It Was Made Here

Connecticut residents are crafty.

After all, one story behind how the state got the nickname "the Nutmeg State" is that the first people who lived here were "so ingenious and shrewd" that they were able to make and sell wooden nutmegs. Well, maybe that’s not an example of being crafty, it’s more like swindling people out of money.

Luckily, there are a lot of ingenious people here who are more trustworthy and invented things we actually can use.

The Web site Mental Floss picks its top nine:

  • Cotton gin
  • Colt .45 revolver
  • Can opener
  • Portable typewriter
  • Submarine
  • Nuclear submarine
  • Frisbee
  • Vulcanized rubber
  • ESPN

But did you also know that Connecticut has given the world such varied inventions as friction matches, sewing machines, steamboats, safety fuses, lollipops, cork screws, mechanical calculators and cylindrical locks?

Famous inventors from Connecticut:

Here's a few missing from the list from the state's Web site:

  • Dictionary
  • Sewing machine 
  • Ice-making machine
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • First artificial heart

The lists of inventions and inventors are likely to grow and grow. We do have an annual Invention Convention, where the best young inventors from schools across the state show off their smarts. The next one will be held Friday at HALS Academy in New Britain. It was postponed because of snow.

These kids could put most adults to shame with their ingenuity and they follow in the grand tradition of famous Connecticut inventors.

What would you invent if you had the chance? Tell us your ideas and you could end up being the next Eli Whitney or at least get some notoriety on your favorite afternoon talk show.  And don't worry, we won't try to steal them for our own.

Connecticut's kid inventors get some national attention. Here are a few local inventors on Ellen.
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