The pacemaker was invented in 1957 by Medtronic founder Earl Bakken in his garage. It became the first self-contained, transistorized device that could be taped to a patient’s chest and needed no cords.
The “Black Box” – the flight recorder found in every commercial airliner today – was developed by Minnesota based General Mills in conjunction with the University of Minnesota in 1953.
The oxygen mask was invented by three Mayo Clinic physicians in 1935 for Northwest Airlines.
Wet/Dry Sandpaper, Masking tape and Scotch tape were created by Minnesota based 3M.
Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, HMOs, the bundt pan, Aveda beauty products, and Green Giant vegetables.
The first practical water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph W. Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat on a lake in Lake City.
The first Automatic Pop-up toaster was marketed in June 1926 by McGraw Electric Co. in Minneapolis under the name Toastmaster. The retail price was $13.50.
Rollerblades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980, when they were looking for a way to practice Hockey during the off-season. Their design was an ice hockey boot with 3 inline wheels instead of a blade.
Tonka Trucks were invented and developed in Minnetonka (hence the name “Tonka”). They continue to be manufactured there.
Polaris Industries of Roseau manufactured the first practical snowmobile in 1956.
The first snowblower designed for home use, was created by Bloomington, MN based Toro in 1951.
The automatic retractable seat belt (for automobiles) was first patented in 1963 by University of Minnesota Professor James J. Ryan.
Zubaz, the loud, loose trousers made specifically for bodybuilders, were invented by Minneapolis gym owners
Dan Stock and Bob Truax in 1991.