Some might think that since Maine doesn't have a larger population like some states that we may be lacking in the invention department but that just isn't the case.

Check out some of the Maine ingenuity that has had an impact on the world.

1. The Sewing Machine Zig-Zag stitch

Helen Blanchard was born in Portland, Maine  According to Wikipedia she held 28 patents including the popular zig-zag stitch, "that when used to close a seam gave strength to the piece. The stitch could be varied in several different ways, such as varying the depth of the needle. The original sewing machine with this adaptation is currently housed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History."

2. Earmuffs

Chester Greenwood was born in Farmington, Maine. He was inspired for his earmuff  idea in 1873 when he was only 15. After ice skating Chester asked his grandmother to put some beaver fur and cloth around some wire loops, which became what we now know as earmuffs. According to a Maine historic website, "The patent was for improved ear protectors. He manufactured these ear protectors, providing jobs for people in the Farmington area for nearly 60 years"

3. The machine gun

Hiram Maxim was born in Sangerville, Maine. Hiram had the idea of harnessing recoil energy to power reloading, in essence creating the worlds first fully automatic machine gun. Known as his Maxim machine gun. According to Wikipedia "West Point has since declared it “the greatest boon since the wheel.” Maxim is also credited with creating variations on the mousetrap, curling irons, and steam pumps".

4. The microwave oven

Percy Spencer was born in Howland, Maine. According to an account on Wikipedia, it was when Percy joined the U.S. Navy he self taught himself the skills "to create the first true microwave oven by attaching a high-density electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box. He then placed various food items in the box, while observing effects and monitoring temperatures. Named the "Radarange", it was first sold in 1946."

Do you know of more?

B98.5 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app



See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State


More From B98.5