The origins of 8 everyday objects

Without scientists and inventors, our lives would be totally different. Most of us know about famous inventions, such as the telephone and light bulb. Here are eight objects which you probably use every day. Find out when and how they were invented.


Invented in 18th Century

The stapler was invented for King Louis XIV from France in the 18th century. Each of the king’s staples had his name but they were too expensive for most people. A stapling machine was invented in 1868 and quickly became common.

Did you know?
Staples are often used in surgery to tie skin together. People have been killed by a staple gun!

Chewing Gum

Invented in 1848

John Curtis from the USA boiled gum from a spruce tree and added iced water to make chewing gum. It became popular after sugar was added.

Did you know?
People have chewed gum from trees for thousands of years.

Find out more here.


Invented in 1888

An unknown inventor from America invented this first product to fight odor. A roll-on version was invented in 1952. It originated from the idea of a ball-point pen.

Did you know?
Many people used baking soda before deodorant was invented.
The first deodorants were creams and people rubbed them on their bodies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Invented in 1930

Ruth Wakefield from America was making cookies but didn’t have enough baking chocolate. She used bits of chocolate but they didn’t melt. However, it tasted great and became hughly popular!

Did you know?
If you want to improve the flavour of your chocolate chip cookies, try letting the prepared dough sit in the fridge for 24 hours before baking!

Find out more here.


Invented in 1935

Stan Avery from America borrowed US$100 from his future wife to make a machine which made stickers. It was made from spare parts of a washing machine. 

Did you know?
Before stickers, European farmers used colourful paper with glue to sell their fruit.

Find out more here.

Microwave Oven

Invented in 1945

Percy Spencer from America was working with microwaves and found that his chocolate bar melted. He made a microwave box and started reheating his lunches. The first microwave oven was about 1.5m tall!

Did you know?
Spencer had no parents as a child. He received little formal education and his company only gave him US$2 for his invention.

Find out more here.

Remote control

Invented in 1950

The first remote controls had a cable from the TV to the remote. In 1956, Dr. Robert Adler of Zenith Electronics Corporation from American invented an ultrasonic device so there was no cable. 

Did you know?
The first remote control was called ‘Lazy Bones’, an idiom used to call a person lazy.

Find out more here.

Correction Fluid

Invented in 1951

Bette Nesmith Graham from America was a bank secretary who invented a white liquid which would cover up her mistakes.

Did you know?
Bette got her idea watching painters paint over mistakes at her bank’s windows. Her son became the guitarist for the famous band the Monkees.

Find out more here.