Who says that adults alone can come up with many of the world’s amazing inventions? Do not underestimate a child’s intelligence, sense of curiosity and boundless imagination, and some of the world’s most amazing and even practical inventions are products of these juvenile virtues.
You’ll be quite shocked to discover that the inventions you’re going to read below were created by these whiz kids! They are proof that you’re never too young to have a bright idea (and put it into use).
When he was only three years old, Louis Braille injured his eye by an accident. It became worse when the infection from his one eye eventually spread to his other eye, leaving him totally blind.
When he was studying at a special school, the young boy found himself struggling with the slow and cumbersome system of tracing his fingers over embossed letters. Braille was not yet 13 when he developed a simpler code based on the silent communication originally used by the French military. And the Braille reading and writing system was born.
In adulthood, Braille became a professor. He was also an accomplished organist and cellist. Despite his other occupations, he still continued honing his own system, eventually adding symbols for math and music.
Originally developed in French, the Braille system is now widely used around the world and has been adapted into several other languages.
2. Christmas lights
The holidays will never be that bright and colorful if not for a kid named Albert Sadacca, who was responsible for popularizing Christmas lights for private use.
Before, people used to light their Christmas trees with actual candles, which posed a serious fire risk. However, by 1917 more and more people had already been using electricity.
Although electric Christmas lights were not actually new at that time, Sadacca otherwise developed a more affordable set of Christmas lights specifically made for home use. His parents’ novelty lighting business manufactured these Christmas lights, which became successful. From then on, these colorful, dazzling lights have been a ubiquitous fixture every holiday season.
An 11-year-old boy from Oakland, California named Frank Epperson was credited for creating the now-famous summer treat — purely by accident. One chilly night in 1905, Epperson left a cup of powdered soda with a stirrer on the porch and forgot to check it back. The following morning, he found out that the soda had turned frozen and solid, giving birth to the world’s first popsicle.
Epperson patented his “frozen ice on a stick” in 1923, first labeling it as the Epsicle.
One of Chester Greenwood’s favorite things to do during the winter was ice-skating. However, his sensitive ears prevented him from wearing the warm woolen hats with ear flaps that his friends wore. But he couldn’t put up with freezing ears, either. So one day the 15-year-old boy asked his grandmother to sew tufts of beaver fur onto the ends of the wire that he could wear around his head.
Originally called as “ear protectors,” he soon patented his new invention in 1873. When he became older, Greenwood built an earmuff factory that eventually provided jobs for people in his hometown of Farmington, Maine, for over a decade.
In his honor, the state of Maine declared December 21 as Chester Greenwood Day.
A 16-year-old gymnast named George Nissen made the first trampoline in 1930. The resourceful teenager got his materials literally from scratch: a canvas and a steel frame that he got from a junkyard. He created a “bouncing rig” out of these materials with the help of his coach. Eventually, the canvas was replaced by nylon, which is definitely more bounce-able.
6. Toy truck
In 1962, a young boy named Robert Patch created the world’s first toy truck out of shoe boxes and bottle caps. His goal was to convert the toy into three different kinds of trucks: a dump truck, a box truck, and a flatbed truck. What’s more amazing is that Patch was only around 6 years old when he invented his new toy and had it patented (of course with the help of his father, who was also an attorney).