Indiana became America’s 19th state in the union December 1816. The state seal still depicts the image of the state during it’s year of induction. Although Indiana become an incorporated state in 1816, Indianapolis was not the capital of choice until 1825 when Corydon passed the torch to our current capital city.
Most may be able to recall the state bird, flower, or tree (cardinal, peony, tulip tree) assigned to The Hoosier State but what what about the famous inventions, two constitutions, or even the state motto?
Several notable inventions stemmed from inventors within the bounds of Indiana’s state lines. Common daily items such as Converse shoes and the wireless telephone to more immense endeavors like racing engines, the Gatling gun, and the gasoline pump. Each credited inventors of this list have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in recognition of their creativity and brilliance.
The iconic Converse All- Star basketball shoe was cemented into culture by Chuck Taylor’s endorsement of them in 1921. While Orville Redenbacher’s hybrid yellow popping corn, (he started growing popping corn in 1919 at the age of twelve) claims Brazil as the inventor’s city of origin, other world famous products got their start in Indiana as well. Anderson’s Robert Roof is the inventor of racing engines, while the Gatling gun’s father Richard Gatling was from our own capital city of Indianapolis. Ever wonder where the wireless telephone came to be? The man responsible, Archie Collins, hails from South Bend.
Even the fuel pump’s inventor is a son of United State’s 19th state. Sylvanus Bowser of Fort Wayne brought us this costly marvel. Bowser, marketed his patented kerosene pump first in 1885. The introduction of the automobile led him to develop it into the “Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump“, in 1905.
Indiana has been known as “The Crossroads of America” since the motto was introduced in 1937. When looking at a national map it’s easy to see how that nickname was introduced. The state serves as a hub for multiple Interstate highways connecting Indiana to the rest of the country. Outside of being a major connection asset for the United States, Indiana is also known for its worldwide export of limestone.
The fine grained, light colored limestone sourced from Indiana quarries has been in great demand predating the integration of the 19th state. Indiana’s limestone won awards for its quality and merit at the 1876 Centennial Exhibitions of both Philadelphia and New Orleans. Indiana’s limestone production survived The Great Depression era (1929-1939) and exited the other side, credited with the treasured limestone fittings of the Empire State Building, Tribune Tower, and Department of Commerce.
With so many inventions, innovations, and expansions in the current tech-centered culture, a reminder that the most pragmatic solutions to our problems, may have been found in your own home town! Just down the block from your home one idea could shape the future just as these historic inventors continue to shape ours.
Do you have a favorite invention from your home state?