The final stop on the Bulbstorm European Tour (i.e. our CEO Bart’s business trip) is Zurich, Switzerland. Bart and the Bulbstorm team discovered that some rather influential ideas and innovations came from the Swiss. Here are Bulbstorm’s top three inventions, brought to us by Switzerland…
Cellophane –A staple in almost every kitchen across the world, Swiss chemist Dr. Jacques Edwin Brandenberger invented cellophane circa 1900. Upon witnessing a glass of wine spill on a table cloth, Dr. Brandenberger knew he was destined to create a cloth that could repel liquids instead of absorb them. After ten years of trial and error, Brandenberger finally found the right method, thus the birth of cellophane.
Velcro (a.k.a. the “hook-and-loop” fastener) – While the name velcro eventually developed into a world-wide brand, the original “hook-and-loop” concept for it was developed by Swiss inventor George de Mestral. Mestral and his dog returned home after a walk one day circa 1948 covered in burrs. Fascinated by the way the burr clung to the loops in the fabric of his pants, Mestral decided he wanted to create a two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric. He called it velcro, deriving the name from the words velour and crochet. Velcro’s uses are plentiful today; it is often used to hold clothes together, keep bags closed…even Spiderman has been known to rely on it to climb up walls!
The Oil Lamp – Swiss physicist and chemist Francois Pierre-Ami Argand is credited with adding vast improvements to the oil lamp during the late 18th century. The brightness of the Argand lamp was equivalent to six to ten candles, something almost unheard of during the late 1700s. Argand’s lamp quickly replaced all other varieties of oil lamps and was manufactured in an assortment of ornamental forums.
While Switzerland is the last stop on the Buslbstorm European Tour, the Bulbstorm blog has only just begun. Keep checking back for more updates, articles and events at Bulbstorm.
Which country had the most unique group of innovations? Post your comment below!