Missouri Day: 10 inventions that came from the Show Me State

Image source -

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Jan. 4 is recognized as National Missouri Day. The day identifies Missouri as the 24th state to join the Union. Here is a list of ten things and ideas that all began in the Show Me State.

Public kindergarten. St. Louis native Susan Elizabeth Blow founded the first public kindergarten in Des Peres in 1873. Blow would run the facility for 11 years, unpaid, according to the Visit Missouri website.

The ice cream cone. At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, Ernest Hamwi was the booth next to a popular ice cream vendor. When the ice cream booth ran out of cups to hold the treat, Hamwi used his waffle-like pastry, zalabis, as a replacement. This quick fix introduced what we now know as the ice cream cone.

Pancake mix. When Charles Rutt and Charles Underwood purchased the bankrupt Pearl Milling Company, they took initiative to make better use of flour. Although Rutt and Underwood did not entirely find success either, their foundation of the product carried on to be Aunt Jemima pancake mix a few years later.

The mood ring. James Fergason of Wakenda, Mo., performed innovative research on liquid crystals in the late 1950s. He learned these liquid crystals were sensitive to heat conducted from the finger, which in return, changed the color of the liquid crystals. Fergason holds the patent for the mood ring.

Osteopathic medicine. Based in Kirksville, Mo., Andrew Taylor Still moved to the small town in 1875, promoting the idea of not only treating symptoms but treating the overall disease. The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine is located at A.T. Still University.

7UP. Charles Leiper Grigg, another St. Louis local, worked for manufacturing companies and developed several carbonated drinks before leaving to co-own another company in the late 1920s. As Grigg saw he couldn’t further compete in the orange-flavored beverage industry, he flipped gears to focus on a lemon-lime flavor. The original 7UP was named Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Sodas.

Monster trucks. In 1974, Missourian Bob Chandler purchased a new Ford F-250 and later opened his own market for truck supplies after noticing how limited parts were near him. His new enhanced truck became known as “Bigfoot,” and popularity built soon after, building the world of monster trucks.

Iced Tea. Another vendor at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, Richard Blechynden, was having a difficult time selling steaming tea on an already warm day. To make it more refreshing, Blechnynden added ice cubes to the drink, and as simple as that, iced tea came to fruition.

Kewpies. Rose O’Neill was an off-and-on resident in the Ozarks. In the early 1900s, O’Neill started drawing Kewpies, which instantly became a success and contributed to her title as the highest-paid female illustrator in 1914.

Automatic fire alarms. Kansas City Fire Chief George Hale is attributed to a wide range of firefighting inventions throughout his employment for 31 years in the late 1800s. One of these methods he created was the automatic fire alarm, which alerted the central fire station of where they needed to be dispatched. Hale was once considered the world’s most famous firefighter, according to the Kansas City Public Library.


Never Miss A Story

Get our Weekly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.
Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.

Hot daily news right into your inbox.