Kids of Invention

Invent Concept Wooden Letterpress Type

Whether developing state-of-the-art technology or making a fun, simple invention that entertains, kids have always been some of our best innovators. This week, in honor of Kid Inventors Day on January 17, let’s consider five kid inventors and their creations.

Swim Fins.

At 11 years old, long before he’d be known as one of our country’s greatest founding fathers, Ben Franklin invented the first pair of swim fins. They were oval shaped and made out of wood, and they were used on the hands to propel the young Franklin through the water.

Popsicle.

In 1905, a young Frank Epperson left some powdered soda and water in a cup with a stirring stick on his porch one cold night in California. The next morning, 11-year-old Epperson discovered a frosty treat, which he later named the “Eppsickle.” He got a patent in 1923 and sold the rights to what we now call the Popsicle to a New York company.

Television.

Philo T. Farnsworth was 15 when he came up with the idea for the picture tube. He called it an “image dissector.” The invention made it possible to capture moving images that were later broadcast to TV sets across the country. The first moving image was successfully broadcast by Farnsworth in 1927.

Clean Air.

In 2011, 17-year-old Param Jaggi, of Texas, invented a device that uses algae to turn automobile exhaust into oxygen. Jaggi won several awards for the device, which he hopes will someday help reduce carbon emissions.

Lion Lights.

Lions are a bit of an issue for cattle farmers in certain parts of Africa. So, when he was 13, Richard Turere developed a system of LED lights that flash in a random pattern at night, scaring away lions. To the astonishment of many, his family’s cattle stopped being attacked. As of 2013, 75 of the lighting systems had been set up in Kenya.

Infinite Energy’s corporate citizenship focuses on childhood education, and it makes us feel great when we see young people using their brains to make the world a better place.