PLAIN THOUGHTS: Witty inventions

Published 12:16 pm Monday, October 11, 2021

By Judith Hensley

Have you ever heard someone say, “Now THAT’S a bright idea!”

Most of us have at least one bright idea in our lifetime, but don’t know what to do about it.

Consider the person who created rubber bands, or paper clips, or sticky notes. Such simple little things have become part of our daily lives. What about cutting boards, microwaves, and dishwashers? Someone had to have a bright idea about those things.

In the medical field there are too many life changing inventions to name. A few would include disposable needles and syringes, ventilators, fiberglass casts, and covid masks.

Football was changed forever when someone invented the helmet which replaced the old leather ones. Baseball can claim metal bats. Who invented golf balls? Bowling balls? Tennis balls?

In my mind, one of the biggest modern day markets are the hundreds of items for babies that make a parent/caregiver’s life easier. There are disposable diapers and special trash receptacles to store them and kill the stench of dirty diapers. There are baby bottom wipes that are disposable, curved bottles for a better nursing shape and bottle liners. Baby carriers, car seats, bouncy chairs, heated snuggle stuffed animals for bedtime, and on and on.

In the women’s beauty market there are lighted tweezers, 24-hour lipstick, messy bun hair pieces, stamp on eye-brows, and covered rubber bands that don’t break hair.

Men’s hunting gear inventions include thermal wear, thinsulated boots, camouflage gear of all types, pressure activated hand warmers, and thermos cups. I’m sure there’s a long list in this area.

Items for the elderly are also hot items for safety and/or convenient’s sake. There are buttons to press in a necklace that will call for help, walkers, motorized wheelchairs, electric leg exercisers, sock feeders, grabbers for picking up items off the floor, bed warmers, and potty chairs to name a few. Who invented rechargeable hearing aids?

Who invented screw  on lids for soft drink bottles? Who invented cooking whisks? Who invented musical wind up toys? Who invented cup holders in automobiles? Seatbelts? Rearview cameras? Drones?

I decided to look up some of the world’s most recent inventions. I was amazed to find a levitating lightbulb that can last up top eleven years if used for twelve hours a day. I also read about a jacket that has built in heating elements and a chest high bathtub built for walking in the water with a treadmill in the bottom. I also found solar roadway panels, foldable cell phones, advanced tech watches, and a device used instead of soap which uses electronic sound to knock dirt off of clothes!

We may have seen old cartoons of hover vehicles in George Jetson’s day, but they are quickly becoming a reality. One of 2021’s coolest inventions in my book is the hover bike being tested as part of Dubai’s police fleet. I told my grandchildren this week that somewhere in their lifetime they would have vehicles that were hovercrafts instead of driving on roadways. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this latest invention in my search for writing this column.

It’s not always the big ideas that need inventing. There are millions of items yet to be thought of and invented. I wish I could think of just one and figure out how to patent and manufacture it for the good of mankind and my bank account!

I sometimes attend a church out of town where the after offering prayer includes a blessing for found money, inheritances, promotions, and witty inventions. I’m thankful for all the God given ideas that people have to create inventions that make life easier and better for all of us.