Canadian Inventions

Canadian Inventions

After spending quite a bit of time tracking down Canadian inventions and inventors, I’ve come up with quite a list of inventions that were proudly made in Canada! It was an educational eye-opener to read about some of these Canadian inventions!

Some things were quite easy to connect with Canada, for example: things relating to snow (tobaggon, snowmobiles, snow blowers, snow shoes, etc.), things related to the outdoors (kayak, birch bark canoes). But a few other things were interesting surprises! For some items, it was neat to see when an item was invented or patented. (The air-conditioned railway coach was invented by Henry Ruttan back in 1858 and Robertson screwdrivers were around since 1908!) It was also nice to see that the inventing industry isn’t limited to men either: there are a few women that made it on the Canadian inventions list including: Elaine Thompson, Barbara Bain, Marsha Skrypuch, and Louise Poirier.

If there’s any that I missed, feel free to drop me a line and let me know! (Just click the “Contact Me!” tab in the left hand column). I’ll be glad to review and add to this list as I receive them. Some of the dates may seem off—where I had an actual patent date, I went with the patent date rather than with when the inventor may have initially thought up the item.

Canadian Inventions

  • 5 pin bowling  – Thomas F. Ryan in 1909
  • 56K modem – Dr. Brent Townshend in 1996
  • 9999 fine gold bullion coins (first refinery to produce) – The Royal Canadian Mint 1982
  • 99999 fine gold purity (first to achieve) – The Royal Canadian Mint 1999

Canadian Inventions “A”

  • Abdominizer – Dennis Colonello in 1988 (infomercial exerciser)
  • Able Walker – Norm Rolston in 1986 (walker)
  • A/C Radio tube – Edward Samuel Rogers Sr. in 1925 (radio without batteries)
  • Access Bar – Dr. Larry Wang (Food bar designed to help burn fat)
  • Acetone Manufacture from Acetylene – A.F.G. Cadenhead, H.W. Matheson
  • Actar 911 CPR Mannequin – Dianne Croteau, Richard Brault, and Jonathan Vinden in 1989
  • Agrifoam Crop Cold Protector – D. Siminovitch & J.W. Butler in 1967
  • Air-Conditioned Railway Coach – Henry Ruttan in 1858
  • Alkaline Battery – Lewis Urry in 1959
  • Amplitude Modulation – Reginald Fessenden in 1906
  • Analytical Plotter – Uno Vilho Helava in 1957 (3D map-making system)
  • Andromonon – Thomas Turnbull in 1851 (Three-wheeled vehicle)
  • Animal trap – Ralph Frank Conibear in 1937 (Humane animal fur trap)
  • Anti-Gravity Suit – Dr. Wilbur Rounding Franks in 1941 (pressurized flying suit – precursor to the space suit)
  • Ardox Spiral Nails – Allan B. Dove in 1976
  • Automatic Image Correlator – G. Hobrough in 1972
  • Automatic Machinery Lubricator – Elijah McCoy in 1920
  • Avro Arrow – Royal Canadian Air Force in the 1950s

Canadian Inventions “B”

  • Balderdash – Laura Robinson and Paul Toyne in 1984 (Bluffing and trivia board game)
  • Basketball – Dr. James Naismith in 1891
  • Birchbark canoe – Canada’s Natives
  • Bixi – public bicycle sharing system – 2009 (Montreal)
  • Blackberry – Mike Lazaridis in 1999
  • Bloody Caesar Drink – Walter Chell in 1969
  • Bone Marrow Compatibility Test – Barbara Bain in 1960
  • Bromine – Herbert Henry Dow in 1922 (Process to extract Bromine)

Canadian Inventions “C”

  • Canada Arm – SPAR and the National Aeronautical Establishment in 1981 (mechanical arm used on the space shuttle)
  • Calcium carbide and acetylene gas (production of) – Thomas L. Wilson in 1892
  • Cancer Blood Test – Dr. Phil Gold in 1982
  • Canola (or rapeseed) – NRC in the 1940s
  • Carcino embryonic antigen (CEA) blood test – Dr. Phil Gold in 1968
  • Caulking Gun – Theodore Witte in 1894
  • Chocolate Nut Bar – Arthur Ganong 1910 (First one cost 5 cents)
  • Cobalt bomb – (Harold Johns) University of Saskatchewan and Eldorado Mining and Refining in 1951 (used for cancer treatments)
  • Coin locking system for bi-metallic coinage – Royal Canadian Mint in 1996
  • Combine Harvester (Self-Propelled) – Thomas Carroll in 1938
  • Commercial Motion Picture – Clifford Sifton in 1903
  • Compound Steam Engine – Benjamin Franklin Tibbets in 1842
  • Computerized Braille – Roland Galarneau in 1972
  • Crash position indicator (CPI) – Harry T. Stevinson and David M. Makow in 1959
  • Creed Telegraph System – Fredrick Creed in 1900 (converted Morse Code to Text)
  • Cystic fibrosis gene – Lap-Chee Tsui in 1989

Canadian Inventions “E”

  • Easy-Off Oven Cleaner – Herbert McCool in 1932
  • Electric Car Heater – Thomas Ahearn in 1890
  • Electric Cooking Range – Thomas Ahearn in 1882
  • Electric Light Bulbs – Henry Woodward in 1874 (the patent was sold to Thomas Edison)
  • Electric Streetcar – John Joseph Wright in 1883
  • Electric wheelchair – George J. Klein in 1955
  • Electronic Music Synthesizer – Hugh Le Caine in 1957
  • Electronic wave Organ – Frank Morse Robbin in 1928
  • Electron microscope – The University of Toronto (Prof. Eli F. Burton and Cecil Hall, James Hillier and Albert Prebus) in 1937
  • Emulsified Rubber Asphalt – Elaine Thompson in 1982
  • Explosives Vapour Detector – Dr Lorne Elias in 1990 (capable of sniffing out hidden bombs)

Canadian Inventions “F”

  • Fathometer – Reginald Aubrey Fessenden in 1919 (early form of sonar)
  • Film Colourization – Wilson Markle in 1983
  • Film Developing System (Portable) – Arthur Williams McCurdy in 1890 (Sold the patent to George Eastman in 1903)
  • Football goalpost with single base – Jim Trimble in 1965
  • Frozen Food – Dr. Archibald G. Huntsman in 1929

Canadian Inventions “G”

  • Garbage Bag (green plastic) – Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hanson, Frank Plomp independently all around the 1950’s
  • Gestalt Photo Mapper – G. Hobrough in 1974
  • Ginger ale (Canada Dry) – John J. McLaughlin in 1904
  • Goalie Mask – Jacques Plante in 1959
  • Gramophone – Alexander Graham Bell & Emile Berliner in 1889
  • Green Ink – Thomas Sterry Hunt in 1862 (used for Banknotes)

Canadian Inventions “H”

  • Half-tone Engraving – William Augustus Leggo in 1869
  • Heart-Pacemaker (external) – Dr. John A. Hopps in 1950
  • Heat Vent Putting Hole – Paul Wilson in 1981
  • Helicopter firefighting bucket – Donald Arney in 1986
  • Helium Extraction from Natural Gas – Sir John Cunningham McLennan in 1915 (helium as a substitute for hydrogen in airships)
  • Hydrofoil boat – Casey Baldwin and Alexander Graham Bell in 1922

Canadian Inventions “I”

  • Ice hockey – Members of the Royal Canadian Rifles
  • Imax film format – Grahame Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, and Robert Kerr in 1968
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes – Dr. Edward A. Asselbergs, and the Food Research Institute in 1966
  • Instant Replay (Television) – George Rezlaff in 1955
  • Insulin as a treatment in diabetes – Dr. Frederick G. Banting and Dr. Charles H. Best in 1923

Canadian Inventions “J & K”

  • JAVA Software programming language – James Gosling in 1994
  • Jetliner – James Floyd in 1949
  • Jiger ATV – John Gower in 1937
  • Jolly Jumper – Olivia Poole in 1959
  • Kayak – Canada’s Natives
  • Kerosene – Doctor Abraham Gesner in 1850’s
  • Key frame Animation – Nestor Burtyk and Marceli Wein in 1969

Canadian Inventions “L”

  • Lacrosse – Canada’s Natives (played since 1600s), William George Beers standardized rules in 1860
  • Laser sailboat – Bruce Kirby, Ian Bruce, and Hans Fogh in 1969
  • Lawn Sprinkler – Elijah McCoy in 1870s
  • Liposomes (non-rejected liposomes for drug delivery – Terry Allen in 1965
  • Locomotive Braking System – W.A. Robinson in 1868
  • Long Reach Ice Speed Skates – James Alfred Whelpley in 1884

Canadian Inventions “M”

  • MacPherson Gas Mask – Cluny MacPherson in 1915
  • Mapping Camera Calibrator – Les Howlett in 1945
  • Marquis Wheat – Sir Charles E. Saunders in 1908
  • McIntosh Apple – John McIntosh in 1796
  • Muskol Insect Repellant – Charles Coll in 1959

Canadian Inventions “N”

  • Newsprint – Charles Fenerty in 1838
  • Newtsuit – Dr. Phil Nuytten in 1979 (thousand foot-rated deep dive hard suit that completely protects wearer from outside pressure and eliminates decompression need)
  • Nodwell 110 – Bruce Nodwell in 1957 (Multi-purpose two-tracked vehicle for adverse terrain)
  • Norseman Bush Aircraft – Robert Noorduyun in 1936
  • Nursing Mother Breast Pads – Marsha Skrypuch in 1986

Canadian Inventions “O”

  • Odometer – Samuel McKeen in 1854
  • Oil-Electric Locomotive – Samuel J. Hungerford in 1929
  • Oil Extraction Process from Coal Tar using Hot Water – Karl A. Clark in 1929
  • Oil Spill Cleanup (The SlickLicker) – Richard Sewell in 1970
  • Oxyacetylene Torch – Thomas L. Willson in 1895

Canadian Inventions “P & Q”

  • Pablum – Doctors Theodore Drake, Alan Brown, and Frederick F. Tisdall in 1930 (infant pre-cooked cereal)
  • Pager – Alfred J. Gross in 1949
  • Paint Roller – Norman Breakey of Toronto in 1946
  • Panoramic camera – John Cannon in 1887
  • Perforated Breakwater – G.E. Jarlan in 1963
  • Pictionary – Rob Angel in 1986
  • Pictographs for public signage – Paul Arthur in 1967
  • Plexiglas (Polymerized Methyl Methacrylate) (and other acrylics (perspex/lucite) – William Chalmers in 1931
  • Push-up Bra (Wonderbra) – Louise Poirier in 1964
  • Polypump Liquid Dispenser – Harold Humphrey in 1972 (for liquid hand soap dispensers)
  • Position Homing Indicator – Parsons, Dunlop and Curran in 1952
  • Postal Sorter (Automatic) – Maurice Levy in 1957 (handles 200,000 letters / hour)
  • Potato Digger – Alexander Anderson in 1856
  • Poutine – Fernand Lachance in 1957
  • Propeller De-Icer – T.R. Griffith, John L. Orr in 1946
  • Prosthetic Hand – Helmut Lucas in 1971 (electric prosthetic hand for children)
  • Quartz Clock – Warren Marrison in 1927
  • A Question of Scruples – Robert Simpson in 1984 (board game)

Canadian Inventions “R”

  • Radar Profile Recorder – NRC in 1947
  • Railway Car Brake – George B. Dorey in 1941
  • Railway Sleeper Car – Samuel Sharp in 1857
  • Retractable beer case handle – Steve Pasjac in 1957
  • Roadway Guardrail – Lloyd Pinkney, Gordon Basso, Fred McCaffrey in 1973
  • Robertson Screwdriver – Peter Lymburner Robertson in 1908
  • Rotary Blow Molding Machine – Gustave Cote in 1966 (Plastic bottle maker)
  • Rotary Railroad Snowplow – J.E. Elliott in 1869
  • Rubber Shoe Heels – Elijah McCoy in the 1870s
  • Rust-Resistant Red Fife Wheat – David Fife in 1843

Canadian Inventions “S”

  • Safety Paint – Neil Harpham in 1974 (highly reflective paint)
  • Screwdriver with interchangeable head – George H Cluthe Mfg. Co. in 2001
  • Screw Propellor for Ships – John Patch in 1833
  • Separable Baggage Check – John Mitchell Lyons in 1888
  • Silicon Chip Blood Analyzer – Imants Lauks in 1986
  • The SMART Board – David Martin & Nancy Knowlton in 1991 (interactive whiteboard)
  • Snowblower – Arthur Sicard in 1925
  • Snowmobile – Joseph-Armand Bombardier in 1922
  • Snowplow (rotary) – J.W. Elliot in 1869 (First built by Leslie Brothers in 1883
  • Snow shoes – Canada’s Natives
  • Standard Time – Sir Sanford Fleming in 1879
  • Stanley Cup – (Canada’s Governor-General) Lord Stanley of Preston in 1893
  • Steam Foghorn – Robert Foulis in 1859
  • Stereo-Orthography Map Making System – T.J. Blachut, Stanley Collins in 1965
  • Stol aircraft – de Havilland Canada in 1948
  • Sonar – Reginald Aubrey Fessenden in 1914
  • Superman – Joe Shuster and Jerome Siegel in 1938
  • Superphosphate Fertilizer – Thomas L. Willson in 1915
  • Synchronized swimming – The Canadian Royal Lifesaving Society
  • Synthetic Sucrose – Raymond U. Lemieux in 1953

Canadian Inventions “T”

  • Table hockey – Donald Munro in the 1930s
  • Telephone – Alexander Graham Bell in 1876
  • Television system – Reginald A. Fessenden in 1927
  • Television Camera – improved by Francois C. P. Henroteau in 1933
  • Tipi – Canada’s Natives
  • Tobaggan – Canada’s Natives
  • Tone to Pulse Converter – Michael Cowpland in 1974
  • Tracer Bullets – Reginald Aubrey Fessenden in 1914
  • Treatment for Sick Elm Trees – Edward S. Kondo, Erik Jorgensen, Dibyendu N. Roy in 1978
  • Trivial Pursuit – Chris Haney, John Haney and Scott Abbott in 1982 (board game)
  • Twin Plane Air Cooled Engine – W. W. Gibson in 1910

Canadian Inventions “U & V”

  • Undersea Telegraph Cable – Fredrick Newton Gisborne in 1852
  • Uno Motorcycle – Ben Gulak in 2006
  • UV Degradable Plastics – James Guillet – 1973 (One millionth patent – for garbage bags that degrade in the sun!)
  • Variable Pitch Aircraft Propellor – Wallace Rupert Turnbull in 1918

Canadian Inventions “W”

  • Walkie-Talkie – Donald L. Hings in 1942
  • Washing machine – James Brown in 1835
  • Water-ski Training Device – Pam Townsend in 1992
  • Weevac – Wendy Murphy in 1990
  • Wheelchair Motorized Articulated Arm – Jacques Alexandre Forest in 1981
  • Whistle (Fox 40 Whistle) Ron Foxcroft in 1987
  • Wireless Radio – Reginald A. Fessenden in 1900
  • Wirephoto – Sir William Stephenson in 1921
  • Wood Feed for Cattle – Herb Kabfleisch in 1975

Canadian Inventions “Y & Z”

  • Yahtzee – marketed by Edwin S. Lowe, invented by an unknown wealthy Canadian couple in 1956 (dice game)
  • Zipper – Gideon Sundback in 1913

 

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