6 Things (Pretty Much) Invented in Wisconsin

Ty Randerson |

"No look here, boys, this pristine machinery sucks the power from the water."

A while back, we posted six world changing inventions that came from Wisconsin, but that’s hardly all of the amazing things Wisconsinites have invented. So for your reading pleasure and bar trivia, here are six more things invented in Wisconsin.

Dam, y'all!
Dam, y'all!

1. The First Commercial Hydroelectric Power Plant

Exciting, right? Opening on September 30, 1882 Wisconsin is home to the first commercially operated hydroelectric power plant. Fueled by the Fox River running through Appleton, the dams still stand and make for some nice sightseeing next time you’re heading that way.

2. Republicans

This one is more widely known. so it won’t impress your friends as much, but Ripon, Wisconsin is home to the first Republican Party.

William Horlick, the face of Malted Milk.
William Horlick, the face of Malted Milk.

3. Malted Milk

That’s right, the dairy state is responsible for making malted milk. 'Twas invented by William Horlick, a pharmacist from London who came to Racine to follow his brother who worked in a quarry there. Take that, England!

4. Anticoagulants

More commonly known as blood thinners, anticoagulants were developed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and have been used to save countless lives. You go, Madison.

5. The Ice Cream Sundae

This one is a bit of a tossup because it’s hard to prove who invented something as simple as putting a few ingredients together, but of the four commonly disputed origins of the ice cream sundae, Two Rivers is noted as having the first supposed creation date back in 1881.

6. The Gas Powered Tractor

We have to split credit with Iowa on this one because the first gas powered tractor was created by two men, Charles Hart and Charles Parr, who came up with the idea while attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, but moved to Charles City, Iowa to find financing for their idea. One thing is for sure, that’s a lot of Charles for one invention.