The Garage Door Opener & Other Wyoming Inventions That Changed The World
People who live in a state like Wyoming often have to think outside the box in order to make life, and work, a little easier.
4,200 patents have been issued to inventors here in the Cowboy State.
Here are a few of Wyoming's most clever ideas.
The first patent in the Territory of Wyoming was issued in 1870 to George Choate, who developed an improvement to shovel handles.
That would be the handle that you see in the photo below. We are still using that idea today. It really does offer a better grip.
In 1892, James Julien created a more efficient way to execute criminals called the "hydraulic gallows". In 1903, a notorious outlaw and bounty hunter Tom Horn was hung from a hydraulic gallows in Cheyenne. He never patented the idea.
In 1900, Myrtle Wallin became the first woman in Wyoming to receive a patent when she fashioned a new device for seamstresses called the "work holder". It's like a complicated safety pin.
Joan Sheridan, was one of Wyoming's most prolific inventors, receiving over 20 patents for a variety of items including Christmas stockings. Really, Christmas stockings? That's a Wyoming thing? Did not see that coming.
The Pederson Device
Douglas Pederson was, arguably, Wyoming's greatest inventor. The gun-maker received 69 patents during his lifetime, including the "Pederson Device", which was an attachment secretly designed for Springfield rifles during World War I. This device turned a bolt action rifle into a semi automatic with a large magazine of bullets.
Wyoming's most famous inventor was Buffalo Bill Cody. In 1916, just months before he died at the age of 70, Cody received a patent for a new horse-bit mouthpiece.
Garage Door Opener
Elmer Lovejoy of Laramie Wyoming built the state's first car. Lovejoy also created a steering device that is still used by car makers today. Several years later Mr. Lovejoy developed the first garage door opener.
Inventions today come to us at a much faster pace than they did back then. Almost blinding speed, in fact.
Most of them come from the mother of invention, which is a necessity. But as we can see here, not all of them do.