Each state has their own set of contributions they have made to the United States and the world at large. Rhode Island’s inventions perfectly convey its sense of fun and style – not to mention its big appetite!
We have the Ocean State to thank for the following 12 innovations.
1. Mr. Potato Head
The iconic toy was invented and developed by George Lerner in 1949, and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro – the headquarters of which are still located in Rhode Island – in 1952.
2. Coffee Milk
While the precise origin of coffee milk is unclear, several sources trace it back to the 19th century of the Italian immigrant population in Providence. It is frequently found on Rhode Island diner menus and paired with the state favorite, hot weiners.
Walter Scott created the first diner in 1872 when he sold food from a horse drawn cart to workers in Providence.
4. Pizza Strips
This RI tradition is often found served cold in bakeries with thick crusts topped with thick tomato sauce and oregano.
5. Hot Weiners
The first official hot weiner joint was created by Olneyville New York System in Providence. They are made with thin pieces of veal and pork – please don’t call them hot dogs!
6. Clam Cakes
The battle for who truly created the first clam cake rages on between Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, but if you’re from RI you know the truth…
7. The Night Before Christmas
Newport local Clement Clarke Moore wrote this cherished holiday favorite in 1823. It was originally entitled, A Visit From St. Nicholas.
8. Glee Gum
The headquarters of this tasty natural chewing gum and all its varieties is located in Providence.
Fried cornmeal gruel made from yellow or white cornmeal mixed with salt and hot water or milk, and sometimes sweetened. Similar to a pancake, johnnycakes can be made into savory meals or sweet treats.
Frederick Grinnell pioneered fire safety in the 1890s when he invented the innovative sprinkler systems that are still in use today.
Sorry, Elvis, Tennessee does not get the credit for popularizing sideburns! Ambrose Burnside, the former Rhode Island governor and war general takes that honor.
12. The Fast Break
The popular offensive basketball strategy, the “fast break” is said to have its roots in Rhode Island.
Featured Image via Instagram/@Ryotarooo0620