Everyday Innovations

Have you ever wondered how black lights, or mirrors work? This collection of articles will explain the workings of some of the most common inventions and innovations you come into contact with everyday.


Who invented the sleeper sofa?

Next Thanksgiving when you find yourself sleeping on Aunt Martha's pullout sofa, it might cheer you up to know that the convertible bed has a long, illustrious history.

Who invented the revolving door?

It's one of those age-old dilemmas – who goes through the revolving door first. It probably doesn't matter. Rumor has it that the inventor didn't want to hold a door open for anyone.

How are bendy straws made?

It bends to your will, it has nifty ridges, and it allows patients and little kids alike to slurp along with everyone else. How did the flexible straw begin its days?

Who invented the safety pin?

It holds together straps, serves as a makeshift button or body art and even dresses up nicely as a friendship pin. Who do we have to thank for this simple wire workhorse?

How Breast Pumps Work

Breastfeeding is a healthy way to feed young children, but busy schedules and other factors may keep mom from being available when baby's hungry. Breast pumps can help bridge that gap.

Are patent trolls smothering innovation?

So-called "patent trolls" buy patents from others and use them to make money from companies that have built a successful market for a product. Have their tactics created a kind of tax on innovation?

How Electronic Cigarettes Work

Electronic cigarettes were developed to help smokers get their dose of nicotine without the chemicals associated with burning tobacco. But are they any safer?

How Daylight Saving Time Works

We humans aren't complete slaves to time. We've even devised ways to pack an extra hour of sunshine into our day, thanks to daylight saving time. Are you ready to spring forward into the fine art of tweaking time?

You want to make a battery powered light bulb, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to make a battery powered light bulb in this article.

You want to make a potato powered light bulb, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to make a potato powered light bulb in this article.