Minneapolis and St. Paul’s long history of innovation has lead us to today’s thriving entrepreneur community. With so many fresh new ideas flowing through the startup and small business community today, it can be easy to overlook some of the early inventions that came from the area. Below are some well-known products and innovations that were founded in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Walter H. Deubner patented the shopping bag in 1912, in St. Paul, MN. Deubner ran a grocery store and invented the bag to encourage shoppers to buy more items. The first shopping bags were paper bags with handles. For strength, a cord ran through the bag. Within three years Deubner was selling over a million shopping bags a year.
Minneapolis’ Bruce Johnson invented the Breathe Right Nasal Strips in 1991. Johnson had a deviated septum and created the strips to help him breathe easier.
St. Paul’s Ed Lowe created “Kitty Litter” in 1948. It was one of the first cat litters to be available commercially.
St. Paul’s Richard Drew invented adhesive tape in 1925 while he was employed at 3M. When Drew first started at 3M they were a sandpaper manufacturer. The first tape Drew created had adhesive along the edges, but not in the middle. In 1930, Drew invented the Scotch Brand cellulose tape.
Reyn Guyer of St. Paul invented the Nerf ball in 1969. By 1970, it was being marketed by Parker Brothers as the “world’s first official indoor ball”. In 1967 Guyer invented another fun indoor game, Twister.
Looking for a place to create the next great Minneapolis/St. Paul invention? Schedule a tour of Assemble today.