Are Roller Blades Really Minnesota’s Most Famous Invention?
Out of all the impressive things that have been invented right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, are roller blades really the most famous?
There are, if you believe THIS article from the good folks over at Business Insider. They recently compiled a list of the Most Famous Invention from every state, and sure enough, on their list for Minnesota was... roller blades.
Now, sure, roller blades are cool and all. And popular. But according to this story from MinnPost, Minnesota is quite the haven for inventions. In fact, the story says Minnesota "officially ranks between second (so says the Harvard Business Review) and ninth (Forbes and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) among 'most innovative states.'"
Why, the story notes everything from Scotch tape, water skis, Spam and the pacemaker have all been invented here in the North Star State. So are roller blades really more famous than any of these?
I'd tend to agree with MinnPost and their list of the 50 Minnesota Inventions That Changed The World. It's hard to argue that cortisone-- developed right here in Rochester at Mayo Clinic-- is less famous that roller blades, isn't it? (Well, maybe it's less famous-- but it's certainly more important.)
Or how about the furnace thermostat, invented by what would go on to be Honeywell here in Minnesota in 1899? Or the pop-up toaster, invented by Minneapolis' Toastmaster in 1925? And we can't forget water skis, can we?!? 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson invented them on Lake Pepin, near Lake City.
There's also masking tape, Post-It Notes, magnetic recording tape, the bundt cake pan, the snow blower, the Black-Box Flight Data Recorder, the first enclosed shopping mall, skyways, Nerf balls, Twister, Tonka Trucks and on and on and on-- all of which have been invented right here in Minnesota.
And all of which, it seems to me, are a wee bit more famous than roller blades. So what do you think-- are roller blades REALLY the most famous Minnesota invention?