February 06, 2011

Feb 6 – Where Would Your Super Bowl Party Be Without These Inventions?

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and regardless of whether you’ll be rooting for the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are some definite basics, which any good Super Bowl Party will have: potato chips, cold drinks, a remote control and folding chairs, if too many people show up to watch the game on your new 50” flat screen.

George Crum Invented the Potato Chip

George Crum
Did you know that on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans wolf down 14,000 tons of potato chips? While the waistline does not like that fact, the palette clearly does.

George Crum was the son of an African-American father and Native-American mother. Working as a trapper in the winter, George worked as a chef, during the summer, at Moon’s Lake House resort, in Saratoga Springs, New York. He had a reputation for being ‘cranky’; and in August, 1853, when a customer sent back his french fries for being too soft and too thick, to be spiteful, George sliced some potatoes very thinly and fried them until they were really crunchy – then doused them with salt, before sending them back to the customer. Much to George’s surprise, they were a hit, and while he never patented them, he did begin mass packaging them as Saratoga Chips. He sold enough that he was able to open his own restaurant in 1860. Please pass the chips and stop hogging the dip!

John Stanard Patented a Much-Improved Refrigerator

After all of those salty chips, you’ll need to wash them down with a few beverages. But with the exception of a Guinness, serving a warm beer or soda would be the mark of a truly bad host/hostess.

Not much is known about John Stanard, except that he lived in Newark, New Jersey, was African-American and an inventor. One of his most important inventions was an improved refrigerator. In his June, 1891 patent, John stated, "This invention relates to improvements in refrigerators; and it consists of certain, novel arrangements and combinations of parts." The new design was non-electrical and un-powered – using a manually-filled ice chamber to chill the fridge’s contents.  Another cold one, please (but remember to drink responsibly)!

John Stanard's Refrigerator Patent

James Metthew Allen Invented a Remote Control Apparatus

Want to freak out an ‘armchair quarterback’ during the game? Hide the remote control for a few minutes.

In August, 1936, a patent for the first remote control for a radio, was filed by African-American, James Metthew Allen. It was granted in June, 1937; and it formed the engineering for today’s remotes for all devices.

Unfortunately, nothing more is known about James. Don’t change the channel during the ads. Sometimes, they’re the best part of the game!

James Allen's Remote Control Patent

Nathaniel Alexander Patented the Folding Chair

So you invited a few of your closest friends over to watch the game. As is usually the case, some have relatives in town, others have friends with nowhere else to go and still others have ‘fringe friends’ who just want to check out your new entertainment center and will go anywhere for free snacks. Your best friends Super Bowl Party has now turned into your very own sports bar, so it’s time to dust off the folding chairs.

In March, 1911, African-American, Nathaniel Alexander, of Lynchburg, Virginia, patented a folding chair for use in churches, schools and auditoriums. Sadly, no other information is known about Nathaniel. Excuse me, but you’re blocking my view. Could you please move over or duck your head a bit?

Nathaniel Alexander's Folding Chair Patent
Each one of these men scored a ‘Touchdown’ with his invention, so please give all of them a little nod this evening, while you’re screaming, shouting, cheering, high-fiving or possibly crying. Happy Super Bowl XLV!

Sources: Answers.com, Wikipedia, Black-Inventors.com, Inventors-About.com, Google Images

No comments:

Post a Comment