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Products that were not made for general public

August 29, 2013 13:43 IST

Products that were not made for general public

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There are many products we use everyday in our lives without thinking how they were developed, who came up with the idea and their original intended use.

Let's take a look at some inventions that were meant to be solely used by the military, but ended up being used by everyone.

NOTE: The image is for representation purpose.

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Image: A monkey and a chimpanzee chocolate creations by French chocolate maker Patrick Roger are displayed in his shop in Paris.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters
Tags: NOTE

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Products that were not made for general public

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Global positioning system

Date of invention: 1959

It was originally developed for American Air Force and Navy to be used to track planes and ships and to guide missiles. Now GPS can be found in cars, commercial carriers and even smartphones.

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Image: A man uses GPS in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Photographs: Paul Vreeker/Reuters

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Duct tape

Date of invention: 1942

It was originally developed by Johnson & Johnson to be used by the American army to fix windows and equipment and to seal containers during the World War II. Now it is widely used in construction and repair.

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Image: A man places duct tape on the windows of a real estate office in Westhampton Beach, New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Tags: Johnson

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Jeep

Date of invention: 1940s

During the World War II, it provided soldiers power, versatility and speed that was not available in other four-wheel drives at that time. Now it's a brand associated with toughness and all-terrain capacity.

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Image: A man walks past Jeeps parked in Vienna, Virginia, United States.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Tags: 1

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Microwave oven

Date of invention: 1945

The idea behind Microwave oven owes its genesis to research on radio transmission and radar detection by American and British army during the World War II. The waves engineered by radio waves helped them bomb towns more accurately. These days microwaves are used in detecting speed, communications and in microwave ovens.

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Image: A customer looks at microwave ovens on display at a Paris retailer in France.
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
Tags: American

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Aviator sunglasses

Date of invention: 1937

The idea behind sunglasses was to protect they eyes of fighter pilots flying at extremely high altitude from bright light in the upper atmosphere or from freezing in minus 62 degree Celsius. These days Ray-Bans are worn by just about everybody.

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Image: Air India air hostesses outside the domestic airport in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Tags: 1

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Kleenex

Date of invention: 1945

During the World War I, an American company, Kimberly-Clark, began making cellulose wadding derived from wood to bandage soldiers. These days people use its altered form, Kleenex, to wipe their face and hands around the world.

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Image: Two ladies sit and talk with the 'Good Listener' on the blue couch in New York City's Times Square. The couch will travel across the United States as Kleenex, the inventor of facial tissues, invites people to release their emotions.
Photographs: Ray Stubblebine/Handout/Reuters

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Products that were not made for general public

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Super glue

Date of invention: 1951

Super glue, created by Eastman Kodak's Harry Coover and Fred Joyner, was originally intended to be used as a heat-resistant coating for jet cockpits. These days the adhesive has both civilian and military uses.

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Image: A worker cleans up the glue after attaching a handle to a jug at the KPM porcelain manufacturer in Berlin, Germany.
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters

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Walkie-talkie

Date of invention: 1930s

Walkie-talkie was invented by Motorola team during the World War II to be used by soldiers for communication. These days walkie-talkies are used by businesses, civil defence teams, boats and ships among others.

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Image: A rescue worker uses a two-way radio transceiver during heavy snowfall in Sendai, northern Japan.
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Tags: Motorola

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Night vision

Date of invention: 1940s

The technology behind night vision was developed by Americans to provide visibility to military personnel in low light situations. These days the technology is used by both amateurs and soldiers around the world.

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Image: A military working dog outfitted with its own equipment and light heads up the steps of a building in this handout image from the Canadian company K9 Storm Inc.
Photographs: K9 Storm Inc/Handout/Reuters
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Jet engine

Date of invention: 1940s

Jet engine was invented by British and German armies to boost the performance of fighter planes during the World War II. Now jet engines are deployed in aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.

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Image: A technician opens the cover of a jet engine of an Air Berlin plane at a hangar at Tegel Airport in Berlin, Germany.
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Tags: 1

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Digital photography

Date of invention: 1960s

Digital photography was first developed by United States and Soviet Union in spy satellites. The use of digital photography also eliminated the need to recover deorbited film canisters.

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Image: Nigel Barker photographs a harp seal pup on an ice floe in the Gulf of St Lawrence in Canada.
Photographs: Paul Darrow/Reuters

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Internet

Date of invention: 1960s

"Advanced Research Projects Agency Network was one of the world's first operational packet switching networks, the first network to implement TCP/IP and the progenitor of what was to become the global Internet. The network was initially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency within the US Department of Defense for use by its projects at universities and research laboratories in the US," according to Wikipedia.


Image: Students play with iPads at the Steve Jobs school in Sneek, the Netherlands.
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters

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