Best of Houston

The 10 Best Houston Inventions

Ever since mankind figured out that prehistoric beasts die easier when you poke them with a pointy stick rather than beating them in the head with a far less pointy stick, humanity has lauded and celebrated invention. We like things, and one way or another we've crawled from the caves into magics like the Internet, dialysis, and the inflatable grill. If only our ancestors could see us now I'd bet they'd...

Well, probably poke us with the pointy stick out of a combination of magosophobia and "No one likes a show off, smartass". Progress is hard, OK?

Houston has contributed nicely to the world's collections of do-hickies, and today we celebrate ten things you love that were made possible by H-Town inventors.

Screwpull Corkscrew Fun fact, the cork was invented before the corkscrew. It wasn't until an English gunsmith in the 18th century used a device used to get shot out of muzzle-loaders than anyone came up with a way to easily get the wine out of a sealed bottle.

Somewhat easier, I mean, and the process still needed improving. Enter Houston's Herbert Allen in the 20th century, who liked inventing things for jet engines and the petroleum industry but loved wine. He had one of the finest cellars in Houston, and when his wife complained that she had a hard time with corkscrews Allen went to work inventing a lever-based mechanism that would do the job for her with a fraction of the effort.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner