1. Kitchen garbage bags: Three men—Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hansen and Frank Plomp—all separately came up with the idea in the 1950s.
2. Lawn sprinkler: Invented in 1920 by Elijah McCoy, the son of runaway slaves in Ontario. McCoy was one of Canada’s most prolific inventors. Among his other 56 creations: the ironing board.
3. Odometers: In 1854, Nova Scotia’s Samuel McKeen put a device on his carriage to measure wheel turns.
4. Robertson square-headed screwdriver: Invented by P.L Robertson in 1908.
5. Walkie-talkie: Alfred Gross invented the walkie-talkie in 1938.
6. Instant replays: In 1955, CBC producer George Retzlaff introduced the world to
the first in-game sport replays.
7. Bloody Caesar: Invented in 1969 by restaurateur Walter
Chell in honour of a new Italian restaurant that opened in Calgary.
8. Wonderbra: Invented by Louise Poirier who, in 1963, was working for a Montreal-based lingerie company.
9. Five-pin bowling: Invented by T.E. Ryan of Toronto in 1909.
10. Paint roller: Invented by Norman Breakey of Toronto in 1940.
11. Pablum: Created by researchers at the University of Toronto in 1930. Royalties from its sales continue to support research at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
12. Road lines: Yes, there was a time when drivers had no lanes to stay
in, until 1930 when John Millar, an Ontario engineer, thought up the simple idea of painting lines on roads.
Sources: Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, various websites
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