Three American Inventions That Could Not Have Happened Anywhere Else

best American inventions
Rock n roll sign: Flikr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Paul Hudson 2/22/12 4:10 Car: Wikimedia, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) trailersoftheeastcoast 6/2/18

Just like we do every year, (with perhaps the exception of 2020), Americans are preparing to celebrate Independence Day. We are planning our barbecues, our fireworks displays, our get-togethers in what ever form they come in, to celebrate being Americans.

And while we might scale things back a bit this year because of high gas and food prices, the fact remains that, despite our leaders, America is still the best place on earth to be born.

Our ingenuity, our know how, our drive and passion, have given the world some of the best creations ever experienced.

When we talk about American inventions, we might think of those stuffy things we learned in grade school. There is a whole other list, and it’s way more fun! Let’s talk about those things that never got mentioned in school.

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Just Take Those Old Records Off The Shelf…

Not many things are more quintessentially American than good ol’ hard core a**-kickin’ rock n roll. It could not have been invented anywhere else on the planet for a few reasons.

Rock was invented because of the melting pot of America. Some long ago genius, or geniuses, thought to combine the structure of blues and soul music African-Americans were playing in the south, with the twangy fiddle-laced country & western music rural and mountain white people were playing, with the feeling and passion of gospel music that everyone was playing.

And the subject matter was the stuff we could all relate to. If people did not fall in and out of love, get cheated on and dumped, and come back together again, there might not have been rock n roll. 

That musical stew became all of us – from Robert Johnson learning the blues by infamously selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads, to Fats Domino rocking away at his piano, to Chuck Berry’s rockabilly and Elvis Presley’s hip thrusts.

The sound was so powerful it made its way to our cousins across the pond with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, while here it became Kansas, Boston, Journey, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Listen to all of that music long enough, and you will hear the first blues riff played by Robert Johnson.

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4 On The Floor

The automobile was actually invented in France and Germany towards the end of the nineteenth century. But it took Americans to take that idea and boy did we run with it! There is no other place on the planet that could have initiated the mass production that Henry Ford developed, so that his Model T could be attainable to the working man.

Because of the competition of the “Big 3” automobile manufacturers, auto designers gave the world the most timeless styles that could not have been realized anywhere else. The classic fins and power of a 1957 Chevy Belair, the affordable and insanely popular to this day Ford Mustang, the sleek lines and even more power of a Corvette.

We all remember our first car. It was our first taste of freedom and doing what you wanted to do. We overlooked all the imperfections and things that might have been missing or didn’t work. It was ours.

Because the other thing we had, and still have: Wide open spaces, and wide open roads to drive those cars on.

That ’64 Impala I paid $200 for, with paint splotches, holes in the floorboards, and a metal dashboard you could fry an egg on in the summer, was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen at 17. Only in America.

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Tickling America’s Taste Buds

As divided a nation as America seems to be this Independence Day, nothing can bring people together and maybe make them forget their differences for a little while like food. 

We can start on the east coast and talk about clam chowder and lobster rolls. Head to New York City, and whatever you have a taste for is there. Head south and you can find amazing soul food. Southern hospitality usually comes in the form of something fried, but definitely delicious!

Head back up north a bit for the melty goodness of Wisconsin cheese curds. Heading south to Chicago you will find deep dish pizza and Italian beef. Hit the midwest for “toasted ravs” (ravioli) and gooey butter cake in St. Louis. (If you’ve never tried St. Louis style pizza, you haven’t lived.)

Some of the best barbecue can’t be missed in Kansas City. Head Southwest for Tex-Mex treat of tacos, burritos, and green chile sauce. And once in California, some not-to-be missed Asian food. It’s all rolled into one amazing American flavor. However, we wouldn’t be Americans if we did not love fast-food! Whether it is a Big Mac, Whopper, or just about anything from Taco Bell, we usually can’t just drive on by.

As we celebrate Independence Day this year, not only should we be grateful to live in the most amazing country on earth, but that, as Americans, the things that we create are the envy of the world.

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