Who Invented The USB Memory Stick

Who Invented The USB Memory Stick

USB-Memory-Stick_0The USB ‘memory stick’ (or ‘flash drive’, as it is commonly known) is a small storage device used for computers that implements ‘flash memory’ technology, and connects to computer systems via a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. A flash drive is designed to be both portable and rewritable, with very large storage capacities considering their size. A primary purpose of the memory stick is that they can transferring data between two different computer system. But who created this innovation of technology?

The need for the flash drive came about after the computer developed to the extent that the original method of portable storage, the floppy disc, was seen as too slow and small (file size (up to 1.44MB of data)) for modern machines.

In 2000, IBM, together with Trek Technology, invented and sold the first-ever USB flash drives. Trek Technology, a Singaporean company, named their product the “thumb drive” due to its physical size.

Although the first memory sticks had a storage capacity of only 8MB (still a large improvement on floppy disks), the product would develop into an even more functional piece of technology, with storage sizes now as high as 258GB.

With a huge marketing potential, and by being sold in different shapes and sizes for novelty value, it is fair to say that the USB memory stick is one of the most important accessories to a modern computer system today. For the more confused customer, though, this video helps to explain further aspects of the device, and what ‘type’ is suitable for different people:

USB Flash Drive – Wikipedia

Who Invented Toilet Paper

ToiletpaperwhitebgIt is one of the items in any household that is taken for granted…. until it runs out. It is also an item which few sane people want to discuss in detail, for obvious reasons, which could be a reason as to why the answer to the interesting yet disturbing question of ‘Who Invented Toilet Paper’ is not widely known.

The sole inventor of the product could probably not be singled out, but it was the ancient Chinese (around 14th century), who would first manufacture paper as an alternative to less convenient methods from around the world, such as grass or leaves, a corncob stick (America), or a person’s own hand (Middle East). The use of paper would be adopted the Americans and other developed areas in the next few centuries, but this would come from old and unwanted newspapers or catalogues.

The use of tissue paper for the toilet-based purpose did not come around until 1880, by the Scott Paper company in the USA. The use of it would eventually catch on furhter afield, with other companies beggining to sell their version, and the product would develop in stages to the version seen today.

The market for the product is a large one, with it being sold on the basis of being a near necessity to avoid embarrassment. This has led to companies attempting to make memorable innovations or adverts to attract customers, as seen in this attempt from 1994, featuring the famous ‘Andrex puppy’:

Toilet Paper – 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 Lego

who invented lego blocks

Lego_BricksLego, manufactured by the Lego Group, are one of the most well-known and instantly recognisable types of toy in the world, due to their basic concept and potential for seemingly endless possibilities, and have been credited with expanding the ability of imagination and creativity of the children (and adults) that use them. But who brainstormed this product?

Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Denmark, conceptualized and invented the idea of Lego bricks. He came from a poor family and worked as a carpenter to make ends meet, and used his workplace skills to begin to produce toys made out of wood (around 1932). He considered it as his real job during that time, and went further by constructing miniature furniture and houses to sell. By 1934, his company was already addressed as Lego, the name under which the toys were sold.

In 1947, he decided to use plastic to make these toys, and by 1949, Christiansen had already made a total 200 wooden and plastic toys. In that same year, his company started to manufacture toys called ‘automatic binding bricks’, which were comprised of interlocking bricks. Christiansen named this product after his company, Lego, which was derived from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt,’ the meaning of which is to ‘play well.’ He also emphasized on his employees the importance of quality.

In 1954, his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen assumed the position as Lego Group junior managing director. He was credited for introducing Lego bricks as a more enjoyable and fun toy system. In January 1958, months before Ole Kirk’s death, the patent for the modern version of Lego bricks was approved.

Today, the Lego Group has progressed even further. It has already designed and manufactured thousands of themed sets that are guaranteed to bring fun and enjoyment for everyone, with a monumental range of themes, and licenced special editions based on movies and TV shows. The company has expanded to include movies, books, videogames, clothing, and even Legoland theme parks, and now have one of the most recognisable products in the world, that is still going strong today, with Ole Kirk Christiansen proving that you can be successful regardless of your background or social status, with creativity and imagination, the very things that his product stands for, being a critical factor in his success.

Lego – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Toothbrush

who invented toothbrush

toothbrush_adultv41_allEven the simplest of items has a back story, and one of the household items that people really take for granted every day is the toothbrush. But who came up with this reasonably simple invention?

Tooth-cleaning methods have been around since the dawn of civilisation, but it is doubtful that the methods employed in ancient communities in India , Arabia, and China, which included the use of plant stalks, twigs from trees, feathers and quills, or chalk, would be seen as suitable in the present-day. These baffling approaches were said to do a reasonable job, but it was clear that oral hygiene was in its infancy compared to today.

But who was the person that spared the world from the now-unorthodox ways of dental care? The answer is an Englishman named William Addis, who developed the first prototype whilst doing time in jail in the 1770’s (for causing a public riot). Whilst in his cell, Addis had plenty of time to realise that the current method employed for cleaning one’s teeth (a rag with soot and salt) could probably be improved on. After drilling holes in one end of an animal bone, he passed through and tied a bunch of bristles that a guard had given him, using glue to seal the tied end of the bristles to the bone. The modern toothbrush was born, and many years after his release, Addis would die a very wealthy man for his efforts, with his brainchild being developed with new ideas and technologies, and the basic toothbrush being mass-produced, and used the world over. Who says that prisoners cannot do something constructive?

Toothbrush – Wikipedia