The 10 Greatest Inventions by Children
Little learners are just beginning to understand the world around them. But that hasn’t stopped many of our tiniest tinkerers setting to the task of bringing their own magical creations to life. So, join Jaques of London as we thank them for their intent to invent and look at how 10 mini makers have changed the course of history.
The old adage states that children must be seen and not heard. Perhaps that is why, at the tender age of 15, Chester Greenwood and his grandmother set about creating a beaver-skin coated wire frame to cover the ears during the coldest of winters. We hear that they have been a big hit ever since.
Whilst most of us were busy worrying about the latest toy we wanted for our collection, at the age of six, Robert Patch was acquiring the patent to build the very first multi-purpose toy car truck. Starting in 1963, he got in before the Auto-Bots were battling the Decepticons, as his simple prototype allowed for the movement of different elements of the design to create numerous different vehicular versions of his design. Children around the world have been trucking ever since.
Cracked crayons are a nightmare for every creative kid attempting to bring their easel art to life and, in 2002, at the age of 11, Cassidy Goldstein was no different. What perhaps did make her different was her refusal to accept the lacking longevity of her favourite drawing utensils. Her pastel pursuit led her to discover that rose holders were the perfect shell to re-home her broken crayons, and before long, she would partner with Rand International – A move which not only saw her pay for her college tuition well in advance, but even be names as the 2006 Goldstein Youth Inventor of the Year. You can draw your own conclusions about what an amazing invention this is.
We can perhaps put the idea of ingenuity on ice with this next invention, as it came out of pure chance when, in 1905, an 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a drink sitting overnight in the cold San Francisco air. What was perhaps the most serendipitous part of this was the stirring stick that remained in the glass.
It wasn’t until 1922 that he took his plans off freeze and was able to patent his invention as the “Eppsicle”. As his children charmingly renamed the frozen treat to the Popsicle, he sold his invention to Joe Lowe Company in New York – Who would go on to sell more than 60 million of the icy invention over the next few years.
Some inventors started and never stopped. When it came to 11-year-old Benjamin Franklin, nothing could be truer. In 1717, he was obsessed with making his swimming adventures even more rewarding and, with that, would go about crafting what we now know as swimming fins. Of course, his weren’t quite so streamlined and lightweight as those we use today. But, when it came to beating the oceanic opposition, he was always sure to be the first to cross the fin-ish line.
Moving from below to above water level, 1922 saw an 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson one up his more infamous infant inventor, as he brought even more speed to his effervescent endeavours, as he crafted the first ever water skis. So, the next time your boat is sent rocking by a nearby water whizzer, you know who to thank.
George Nissan must have been jumping for joy when, at the age of 16, he permanently altered the world of aerobics by stretched a canvas over a large metal frame to invent the world’s first trampoline.
Originally afforded the rather functional name of the “bouncing rig”, Nissen found it rather difficult to market a product which at the time, was without precedent. Fortunately, he was rather the avid demonstrator, as he stated himself, “I had to demonstrate its worth. And that was always my forte. I like to make new things and then market them.”
We all know that children are the ones adding that extra sparkle to the magic of Christmas. That was never truer than in 1917, when a 15-year-old Albert Sadacca helped us say goodbye to tree candles, creating the world’s first string of lights to add to the the seasonal décor.
We are sure Santa would have had him at the very top of the Nice List for the year!
No one should have to settle for floppy bacon, clearly a sentiment shared by 8-year-old Abbey Fleck, who, in 1993, found a rather ingenious way to ensure that even microwaved bacon would come out with a perfect coat of crispiness.
Her simple microwaveable rack ensured that all excess grease would drip away from the bacon and leave a perfect finish, making millions, ourselves included, very happy indeed. In fact, we almost squealed in delight.
Last, but certainly not least, is perhaps one of the most impactful inventions that anyone has ever conjured, let alone a child creator. Learning to read was previously carried out by tracing raised replicas of letters, the visually impaired were given a literary boost, when 15-year-old Louis Braille translated a form of communication used in the French military to be a more accessible form of finger tracing.
As you can see, when it comes to innovative minds, nothing can beat the unhindered vision of child creativity, making for some of the greatest child inventors in the world. Here at Jaques, we know that sponge-like minds are always excited by new and enjoyable ways to learn and discover. Whether getting out and about with out Let’s Explore range, building brains with our Let’s Learn collection, or taking on rewarding resources at the Jaques Mini Minds Hub, we are sure that the next generation of early inventors will be more successful than ever before.