Everyday Objects that Were Invented by the Military

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Everyday Objects that Were Invented by the Military


When people hear or read the word “military,” they usually associate it with war and weapons. While this is fairly accurate, it’s just half of the story, as there are some things that civilians are using in their everyday lives that were invented or Initially used by the military, 

Go Banking Rates, a website that makes finding competitive interest rates easier for the average consumer, mentioned in an article that these objects came into being either as a direct result of the military’s research or as a byproduct that somehow proved to be very useful for civilian applications.


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The EpiPen is the first modern epinephrine autoinjector that, according to Go Banking Rates, was invented by Sheldon Kaplan at Survival Technology in Maryland. This technology paved the way for the creation of the ComboPen. The auto-injector is filled with a nerve gas antidote, which was used by the US military during the 1970s.

Healthline, a website that provides health and wellness articles, explained that Kaplan’s design has a spring-loaded syringe that is filled with a dose of adrenaline. This is promoted to help people who experience anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction. It’s also designed to be administered through the person’s clothing.


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Pringles is one of the most popular brands of chips in the market today, and it was invented after the US Army Quartermaster Corps joined forces with the USDA in developing dehydrated potato flakes. 

Alexander Liepa, the person who came up with the original taste of the chips, was also one of those responsible for creating the iconic shape of Pringles. According to a website called Rewind and Capture, which provides interesting content, Liepa used potato flakes instead of the conventional peeled and cut potatoes to make chips. 


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Bug Spray

During the summer season, a lot of people keep handy bug sprays in their bags. The active ingredient found in these products, DEET, was first developed by the US Army in 1946. Military personnel used it whenever they were assigned to some bug-infested areas. 


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Disposable Sanitary Napkins

As a woman, it is hard to imagine a life without disposable sanitary napkins and tampons. This is because menstruation periods can be very messy and smelly if one doesn’t maintain proper hygiene. 

The paper products company called Kimberly-Clark developed CelluCotton during World War I. The product was made out of wood pulp because it was more absorbent and less expensive to use to create bandages. After the war was over, the company later created Kotex, which became the first disposable sanitary pad after Army nurses used it as makeshift sanitary napkins.


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Duct tape

Credit goes to Vesta Stoudt, who had two sons in the military during the 1940s. Stoudt worked in an ordnance plant inspecting and packing cartridges that launched rifle grenades. The cartridges were packed in small boxes that were taped and waxed to keep water off them. They used thin paper tapes to seal the box, leaving a small portion of the tape loose so soldiers can rip it open. The problem was that the small portion tore off easily, leaving the box still sealed, leaving the soldiers scrambling to open them up in the middle of battle. Stoudt suggested a stronger cloth tape that can be opened in a split second. But it was not until she wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that her revolutionary idea was picked up and actually used.


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Disposable sanitary napkins are not the only items that civilians now use that were originally made by the military. Kleenex was also made out of CelluCotton that Kimberly-Clark developed during the war. It became popular as a very useful disposable makeup and cold cream remover. However, when people started to use it to blow their noses into, the company remarketed Kleenex as a better option to cloth handkerchiefs when it comes to dealing with the cold.


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Microwave Ovens

For people who are always on the go, microwave ovens are the real champion. This appliance is found in most office pantries so that employees can heat their meals. However, this simple yet very useful device was invented by accident. 

Go Banking Rates said that in 1946, a Raytheon engineer named Percy Spencer was just testing a military-grade magnetron, a tube used in radar sets, but he realized that it caused his snacks to melt. Spencer tested the magnetron by putting eggs and popcorn kernels under this tube and it managed to heat up the eggs and caused the popcorn to pop.