Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top 5 Things Created In Connecticut

As a Connecticut resident (or Nutmegger), I am proud of my state's many accomplishments--first in flight (Gustav Whitehead--look it up), first Constitution (again--wiki-it), birthplace of ESPN and the Kooz Top 5.  Each achievement seems greater than the last.  Here are the top 5 invention to come out of Connecticut.

5: Frisbee - The Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, CT, sold pies to Yale students, who used the pie platters like, well, Frisbees.  Wham-O took the name (with a slight spelling revision) for use on their flying disk toy, bringing joy to millions--until better toys came out.

4: Erector Set - Nutmegger A.C. Gilbert was a prolific inventor and athlete, who earned a degree from Yale in sports medicine, and worked his way through college as a magician.  In 1913, he created his greatest invention--the construction toy the Erector Set.  This may be one of those better toys referenced above.

3: Can Opener - Canned food has been around since 1810.  For almost half a century, people used hammers, rocks, and just about anything else hard to hammer a chisel through the top.  Then Ezra Warner of CT gave us the (very complicated and possible dangerous at the time) can opener, ensuring Chef Boiardi would make millions selling his Chef Boyardee meals in a can.

2: Vulcanized Rubber - Thank Charles Goodyear and CT for everything rubber you own--tires, wire insulation, shoe soles--everything.  Vulcanization takes otherwise sticky (when hot) or brittle (when cold) natural rubber, and makes it into something indispensable for our modern lives.

1: Wiffle Ball - Named after a strikeout--or "whiff"--a Wiffle Ball is a plastic ball with holes strategically placed on one side allowing a pitcher to throw curve balls, sinkers, and risers to batters, who use plastic Wiffle bats to hit.  Wiffle Ball is basically an alternative to baseball when space is tight and windows abound...  (Although my friends Brian and Kevin will confirm that Wiffle Balls, thrown toward a batter with enough velocity and hit with enough force can indeed shatter windows.)

First, yeah, give me shit for the Wiffle Ball ranking higher than rubber--let me have it in the comments.  Second, for those who ask, Pez, although manufactured in Connecticut, was invented in Germany.  Third, I keep hearing the Colt .45 was invented in CT, but that isn't my understanding--prove me wrong!  And if you think of any other great CT-based inventions, share with us in the comments.  And don't forget to share this post on Facebook and like our page while you're there!


  1. No arguments with the Wiffle Ball at #1. Subway was founded in Connecticut (in Bridgeport, no less), so that's a potential addition.

  2. Wow I learned something today !!!

  3. I think we should apologize for ESPN. The only way to watch that station is at a bar with the sound off (and to watch the Top 10). Louis Lunch is awesome stuff!! Just can't go wrong there. As for the Wiffle Ball, it deserves it's place at #1!!

  4. It's crazy to me that it took that long for someone to invent a can opener. It's like inventing the lock 50 years before the key.

    By the way, you might not want to openly admit you're a "Nutmegger." This is family blog, after all.

    I mean, isn't it?

    You know, now that I think about it - never mind.