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Did You Know These Inventions Originated in St. Louis?

"Discover the Innovative Side of St. Louis: Surprising Inventions from the Gateway City"

Did You Know These Inventions Originated in St. Louis?

Things Invented in St. Louis


St. Louis is a city known for its iconic landmarks, rich cultural heritage, and of course, its contribution to the world of innovation. From the creation of household tools to food and drink innovations, St. Louis has made significant strides in shaping the world we live in today.

Food and Drink Innovations

When it comes to mouthwatering food and drink, St. Louis has plenty to offer. Not only has it given us some of the best barbecue and frozen custard, but it has also been the birthplace of some of the most delicious and lasting culinary inventions.


One of the most famous beer brands in the world, Budweiser, calls St. Louis home. Adolphus Busch, a German immigrant, founded Busch Brewery in 1852 alongside his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. In 1876, they introduced Budweiser, which quickly became one of the most popular beers in the United States. Today, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis remains America's largest brewery, spreading joy to beer lovers across the country.

Pizza Cutter

The pizza cutter is a staple household tool used all over the world. However, most people don't realize that this beloved invention was created in St. Louis. William W. Zwick, a local jeweler, came up with the pizza cutter in 1942. He had been asked by a customer to create a gadget to slice pastrami and instead designed a wheeled blade that easily cut pizza. Today, the pizza cutter is an essential kitchen accessory found in homes all over the globe.

Toasted Ravioli

This delicious and crispy snack is a staple of Italian cuisine and has become synonymous with St. Louis. Created in the early 1940s, the toasted ravioli has become a popular menu item in St. Louis-style Italian restaurants. The dish consists of breaded and fried ravioli, usually filled with beef, cheese, or a combination of both. Although its origin is debated, most St. Louisans believe that their city is the rightful birthplace of this delectable treat.

In conclusion, St. Louis has given us some of the most beloved and innovative food and drink inventions. From the iconic Budweiser beer to the indispensable pizza cutter and the mouth-watering toasted ravioli, St. Louis has made its mark on the culinary world and has become a foodie haven for locals and visitors alike. With its rich history and flourishing culinary scene, St. Louis continues to be a hub for innovation and creativity.

Medical Innovations

St. Louis is a city with a rich history of medical innovations. From the first cardiac pacemaker to the establishment of research centers, the city has been a hub of medical technology advancements. Here are some of the medical innovations that have been birthed in St. Louis.

Cardiac Pacemaker

The cardiac pacemaker is a life-saving device that helps regulate heart rate. St. Louis is honored to be the birthplace of this important medical device. In 1950, Dr. Albert Hyman, a pioneer in cardiac electrophysiology, invented the first cardiac pacemaker at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. The device became a breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease, which remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Dr. Hyman's invention has saved countless lives, and his legacy continues with the advanced pacemakers used today.

Veteran Administration Research Hospital

The Veteran Administration Research Hospital (VARH) in St. Louis is an important medical research center that has contributed tremendously to the advancement of healthcare. The facility was established in 1946 to provide care to veterans returning from World War II and conduct research on their conditions. Over the years, the VARH has become a leading research center in various fields, including rehabilitation medicine, cardiovascular disease, and cancer research. The center is renowned for its groundbreaking discoveries and innovations that have led to better diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients.

Beckman Coulter

Beckman Coulter is a medical research equipment developer that was founded and based in St. Louis. The company was established in 1935 by Dr. Arnold Beckman, a renowned chemist and inventor. Beckman Coulter's products range from laboratory instruments to diagnostic systems used in healthcare facilities worldwide. The company has revolutionized medical research and diagnosis over the years by producing cutting-edge technology that has improved patient care. Beckman Coulter has remained committed to innovation and is continuously improving its products to meet the evolving needs of the medical industry.

In conclusion, St. Louis has played a vital role in the advancement of healthcare, and its contributions to the field of medicine cannot be overstated. From life-saving inventions to groundbreaking research centers, the city has had a significant impact on the medical industry. Its innovative spirit, dedication, and commitment to improving healthcare have made St. Louis a hub of medical technology advancements.

Transportation Innovations

St. Louis has a long history of transportation innovations. Some of the most impressive transportation inventions in the world were developed in this Great River City. From the soaring Gateway Arch to the first commercial electric streetcar system in the United States, St. Louis has been at the center of many transportation breakthroughs that have revolutionized the way we travel. Here are just a few of the most significant transportation inventions born in St. Louis.

Mississippi River Bridge

The St. Louis Gateway Arch that sits on the banks of the Mississippi River is a symbol of the city's rich transportation history. More significantly, it is the centerpiece of the Mississippi River Bridge that connects Illinois and Missouri. The bridge is an engineering marvel that spans the mighty Mississippi River for over 1300 meters, making it one of the longest arch bridges in the world. It was constructed in 1965 and has served as a vital transportation link between these two states ever since.

Electric Streetcar

The first commercial electric streetcar system in the United States was developed in St. Louis. Before electric streetcars, horse-drawn streetcars were the primary mode of transportation in urban areas. In the late 1880s, an entrepreneur named Frank Sprague introduced the electric streetcar to St. Louis, and it quickly revolutionized transportation. The electric streetcar replaced horse-drawn streetcars, providing faster and more efficient service. This innovation spurred the growth of suburban communities around the city, which eventually became interconnected by streetcar lines. The system operated successfully for several decades until automobiles became the preferred mode of transportation.

Ice Cream Cone

Believe it or not, the ice cream cone was invented in St. Louis. The history of the ice cream cone dates back to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. At the fair, an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, and a neighboring waffle vendor offered to help by rolling waffles into cones. The idea was an instant hit, and the ice cream cone was born. It quickly became a popular dessert around the world, and St. Louis was credited with its invention. The waffle cone continues to be a favorite of ice cream lovers today.

St. Louis has a rich and varied history of transportation innovations, and these three inventions are just a few of the many that have put this city on the map. From bridges to streetcars to ice cream cones, St. Louis has played a vital role in the history of transportation. Today, the city continues to develop new and exciting transportation ideas to make travel safer, more efficient, and more comfortable for everyone.

Other Notable Innovations

Aside from the major inventions and innovations mentioned earlier, St. Louis has also been the birthplace of other notable creations that have contributed greatly to different industries.

Flexible Flyer

The Flexible Flyer is a popular toy and sled that has been used by children for generations. It was initially created in 1889 by Samuel Leeds Allen, who owned a small factory in St. Louis. The sled was constructed with a flexible, steerable front section that allowed for easier maneuverability. The design, which was patented in 1889, was a major improvement on traditional sleds, and the Flexible Flyer quickly gained popularity. Over time, the Flexible Flyer brand has expanded to include other outdoor toys and equipment, making it a staple in many American households.


While the zipper was not invented in St. Louis, the first iteration of the modern zipper was showcased at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, which was organized by St. Louisans. The modern zipper was invented by Whitcomb Judson, who was a resident of Chicago. The zipper was originally known as the "clasp locker," and it was designed to replace traditional fasteners like buttons and hooks. The first version of the zipper was not commercially successful, but the design was refined by a Swedish-American engineer named Gideon Sundback, who lived and worked in St. Louis. Sundback's design, which featured interlocking teeth and a slider, became the basis for the modern zipper that we use today.


Monsanto is a multinational agricultural organization that was founded in St. Louis in 1901. The organization initially produced artificial sweeteners, but it soon shifted its focus to agricultural chemicals and biotechnology. Monsanto developed new technologies for crop protection and herbicides, and it was responsible for introducing many controversial products like Roundup Ready crops. Despite the controversies surrounding its products and practices, Monsanto has played a major role in shaping the modern agriculture industry.

St. Louis has been home to many other inventions and innovations that have impacted various industries. From the creation of the ice cream cone to the development of modern radiation therapy techniques, St. Louis has been a hub of creativity and ingenuity throughout its history.

Five Things Invented in St. Louis That Changed The World

St. Louis is a city renowned for its numerous contributions towards shaping the modern world. Thanks to the countless innovative minds that have called this place home, St. Louis has paved the way in various fields with some of the world's most important inventions. Here are five things invented in St. Louis that have had a lasting impact and changed the world forever.

1. Ice Cream Cone

Ice cream cones are an all-time favorite worldwide. This tasty delight has a fascinating history, and it all started in St. Louis. In 1904, ice cream vendor Arnold Fornachou ran out of soup cups at the World's Fair. As an improvisation, he asked a nearby waffle vendor to roll-up waffles into cones, the result - a cone to hold ice cream was born! This invention has since become a staple in the ice cream industry.

2. The Fontbonne Braille Writer

In 1951, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet established Fontbonne College in St. Louis. Among many of their contributions to society, the school played a vital role in the development of the Fontbonne Braille Writer. The machine, patented by faculty member David Abraham, was instrumental in revolutionizing writing and reading proficiency for the blind. It allowed them to create braille documents efficiently and transformed the world of written communication for visually impaired people.

3. 7-Up

7-Up is one of the most popular soft drink brands globally, and it all began in St. Louis. In 1929, Charles Leiper Grigg invented the carbonated beverage and named it Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. Two years later, it was rebranded and termed 7-Up, which has become a household name today. It has since evolved into multiple flavors and variations, but the original recipe remains a favorite.

4. The Waffle Iron

Waffles are a breakfast favorite, and it's heavy metal cooking device, the waffle iron, has its roots in St. Louis. In 1892, Edison General Electric introduced the first electric waffle iron, forever changing the breakfast game. However, it did not become a household item until 1918 when General Industries partnered with Thomas Steckbeck to streamline the process. Today, millions of homes worldwide use waffle irons to make the perfect waffles.

5. The Tivoli Theatre

The Tivoli Theatre is a St. Louis architectural masterpiece that contributed significantly to the world of cinema. The theatre first opened its doors in 1924 and was initially used for vaudeville shows and plays. However, in the 1930s, it was converted to a movie theatre and became an integral part of the city's entertainment scene. The Tivoli introduced many to foreign films, art-house films, and other movies that would have otherwise remained undiscovered. It is now a preserved landmark of St. Louis that continues to provide entertainment to the people of the city.


St. Louis: Home of Creativity and Innovation

These are just a handful of the many inventions that originated in St. Louis, Missouri. The city has been home to inventors and innovators throughout history and has left an indelible mark on the world. The spirit of creativity and innovation continues to thrive in St. Louis, with new ideas and developments emerging frequently.

St. Louis has made significant contributions to the world, from tasty treats like ice cream cones to essential devices such as The Fontbonne Braille Writer. Every invention originating from St. Louis is an embodiment of the city's willingness to take chances and strive towards progress. The city's innovative spirit has undoubtedly sparked innovations that will shape the world for generations to come.

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