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7 Commercial Products the Military Invented

7 Commercial Products the Military Invented
(Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 22 July 2019 11:45 AM

Defending the U.S. is at the heart of the military, which is why you may be surprised to learn that dozens of everyday items were actually first developed through its weapons programs and similar initiatives.

From Silly Putty to frozen juice concentrate, it is hard to believe that these products were ever intended for anything other than the purpose they serve in our own households.

However, many of these items were in fact first developed with the aim of defending the country, as 24/7 Wall St. noted in a report that looked at several of these commercial products that were invented by the military. Here are seven of those items:

1. Undershirts. While wearing undergarments is something people have been doing for thousands of years, the cotton, T-shaped undershirts found on clothing racks today only became a hit after 1905, when they became part of the official Navy uniform.

2. Jeep. It is easy to see how and why the Jeep can be traced back to the military. The vehicle was developed in response to the U.S. Army's request for a light reconnaissance vehicle during World War II. The answer was a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a top speed of 65 mph dubbed "General Purpose," which was abbreviated to G.P., hence the nickname Jeep. The surplus vehicles were sold off after the war. It was not long before automakers latched onto the concept.

3. Aerosol bug spray. You can thank the military for a peaceful night's sleep. In 1941 two scientists from the Department of Agriculture were tasked with developing a product that could kill mosquitos effectively in order to prevent the spread of malaria among troops. They stepped up to the challenge and produced a product that could dispense a fine mist of insecticide- the first aerosol bug spray.

4. Duct tape. It is hard to imagine life without duct tape so you can imagine how difficult it was for the military, which needed a durable adhesive tape that could endure the toughest conditions. Which is why in 1942 Johnson & Johnson Co. was approached for help. After the war civilians began to use the adhesive tape in their homes.

5. Super glue. Another product that was developed by the military, super glue was created inadvertently by a chemist testing out compounds that could be used for use in a plastic rifle sight. The material, cyanoacrylate, proved to be too sticky and was dismissed, only to be later sold as a commercial product.

6. Microwave. Would you believe that the microwave was never meant to cook food? Instead, the technology was meant to be used as radar. The microwave was actually intended to help locate enemies during World War II. It was only when an engineer researching the technology noted a candy bar melting in his hand that he realized the potential the microwave had to cook foods.

7. The internet. The internet was not made for Netflix and social media. Instead, the concept first came about as a response to the U.S. military's need for an information-sharing system that did not require a command center. Which is how The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network came about. Later colleges were granted access to a limited trial run. Years later the concept was developed into the internet.

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Defending the U.S. is at the heart of the military, which is why you may be surprised to learn that dozens of everyday items were actually first developed through its weapons programs and similar initiatives.From silly putty to frozen juice concentrate, it...
military, products, commercial
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2019-45-22
Monday, 22 July 2019 11:45 AM
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