to points, but rather ended in tiny hooks which perfectly grasped fabrics, hair and fur.

7. Harry Coover was searching for a way to make plastic gun-sight lenses. He rejected his first formulation out of hand because it was "too sticky."

8. College students in Connecticut tossed empty pie tins back and forth after eating the pies.

9. In 1946, a Raytheon engineer was testing vacuum tubes for a research project. After stopping in front of a radar set, he noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted.

10. According to Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel, Amerinds used this product, but only for toys, since they didn't have domesticated beasts of burden.

11. A Chinese invention, used by, among others, Kubla Kahn against the Japanese in 1270, who were more interested in traditional samurai warfare than modern.

12. Hippocrates was left historical records of pain relief treatments, including the use of powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree to help heal headaches, pains and fevers.

13. Earle Dickson invented this protective attachable dressing for cuts & scrapes.

14. Laszlo Biro noticed that the type of ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper dry and smudge-free. He decided to create a pen using the same type of ink. The thicker ink would not flow from a regular pen nib and Biro had to devise a new type of point. He did so by fitting his pen with a tiny ball bearing in its tip. As the pen moved along the paper, the ball rotated picking up ink from the ink cartridge and leaving it on the paper.

15. New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacob, had just purchased a sheer evening gown for one of her social events. At that time, the only acceptable undergarment was a corset stiffened with whaleback bones. Mary found that the whalebones poked out visible around the plunging neckline and under the sheer fabric. Two silk handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon later, Mary had designed an alternative to the corset.

16. In 1871, Thomas Adams patented a machine for the manufacture of a confection made from the sap from the sapodilla tree. In 1888, an Adams product called Tutti-Frutti became the first to be sold in a vending machine. The machines were located in a New York City subway.

17. In 1926, German mechanical engineer, Andreas Stihl patented the "Tree Felling Machine." It was mainly used to cut down trees, but American movie maker, Tobe Hooper, found another use for it.

18. In 1837, Switzerland's Rudolphe Töpffer published "The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck" Obadiah Oldbuck" was a forty page book; each page had several picture panels with accompanying text underneath.

19. Brand name for cotton swabs invented in 1923 by a Polish-born American Leo Gerstenzang.

20. In 1885, cousins, Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith invented a new wax writing instrument used to mark crates and barrels, however, it was loaded with carbon black and too toxic for children. They were confident that the pigment and wax mixing techniques they had developed could be adapted for a variety of safe colors. The first box of eight made its debut in 1903.