Young Ideas

Children are naturally creative and inventive because they don’t know what’s impossible. Try checking out these inventions created by kids across the years:

1. Trampoline. Sixteen-year-old George Nissen was captivated by the sight of trapeze artists dropping into nets at the finish of their shows in the 1930s. In his parents’ garage he developed the “bouncing rig,” a metal frame with canvas stretched over it. Years later he switched out the canvas for nylon and came up with a new name— a “trampoline,” adding the letter 'e' to the Spanish word for diving board.

2. Earmuffs. At age 15, Chester Greenwood’s ears grew painfully cold while ice skating. A scarf around his head didn’t help, so he went home, built a wire frame, and asked his grandmother to sew some beaver skin pads to it. Greenwood patented his earmuffs in 1877 and eventually sold them, and they were used by soldiers fighting in World War I.

3. Popsicle. One cold night in San Francisco in 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson mixed up a concoction of soda water powder and water and left it outside all night. In the morning he looked at the frozen mixture with the stirring stick still inside and realized it might be fun to eat. He began giving them out as treats, and as an adult, he patented the product with the name “Eppsicle,” later changing it to “Popsicle” - after his own children started calling it by that name.


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