We often use products without a thought as to where they came from — and what the inspiration was as to why they were made in the first place. Some products, however, were conceptualized and created in our hometown (and probably near your area!). That’s right! There are products you might not know were invented in California and they’re used worldwide.

Here are some of them.

Products and Gadgets That Were Invented in California

1. Modern Hula Hoop

Do you think the hula hoop is a toy or is it an exercise device? — either way, it’s fun to use! Hula hoops, however, have been around since ancient times. But the founders of the California-based toy company Wham-O, Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, patented the modern-day version — that’s made out of hollow plastic — after they learned that kids in Australia would use bamboo hoops around their waist during their gym class.

2. Wetsuit

Knowing that this is California, it would be more surprising if no ocean-related product was invented here. Thankfully, there is one — and it’s the wetsuit! At first, lots of people were credited for inventing the wetsuit we know today. It wasn’t until the 90s that researchers finally traced the OG wetsuit maker — the inventor was a University of California Berkeley physicist named Hugh Bradner.

3. Blue Jeans

By now, we all know that denim blue jeans are the brainchild of German immigrant Levi Strauss. This all-American icon of a garment was created for the miners of the west during the height of the California gold rush. And the Bavarian businessman’s first store was in San Francisco. These days, it’s almost impossible to find a person who doesn’t own a pair of these iconic blue jeans.

4. Videotape Recorder

The Bruce Woolley version of Video Killed the Radio Star has the line, “put the blame on VTR” (instead of the better-known version, “VCR”) but…should we really? When the videotape recorder, at some point, held immeasurable amounts of valuable data for our convenience. What’s even more ironic about the lyrics to The Buggles’ song is that VTR was invented by Charles Ginsburg — a man with a radio engineering background! And his company, Ampex Corporation, was formerly based in Redwood City.

5. Nicotine Patch

Smoking kills! — we know this to be a fact now. But many struggle/d to kick off this habit because they’re dependent on the effects of nicotine that tobacco has. One person who tried to prove that it was indeed nicotine that has addictive properties was a pharmacologist from UCLA named Dr. Murray E. Jarvik. And he did it by inventing the nicotine patch! — a tobacco alternative that helped countless people get over their cigarette addiction.

Californians Have More Ideas Than the Cars at 405!

People from California will do just about anything to improve mankind’s day-to-day lives — ranging from helping you kick off a bad habit or inventing a garment that’s not only fashionable but also durable. There are so many other products invented in California that you’re probably already using. And it’s because of the Golden State natives’ creativity and genius ideas.

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