20 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented In Montreal

Montrealers are smarter than you think.
20 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented In Montreal

Montreal is a lot more than just the birthplace of many a drunken poutine munch-out or a big-ass hill. Inventions of all sorts have been born in this city, many of which you use/eat on the daily, if not even more frequently, especially if you're a big fan of peanut butter.

Time to learn more about the many magnificent inventions created in our fair city, with our list of 20 things you never could have known were invented in Montreal.

1. The Tubeless Tire

  • The man/inventor now known for a shopping mall, Alexis Nihon, invented the tubeless tire in Montreal, a tire that doesn't need a separate inner tube to support itself.

2. The First Canadian TV

  • Back when TV was not yet a thing, born and bred Montreal electrical engineer J. Alphonse Ouimet was key in the design and development of Canada's first fully functional television set. Cred to the TV set itself is generally contested between three men: Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, and Paul Nipkow.

3. Peanut Butter

  • Seeking to create a food for folks who couldn't chew, Montreal pharmacist Marcellus Gilmore Edson introduced the world to peanut butter. Without Edson, we wouldn't have the PB&J, and modern reality would be a much darker place.

4. The Wonder-Bra

  • Based in Montreal, the Canadian Lady Corset Company is accredited with the first trademarking of the term "wonder-bra" in 1939, based on the design of Israel Pilot, who was in collaboration with the company.

5. Trivial Pursuit

  • Scott Abbot, a sports editor from Montreal, and Chris Haney are the men behind everyone's favourite trivia game Trivial Pursuit, invented in 1979. You have them to thank for many moments of feeling stupid for not being able to answer a bunch of useless factoids.

6. The Catheter

  • While the catheter itself wasn't invented in Montreal, a new type designed to treat cold arrhythmias was created by Montreal's CryoCath, a new method that significantly reduced the risk of any complications.

7. The Piglet Antidote

  • Two veterinarians from UdeM, John Fairbrother and Eric Nadeau, are accredited with the inventions of the first swine vaccine against postweaning diarrhea in piglets. That may not mean much to most, but the disease tore through farms on a global scale.

8. The Snowblower

  • Arthur Sicard is the man who made everyone's winter easier when he invented the snowblower in 1925, with the first model tested on the streets of Montreal, and first sold to an Outrement resident in 1927. Not exactly a shocker that a snow removal device was created in this city.

9. The Good ol' Game of Hockey

  • Contestable for sure, but many accredit the first game of hockey (as we know it today) to McGill students who played in Montreal in 1875.

10. The IMAX Theater

  • Before theaters around the world adopted IMAX, the system has its origins in Expo '67, where a group of Canadian filmmakers (Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr) decided to create a viewing system that used only one powerful projector, rather than the popular-at-the-time use of multiple projectors.

11. The First Canadian Circus

  • Obviously circuses have been a thing in the world for God knows how long, but the first official Canadian circus was founded in Montreal in 1797 by John Bill Ricketts. The legacy continues today with Montreal's circus schools and festivals.

12. The Sea-Cretion Method

  • Sea-cretion is a pretty amazing method of transmuting minerals already in sea water into formidable construction material, which was invented by professor Wolf Hibertz who perfected the method during his time studying at McGill.

13. The Bus Tracker

  • Two UdeM students, Jean-Yves Blais and Jean-Marc Rousseau, founded GIRO, a company that developed some of the first software used by public transport companies to track buses and create accurate schedules. One of the first clients was the STM, and the software is widespread across the globe.

14. The BIXI

  • While it hasn't been the most popular public transport initiative, the BIXI self-service bike system is still a Montreal invention, and did find its way as far as London.

15. The IBIS Ballistics Identification System

  • Here's one for the CSI fans outs there: the most advanced ballistics identification system known, and used in over 50 countries, was invented by Forensic Technology of Montreal. The system allows investigators to collect info on anything from bushes to fallen debris.

16. The Odotech System

  • Montreal based company Odotech are the people behind an electronic nose which can monitor that odors found in industrial and water treatment plants, composting sites, and landfills, allowing for the easier detection of any potential problems.

17. The Sonomax Earbud

  • Unlike the dinky earbuds you get at Dollorama, the patented Sonomax earbud was created by Montreal's Sonomax, an earbud that is custom fitted using silicone and better protects the ear from external sounds.

18. The 3D Puzzle

  • Montreal businessman Paul Gallant invented the first three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle in 1990, then known as the Wrebbit puzzle.

19. The Streaming of In-Flight Entertainment

  • You have Montreal software company DTI to thank for almost anything you've recently watched on a plane, as they created the software used by over 100 airlines to showcase films and moving images. They've now branched into the world of in-flight videogaming and eReaders.

20. The Montreal Protocol

  • Not quite a physical invention, but the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (an international treaty all about protecting/removing harmful chemicals that deplete the ozone layer) is cited as one of the most successful international agreements the world has ever known.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on twitter @MDAlimonte

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