Who Invented Tic Tacs

Everyone knows Tic Tacs as the packet of small flavoured pellets (usually mint) that are good for either a small snack, or for breath refreshment, but a question that will often pass people’s minds is “who was it that came up this product, and when?”

tic tacsEveryone knows Tic Tacs as the packet of small flavoured pellets (usually mint) that are good for either a small snack, or for breath refreshment, but a question that will often pass people’s minds is “who was it that came up this product, and when?”

In 1969, the Ferrero family, owners of the (extremely secretive) Italian snack company Ferrero and famous for other products such as Nutella, Kinder Surprise, and Ferrero Rocher, decided to enter the world of ‘breath mints’, launching with the original ‘Fresh Mint’ flavour, and expanding to include different varieties based on other mints and fruit, along with special editions based on the time of year, and now, ‘mixed bags’, where a pack may contain two different flavours (e.g. ‘Lemon & Lime’). The expansions have seen Tic Tac become one of the most well-known snacks around, especially in the mints department.

Having seen over 40 different flavours come and go over the years, Tic Tacs are still very much a popular snack, with the stand-out features of recent TV adverts further raising their profile. An example of this can be seen below, with the costumed ‘Tic Tac people’ part of the slogan campaign ‘another refreshing little lift’.

Tic Tac – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Pencil

pencilThe humble pencil is, globally, one of the most common tools used to write on paper, and there are a wide range of different types of pencils, but who invented the most widely-seen type of pencil (graphite with wood casing) seen today, and in doing so creating a stereotypical image for a product that is used at home, work, and school?

Although there were early attempts at making a pencils from ancient Egyptians and Romans, and also in the 1500’s, where English farmers used plain graphite to mark sheep. Both were reasonable methods for their purpose, the material on its own would leave marks on the user’s skin and were prone to breaking easily.

In 1795, a French officer belonging to the army of Napoleon invented and patented the first quality pencil on earth. Nicholas Jacques Conte (aka NJ Conte) discovered that ground graphite, when mixed with the right kinds of clay, produced the best lead for pencils. A great myth is that pencils are made of lead, but the thin black material in pencils is actually a mix of graphite, carbon, and clay. NJ Conte, managed to turn this graphite into powder, mixing it with moist doughs of clay and then pressing the materials into thin sticks, which were then ‘cooked’ to make the ‘pencil lead’. The modern wooden casing seen in most original pencils today would soon follow, providing a no-mess and more shatter-resistant protection for the product. The Faber family would soon take on this product into mass production, and the rest is history.

To date, there are 350 different types of pencils, used for a variety of purposes, and fitting different budgets. With a variety of shades and new and creative methods being sold for novelty (e.g. giant, twisty, ect.), it is an ever-expanding product, and one that is used in all walks of life, as it is very difficult to live a lifetime without using one.

Pencil – Wikipedia

Who Invented Bop It

bopitBop It is a popular audio-based game that is developed and produced by Hasbro, and has proved to be a popular way for children to pass the time on long journeys, even if it is to the annoyance of the other passengers. But who set off this noisy and repetitive phenomenon?

The inventor of the Bop It was Dan Klitsner, who patented the design in 1996, the year that the original version was released. The basic functions of the original involved three buttons/levers, and the player being instructed to either ‘bop it’, ‘pull it’ or ‘twist it’, with the game speeding up as it goes along, with longer games likely to get a higher score announced at the end. With the aid of fellow designer Bob Welch, the game would develop into more versions, spin-offs (such as Zing It or Groove It), and features (e.g. ‘flick it’ or ‘shout it’), with the game still going strong today.

Different versions released since the original include:

– Bop It Extreme

– Bop It Extreme 2

– Bop It Blast

– Bop It Download

–  Bop It Bounce

– Bop It Minis

An example of the game of Bop It being played can be seen below:

Bop It – Wikipedia