5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Invented in New Jersey
When I sit down to write an article like this, I'm usually surprised by some of the things I learn. This article is no different. These are things that were invented right here in New Jersey, and I'll bet some will surprise you.
1. Teflon- Its crazy to think that an everyday item that virtually everyone has in their kitchen, was discovered by accident. Dr. Roy Plunkett was working with various chemicals to try to find a safe, non-toxic alternative to the refrigerants that had been common those days. He discovered, what is known as the "slipperiest substance on the planet" in Jackson New Jersey.
2. FM- AM radio was invented in 1907 and it was a good technology at the time. The problem was the same then as it is today. There was a lot of static. In 1933, Edwin Armstrong came up with a way to broadcast a radio signal with little or no static. Even though his discovery was revolutionary, there was scant support and he had to develop it on his own. In 1940, the FCC granted approval to begin using the technology, and a year later 400,000 FM radios were sold. Edwin Armstrong invented FM radio in Alpine.
3. Saltwater Taffy- There are many stories about the origin of saltwater taffy, but the one that story that seems to be most accepted is the one that involves a small souvenir shop on the Atlantic City boardwalk. John Edmiston hired David Bradley to sell taffy in his shop. One night the shop was flooded with ocean water. A day later, they began selling the water-soaked candy, and people loved it. The rest is history.
4. Condensed Soup- In 1897, a chemist who worked for Campbell's Soup Company named John Dorrance perfected the process of removing water from their soups. This was a process that made it more affordable to ship their product. After all these years, Campbell's Soup, invented in Camden, remains one of the most popular soups in the country.
5. Bubble Wrap- This is another accidental invention. In 1957, a couple of business partners, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were experimenting with ways to make a new kind of wallpaper. During one of their attempts, they sealed two shower curtains together, but were disappointed because they had air bubbles. Rather than give up, they decided to try to find other uses for this item. In 1960 they formed Sealed Air Corp. and started selling the invention they called, "Bubble Wrap."
The History of Teflon™ Fluoropolymers
The History of FM Radio: The Search For Sensational Sound (radiofidelity.com)
The History of Salt Water Taffy - Taffy Town
The Untold Truth Of Campbell's Soup (mashed.com)
The History of Bubble Wrap | Back Then History