Here is why you should be proud to be Canadian.
7. The Walkie Talkie
Although it’s been credited to several others, most associate creating the modern Walkie Talkie with Donald L. Hings, a Canadian and British Columbian, originally called a ‘packet,’ the device was created at Hings company CM&S in t937. When war broke out with Germany, Hings went to Ottawa to re-develop the packet for military use. Voilà, the Walkie-Talkie was born. You’d think that in a digital age, the Walkie-Talkie might have gone the way of the A-Track, but no, it’s more popular than ever in emergency work, the military, on film sets, construction sites and even as a children’s toy.
6. Peanut Butter
A Montreal pharmacist named Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented Peanut Butter in 1884. He wanted to create a nutty food paste for people who couldn’t chew. Ironic since a slice of bread with peanut butter on it makes for a lot of chewing. Later, John Harvey Kellogg, the creator of corn flakes, patented another method for creating peanut butter.
Jerry Siegel, the writer of Superman, is American. But the artist credited with his iconic blue tights and red cape is Canadian Joe Shuster. In 1932, Superman changed millions of children’s lives by helping to popularize comic books and leading to the creation of characters like Batman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel, all of which gave birth to modern characters we know and love today. That’s right, the hero who embodied the American ideal is half-Canadian.
In 1891, a Canadian gym teacher wrote down 13 rules for a game with his students. Dr. James Naismith, ever the modest Canadian, declined to call the sports Naismith Ball and the sport eventually became modern Basketball. Soon other schools and colleges were playing the game and making it popular around the world. When it began, baskets at either end of the court were solid, and a janitor or assistant had to retrieve the ball after every point. Back when the first game was played, the final score was just 1-0, but we’ve come a long way since then.
3. Discovery of Stem Cells
In 1961 Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch made history by showing the world they could transplant stem cells, cells that had not yet been assigned an identity, into a test subject with potentially miraculous effects. Today, stem cell research is a piece of many scientific breakthroughs. The discovery of these two scientists at the Ontario Cancer Institute may well end up being more important than any other discovery on this list. Scientists have predicted stem cells may hold the cure to cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and even reverse ageing, extending our lives by decades.
Before discovering insulin by Canadian doctors Frederick Banting, Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, diabetes was a feared, almost certainly deadly disease. Banting first used a dog to prove his theory that the pancreas was responsible for secreting insulin to aid in digestion. By removing the animal’s pancreas, they could cause diabetes and prove to the scientific community that they were right.
By extracting the antibiotic insulin from the removed pancreas and injecting it into the now diabetic dog, they could relieve the symptoms of diabetes. In 1922 the first human subject, a 114-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson, was chosen. Once near death, the insulin injections gave Leonard and millions like him a new lease on life.
1. The Telephone
Another Canadian born in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell, immigrated to Canada as a child. As many Canadians will know, he invented the telephone, one of the great innovations of the modern age, which made instantaneous, real-time communication around the world possible. As a scientist, Bell actually found his most popular invention to intrude on his real work, which included the metal detector.
He even refused to have a phone in his study. Today the telephone is indispensable and has become the world’s most popular small appliance. Bell, one of Canada’s largest media companies, owes its origins to Alexander Graham Bell. Can you imagine a world without the telephone?