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Inventions to be Thankful For

Every Thanksgiving you give thanks to all the things you are grateful for. This year Quirky wants to celebrate the simple everyday inventions that we are grateful to have been invented.

In 1888 John J. Loud created the first ballpoint point, such a simple invention but even in the age of technology is still the go to writing tool. The first pens sold in stores originally manufactured only 50,000 pens but sold over 30,000 in the first week. Today if someone tells you “I don’t use pens” you would think they were strange.

Think about life without the toothbrush, talking to people would be a lot less pleasant. The toothbrush has changed drastically since its original invention on 1498 AD in China made from boars hairs as bristles (Be Thankful). The version we are more familiar with was patent by the company Dupont de Nemours. Just goes to show, although something exists doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.

How about your headphones, you can’t leave home without them. Originally intended for telephone operators connecting to switchboards slowly became this ongoing phenomenon. The first audio in ear headphones created by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910 were originally dismissed but ironically picked up by the US Navy. But using headphones for listening to music didn’t actually become popular until 1958 by Joss Koss creating the first stereo headphones from cardboard and sofa foam. This invention was created around the rise of Rock & Roll ( talk about timing!)  Most couldn’t imagine life without headphones above all, how else would you effortlessly ignore people this Thanksgiving?

 

Anyone has the ability to invent the next great invention that we will all look back and say “ How did I ever function without this?”

Happy Thanksgiving, Keep Inventing!

Inspiring our Next Generation of Innovators, Kid Inventors

Did you know that the trampoline, popsicle, and ear muffs were invented by kids? So were the first fully electronic TV, Braille writing system for the blind and the snowmobile.

We love the creativity kids bring to inventing. Remember 7-year-old Houston Diaz? He invented the Quirky Squeezie, which screws directly onto toothpaste and with a simple squeeze delivers the toothpaste onto the brush head.

The Quirky + Hover-1 Cruze Skateboard, the first remote-less, electronic, cruise-controlled rideable, was invented by 14-year-old Michael Wahba just last year. It’s currently selling at Best Buy.

We should encourage kids to explore their creativity and try to invent their ideas. Practicing these skills early on in life will help children learn how to solve problems, dream big and follow through on their ideas. Don’t rely on the classroom. Take your child to the science museum in your local area or try a fun invention project from Pinterest.

There are other incredible opportunities for kids to get more involved in inventing. One of these was founded and hosted by one of our Quirksters, Mary Couzin. Every year, kids from around the world invent amazing new game concepts and submit them to the Chicago Toy & Game Week (CHITAG) Young Inventor Challenge. The Challenge provides an opportunity for kids ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy & game inventions to industry professionals, members of media and the public. All entrants receive feedback from a top industry professional and compete for licensing deals and up to $10,000 in scholarships. Quirky will be one of the judges at the competition and we’re excited to see what the kids come up with!

11-year-olds Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers won the challenge in 2016 with their game Ship of Treasures, a pirate treasure hunt game that hit Target shelves in 2017. You can’t help but smile and be inspired by these other kids and their ideas.

The CHITAG Young Inventor Challenge is entering its 12th year and they’re looking for more kids to participate. There are five categories kid inventors can enter: Most Creative Concept, Best Ride-On or Wheeled Concept, Best Game Concept, Best Playful Learning Concept, and Best Presentation.

Go to www.chitag.com/yic to read the rules and register before October 31st. For those looking to attend, the event will be held at the Navy Pier, Chicago, IL on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 from 9am – 2pm.

The Epic Showdown – Dogs vs. Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are invading the mouths of dogs everywhere. Dogs aren’t having it and they’re doing anything and everything to fight back.

Video credit: CrazyFunnyStuffCFS

As funny and entertaining as it is to watch dogs dance, juke, bark, nip, play or anything else but get their teeth brushed, keeping your dog’s mouth clean is critical to their health and length of life.
Did you know?
80% of dogs have periodontal disease by 2.5 years old. If left untreated, it can lead to life threatening health problems including heart, liver and kidney damage
Plaque begins to develop within hours of brushing your pet’s teeth and in as little as three days, can convert to tartar
Only 4% of pet owners brush their dogs teeth daily

Staggering, isn’t it?

Dogs’ teeth, not unlike human teeth, need to be brushed every day to prevent infections and more dangerous conditions such as periodontal disease. If a strong, consistent oral care regimen is maintained, your dog may even live up to 2-4 years longer because of it!

My dog hates ‘teeth time,’ what do I do?

Although nothing truly replaces brushing, there are a variety of products on sale today to help improve doggy dental care. You can go to most pet stores and buy toothpaste, toothbrushes, finger brushes, water additives, gels, foams, sprays, breath mints, breath strips, chews, bones and chew toys to try out with your dog. You could also read dog owner forums and blogs for out of the box tips and tricks, I Heart DogsFidoseofReality, Dogster, and Reddit are just a few. With anything new, it’s best to start out small and train your dog to adopt the new skill over time.

I’ve literally tried everything, what now?

If you consider yourself creative, you could come up with a new solution to help your dog and more like him/her. Arm & Hammer, one of the leading brands in oral care, makes many pet dental products and is searching for new ideas to develop and offer to dog owners around the world. The brand came to Quirky, the community invention platform, to launch the Doggy Dental Invention Challenge and work with everyday ideators and dog owners to invent a useful new doggy dental product that isn’t on the market today. Whether you have invention experience, or not, you can enter the challenge for a chance for your product to be made (and make a buck or two in the process).

It is estimated that sales of pet oral care products will outpace the overall pet market; the forecast is estimated to grow to nearly $1 billion by 2020. A focus on functional and value-added products are at the heart of innovation for items in this growing category. Consumers are willing to pay more than ever for pet products, but they are also more educated in terms of product benefits. Source: Packaged Facts

Click here to learn more about how to enter the Quirky and Arm & Hammer Doggy Dental Invention Challenge. Share your idea for a chance to win before May 18th, 2018.