Have you ever wondered where some of the things you see and use every day came from or who invented them? Some great inventions were created by people who called North and South Carolina home.
Nobody can pass up the delectably sweet smell of fresh doughnuts wafting from a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. These tasty treats first came onto the scene in 1937 when Vernon Rudolph began selling them to local stores from a rented building in what is now Old Salem, North Carolina. When passersby started drifting in, intrigued by the scent of cooking doughnuts, he decided to cut a hole in the building’s wall and sell Original Glazed doughnuts to customers on the sidewalk. On its 60th
anniversary, Krispy Kreme was recognized as a 20th
century American icon. Today, Krispy Kreme has stores all over the country and the world including Asia, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Learn more about the history of this tasty North Carolina treat and the doughnut-making equipment invented by Rudolph and his engineers at http://krispykreme.com/about-us/history.
North Carolina is also home to another sweet concoction – Pepsi Cola. Caleb Bradham was a pharmacist working in New Bern, North Carolina in the late 1800s. In an effort to create a drink that would keep patrons coming back to his pharmacy while also improving their health, he mixed up a drink made of vanilla, rare oils and kola nut extract that tasted good and even helped with digestion. Although nicknamed “Brad’s Drink,” Bradham soon changed the name to “Pepsi Cola” as demand increased. Today, you can visit the Pepsi Store in New Bern, North Carolina. Enjoy a fountain Pepsi and explore the numerous gifts and souvenirs available. Learn the complete history about Caleb Bradham and his creation at www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/113/entry.
While the device named the “maser” might not sound familiar, the inventor of the maser, Charles Hard Townes (born in Greenville, South Carolina), made numerous additional discoveries and inventions that propelled both the world of science and astronomy forward. The maser is actually a device that generates electromagnetic waves, invented in 1954. The science behind the maser helped to develop the idea of the current laser. The winner of a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964, Townes’ other research resulted in the detection of the first complex molecules in interstellar space and the first measurement of the mass of the black hole located in the center of the earth’s galaxy. To read more about Townes and his other inventions, visit www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1964/townes-bio.html. For a unique experience viewing the stars of the universe, head to the Roper Mountain Science Center, located in Greenville, South Carolina, on Fridays in February and March for the Starry Nights series. For information, visit www.ropermountain.org/RMSCAssociation/events.shtml#sn.
Plenty of amazing things were invented by brilliant people who called North and South Carolina home. Take some time this month to discover what else came out of these great states.