American Inventions that aren’t American

American Inventions that aren’t American

American Inventions that aren’t American
Image Credits: CGTrader

The United States has the highest GDP in the world. This is the biggest reason why most modern inventions are coming from there. Interestingly, some of these American inventions were actually made outside the borders of the US.

Capitalism based-systems are driven by innovations, even if the reasons for the innovations are not the purest. The following products have saturated the US market to the point where they are tagged as American-made.


Notepad - American Inventions

Notepad is one of the most underrated everyday inventions. This innovation set the standard for nearly a century of paper binding. The same process was later used to bind books, including the American pulp fiction novels of 30s and 40s. These were the books that brought commercial reading to the mainstream.

Before the 1900s, the paper was just stacked in a pile and kept that way. In 1902, an Australian named J.A. Birchall put a strip of glue and cardboard on the side of a stack of paper. This was the beginning of the notepad that all of us use today. They were originally sold as Silvercity Writing Tablets. Over the years, it became one of the most popular American inventions in the world.

Compact Disc (CD)

Compact Disc (CD) - American Inventions

Compact Discs defined the technology of the 1990s and early 2000s. CD successfully replaced cassette tapes and was most likely the last ever physical audio technology. The emergence of digital formats in the music industry has substituted this innovation. Having said that, CDs had a longer lifespan than most people might realize.

This technology was developed in 1974, nearly a decade before the tech was made available to the general public. The inventors were none other than Philips (Dutch) and Sony (Japanese), which actually isn’t surprising at all. In the mid-70s, both companies independently began working on technologies that could imprint digital sound onto a small plastic disc. The two companies quickly joined forces to develop this technology faster than before.


Telephone - American Inventions

Most Canadians and Americans think that the telephone was invented in their respective countries. Although Graham Bell filed the patent for this invention in the US, most of the work was done in Ontario. That was the place where he and his assistant, Thomas Watson, transmitted an audio tone over a wire.

This was the first time a sound had ever been sent from one place to another electronically. This marked the first step towards the basic technology of a telephone. However, Bell had promised his investors that he would file the patent in the US. So even though the telephone was created in Canada, it is considered one of the revolutionary American inventions.



Do you think that television is among the most popular American inventions? All the believers of this opinion are completely wrong because TV is actually a Russian invention. In 1907, Boris Rosing, a Russian Engineer, used a cathode ray tube to receive images. This was the earliest framework for transmitting light and pictures to a receiving screen.

Like most inventions, the technology took a few years to evolve into something practical. In 1925, a Scottish scientist named John Baird transmitted moving images to a cathode ray tube with a 30-line resolution. Keep in mind that these were lines, not pixels.

Another Russian, called Leon Theremin, boosted the quality of early TVs up to 100 interlocking lines. This was an extremely important step for bringing us closer to what we have today. It is highly likely the Americans did not realize that they were using Soviet technology during the Cold War.



We excessively use batteries in our everyday lives. Although this technology has refined over the years, the basic working principle is the same. Most of the electrical pioneering in the world was happening in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, Heinrich Hertz, and other great minds were filing hundreds of electrical patents during this period. All the work done by these scientists shaped the 20th century into what we know today.

The first battery was created by Alessandro Volta. His “battery” was called the Voltaic Pile and combined layers of copper, zinc, and cardboard soaked in saltwater. An Englishman improved Volta’s battery and created the first rechargeable battery. So yes, the battery is not an American invention. 

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