5 Awesome Inventions You Didn’t Know Were Canadian

When you think about modern technology or inventions, it is very rare to think of Canada as a pioneer in the field. But we thought that we should tell you a little about this subject so that you can understand that Canada is not just home of secure jobs, but also a breeding ground for innovation.

The Walkie-Talkie

Remember those? The gadgets all your school friends seemed to have, except you…no matter how much you begged at the toy store. You might be surprised to know that these devices, also called handheld transceivers, were actually first used for military use during the Second World War and were invented by Donald L. Hings and Alfred J. Gross in 1942. After the war ended, excess units were beginning to see use by radio operators because of their practicality and before they knew it, the technology made its way into the mainstream.

Peanut Butter

OK so technically, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Quebec made peanut paste, an earlier form of the thick spread we all know and love. Funnily enough, Edson was neither a chef nor had anything to do with the culinary world for that matter! He was actually… a pharmacist! His vision behind developing this paste was to make it easier to get adequate nutrition for people who have difficulty chewing – a problem common in the late 1800s. Imagine how sad your jelly sandwiches would have been had it not been for Mr. Edson!


Expected Ice Hockey, eh? While we commonly perceive Hockey to be the sport Canada is most famous for due to its cold climate, I’m betting you didn’t know that Basketball originated there. Ironically, nowadays we typically associate B-ball with American all-stars like Dwyane Wayde and Shaquille O’Neal. But it actually dates back to the 19th century as it was conceptualized by Canadian inventor James Naismith, who – not surprisingly – was a P.E teacher at the YMCA at Springfield, Massachusetts! Naismith was ordered by the head of the YMCA to come up with an indoor game that would distract his particularly rowdy class, while keeping them in good shape to run the tracks. After careful analysis of already existing sports like rugby, soccer, and even baseball, he came up with Basket Ball. Of course, early iterations of the game left several players injured and black-eyed!

The Egg Carton

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions, and this is one great example of just that. Back in 1911, in the Canadian town of British Columbia, a hotel owner and a local farmer were constantly up in arms. The reason? The hotel owner would always receive his eggs cracked and broken. In comes newspaper editor (of all professions) Joseph Coyle with a simple, elegant, and safe design. Prior to Coyle, people simply used baskets.

Sonar (SOund Navigation And Ranging)

Some speculate that the origins of this technique might be the aftermath of the Titanic disaster. Inspired by the way bats and dolphins use sound waves to communicate, European scientists developed what was called an “echo sounder” to approximate the location of underwater objects. Later on, and right on the cusp of World War I, Canadian engineer Reginald Fessenden improved on the basic sounder so that it can be used with higher accuracy, and for communication between submarines using Morse code. Today, the applications of Sonar have become so diverse that they can even be used on a miniature scale to alert the visually impaired of nearby threats!


“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain.”

― Nikola Tesla

So go on, take a trip to Canada and who knows… you just might be the next great inventor!

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