5 things you didn’t know originated in the US

There are a whole host of inventions that come from America and we love to celebrate them all as well as the impact they’ve had in the UK and all around the world. However, even if you’re a seasoned reader you might not realise some of these are actually US-made.

1) Fortune cookies

This might actually be an obvious one to many people, but fortune cookies are so closely associated with traditional Chinese style food in the US (and also widely known in the United Kingdom) that most people assume they were created there originally. In fact, a Japanese-American immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara invented the modern design of fortune cookies in 19th century California. Chinese people think Americans are crazy for having these as part of their culture and generally have no idea what the basis for them is supposed to be.

2) Cupcakes

American desserts usually bring to mind disturbing, fatty creations like bacon flavour ice cream, waffles topped with bacon, or basically anything else involving bacon where it shouldn’t be. You might be surprised to learn that the innocent cupcake is also an American invention, although they were generally made by British immigrants in the 18th century.

3) Submarine warfare

Alongside Gatling guns and the nuclear bomb, military submarines are another crucial element of modern day warfare that originated in the States. The German fighters in World War I are widely credited with the first truly effective attacks made using submarines, but Americans invented the technique in the Revolutionary War and used it during the Civil War too. Unfortunately the technology wasn’t up to par yet and there were a lot of failed missions, so this isn’t widely known with good reason.

4) Games consoles

Long before the market became dominated by Japanese companies, the American games console known as the Magnavox Odyssey was launched making it the first of its kind. Unfortunately it was ahead of its time and didn’t explain itself well, so nobody actually bought it. Even before that though, the first American arcade game was a duck shooting game built into cabinet, closely resembling modern first person shooters but made of wood rather than pixels. At the time, Nintendo was still focused on playing cards.

5) The Internet

British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the Internet itself, but little credit is usually given to the large team of American engineers who actually implemented it. They figured out how to construct the infrastructure required which is basically still in use today, so we think this qualifies for the list.

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