8 Things That Wouldn’t Exist If Not For The Greatness Of Michigan and It’s People

March 1st, 2016

The world has lots of reasons to thank Michigan. The state’s contribution not only in the United States but also around the world is beyond amazing! Without Michigan (its creations and inventions), we will be living in a very different world.

Below are 8 of the many things and products that wouldn’t exist if not for Michigan and its amazing and extra ordinary people.

1) Baby Foods

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Gerber was founded in 1927 in Fremont, Michigan by Daniel Frank Gerber, owner of the Fremont Canning Company, which produced canned fruit and vegetables. At the suggestion of a pediatrician, Gerber’s wife, Dorothy, began making hand-strained food for their seven-month-old daughter, Sally. Recognising a business opportunity, Gerber began making baby food. By 1928 he had developed five products for the market: beef vegetable soup and strained peas, prunes, carrots, and spinach. Six months later, Gerber’s baby foods were distributed nationwide.

If not for Daniel, his wife and his company located at Fremont, Michigan, no Gerber baby food will ever be created. Can you imagine the world (years ago) without it?

2). Fiber Optics

Without fiber optics, the internet might not really exist. Thanks to Donald B. Keck, an American research physicist and engineer who grew up in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University.

Donald B. Keck is an most noted for his involvement in developing low-loss optical fiber. After attending MSU, he joined Corning Incorporated’s research department as a senior research scientist. Keck, along with Robert D. Maurer and Peter C. Schultz, designed the first optical fiber with optical losses low enough for wide use in telecommunications.

3). Breakfast Cereals

A photo posted by King_02 (@king_02) on

If you love cereal, then you should really pay tribute to Battle Creek, Michigan. Battle Creek is the birthplace of two major cereal companies the world has ever known, POST (1895) and KELLOGG’s (1906). The city is also called as the “Cereal Capital of the World” and sometimed called as “Cereal City”. At one point, Battle Creek hosted as many as 80 different cereal companies.

4). Boeing Aircraft

A photo posted by @edmplanes on

Without Detroit native William Edward Boeing, there will be no Boeing airliner. The world of airlines or airplanes will be really different without his massive contribution. According to stories, The Boeing Company company started when William took a ride “aboard a rickety airplane in 1915 in Seattle,” and thought he could do a better job. The rest is history right after that ride.

5) American Ginger Ale

A photo posted by cadey (@cadeydies) on

Yes, ginger ale originated in Ireland but when it comes to America’s oldest ginger ale, all praise and recognition must be given to michigan. Vernors is a ginger flavored soft drink and the oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States. It was created in 1866 by James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist.

6). Programmable Machines

If not for Detroit native John T. Parsons, the programmable machines we know today might not exist. Parsons pioneered numerical control for machine tools in the 1940s. He is known as “the father of the second Industrial Revolution,” numerical control or simply computer-aided machines. On January 14, 1958, he received a patent for a Motor Controlled Apparatus for Positioning Machine Tool.

7). Synthetic Penicillin

A photo posted by @luminous_lab on

During World War II, the United States government undertook a massive effort to determine the chemical structure of penicillin and to chemically synthesize it in large quantities. The scale of this project was compared to the development of the atomic bomb (that’s how important it was during those times). More than a thousand chemists working at thirty-nine laboratories were involved in the project. Despite the huge investment by the government, none proved to be successful in solving this elusive problem, not until did Battle Creek-born John C. Sheehan (Ph.D., University of Michigan).

John Clark Sheehan was the first person to discover a practical method for synthesizing penicillin V.

While achieving total synthesis, Sheehan also produced an intermediate compound, 6-aminopenicillanic acid, which turned out to be the foundation of hundreds of kinds of synthetic penicillin. Dr. Sheehan’s research on synthetic penicillin paved the way for the development of customized forms of the lifesaving antibiotic that target specific bacteria.

Sheehan came to hold over 30 patents, including the invention of ampicillin, a commonly used semi-synthetic penicillin that is taken orally rather than by injection. His research covered not only penicillin, but also peptides, other antibiotics, alkaloids, and steroids.

8) Affordable Cars

A photo posted by Alison Montoya (@biggsmcgee) on

Henry Ford, a native of Greenfield Township, Michigan, “revolutionized assembly-line modes of production for the automobile.”

Although he did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he paved the way for the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. He converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the twentieth century.

His introduction of the Model T, the world’s first affordable car, revolutionized transportation and American industry.

Got anything to add to this story? Let us read it via the comment section below.

One response to “8 Things That Wouldn’t Exist If Not For The Greatness Of Michigan and It’s People”

  1. Shanths says:

    What an interesting post! I have never been to Michigan, but now I want to go.?

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