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Inventors and Inventions from Scandinavia
A Sampling of Inventors and Inventions from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden

AEROSOL SPRAY CAN
scissorsThe forerunner of the aerosol can was invented by Erik Rotheim of Norway. On November 23, 1927, Rotheim patented a can with a valve and propellant systems - it could hold and dispense liquids.

The first aerosol can (a can than contains a propellant [a liquefied gas like flurocarbon] and has a spray nozzle) was invented in 1944 by Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan. They were working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and were trying to find a way to spray and kill malaria carrying mosquitos during World War II for the soldiers overseas. The "clog-free" spray valve was invented by Robert H. Abplanal in 1953.

The first spray paint was invented by Edward H. Seymour in 1949. Seymour's wife Bonnie had given him the idea of an aerosol applicator for paint. The first spray paint he developed was aluminum colored. Seymour formed the company, Seymour of Sycamore, Inc. of Chicago, USA, which is still in operation.

CARBONATED WATER
People have been drinking naturally-carbonated water (water with carbon dioxide bubbles) since pre-historic times. The English chemist Joseph Priestley experimented with putting gases in liquids in 1767, producing the first artificially-produced carbonated water.

In 1770, the Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman invented a device for making carbonated water from chalk and sulfuric acid.

CELSIUS, ANDERS
Anders Celsius (1701-1744) was a Swedish professor of astronomy who devised the Celsius thermometer. He also ventured to the far north of Sweden with an expedition in order to measure the length of a degree along a meridian, close to the pole, later comparing it with similar measurements made in the Southern Hemisphere. This confirmed that that the shape of the earth is an ellipsoid which is flattened at the poles. He also cataloged 300 stars. With his assistant Olof Hiorter, Celsius discovered the magnetic basis for auroras.
LEGO
Legos (TM) are a very popular interlocking plastic toy. The LEGO toy company was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen of Denmark in 1932, but the company then sold mostly wooden toys. The word LEGO was formed from two Danish words, "LEg GOdt," which mean "play well." Christiansen was a carpenter from the Danish village of Billund. The interlocking plastic blocks (the stud and tube coupling system) were invented by Godtfred Christiansen (Ole's son), and patented in 1958. Lego toys were first sold in the USA in 1961. LEGO people were introduced in 1974.
LUNDSTROM, J.E.
Safety matches were invented by Johan Edvard Lundstrom of Sweden in 1855. Lundstrom's new match was the first simple and safe way to make a fire. His new safety match could only be lit by striking the match against the specially-prepared surface that came attached to the box. Lundstrom put red phosphorus on the rough striking paper (on the outside the match box); the other fire-starting chemicals were on the match's head. Previous matches gave long-time users an ailment called "phossy jaw;" this was a painful and deadly disease caused by the older matchs' yellow phosphorus that ate into the users' jaws.
NOBEL, ALFRED
Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896) was a Swedish inventor and industrialist. Nobel invented many powerful and relatively safe explosives and explosive devices, including the "Nobel patent detonator" (it detonated nitroglycerin using a strong electrical shock instead of heat, 1863), dynamite (1867), blasting gelatin (guncotton plus nitroglycerin, 1875), and almost smokeless blasting powder (1887). Nobel also made inventions in the fields of electrochemistry, optics, biology, and physiology. Nobel left much of his fortune to award prizes (the Nobel prizes) each year to people who made advancements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, Literature, and Peace.
PAPER CLIP
The paper clip was invented in 1899 or 1890 by a Norwegian patent clerk called Johann Vaaler. His original paper clip was a thin spring-steel wire with triangular or square ends and two "tongues." Vaaler patented his invention in Germany and later in the USA (1901).

The modern-shaped paper clip was patented in April 27, 1899 by William Middlebrook of Waterbury, Connecticut, USA.

SAFETY MATCHES
Safety matches were invented by Johan Edvard Lundstrom of Sweden in 1855. Lundstrom's new match was the first simple and safe way to make a fire. His new safety match could only be lit by striking the match against the specially-prepared surface that came attached to the box. Lundstrom put red phosphorus on the rough striking paper (on the outside the match box); the other fire-starting chemicals were on the match's head. Previous matches gave long-time users an ailment called "phossy jaw;" this was a painful and deadly disease caused by the older matchs' yellow phosphorus that ate into the users' jaws.
SPRAY CAN
scissorsThe forerunner of the aerosol can was invented by Erik Rotheim of Norway. On November 23, 1927, Rotheim patented a can with a valve and propellant systems - it could hold and dispense liquids.

The first aerosol can (a can than contains a propellant [a liquefied gas like flurocarbon] and has a spray nozzle) was invented in 1944 by Lyle David Goodloe and W.N. Sullivan. They were working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and were trying to find a way to spray and kill malaria carrying mosquitos during World War II for the soldiers overseas. The "clog-free" spray valve was invented by Robert H. Abplanal in 1953.

The first spray paint was invented by Edward H. Seymour in 1949. Seymour's wife Bonnie had given him the idea of an aerosol applicator for paint. The first spray paint he developed was aluminum colored. Seymour formed the company, Seymour of Sycamore, Inc. of Chicago, USA, which is still in operation.

SundbachzipperSUNDBACH, GIDEON
The zipper was improved by the Swedish-American engineer, Gideon Sundbach, in 1913. Sundbach was also successful at selling his "Hookless 2." Sundbach sold these fasteners to the US Army, who put zippers on soldiers' clothing and gear during World War I.

The word zipper was coined by B.F. Goodrich in 1923, whose company sold rubber galoshes equipped with zippers. Goodrich is said to have named them zippers because he liked the zipping sound they made when opened and closed.

VAALER, JOHANN
The paper clip was invented in 1899 or 1890 by a Norwegian patent clerk called Johann Vaaler. His original paper clip was a thin spring-steel wire with triangular or square ends and two "tongues." Vaaler patented his invention in Germany and later in the USA (1901).

The modern-shaped paper clip was patented in April 27, 1899 by William Middlebrook of Waterbury, Connecticut, USA.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1300's and Earlier 1400's 1500's 1600's 1700's 1801-1850 1851-1900 1901-1950 1951-2000
Clothing Communication Food Fun Medicine Science/Industry Transportation Undersea
African-Americans Women British Isles China France Germany Greece Italy Scandinavia USA/Canada
Guidelines on Writing a Report on an Invention





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