The Super Soaker has been one of the top 20 bestselling toys ever since it was introduced to the general market. It has even been the subject of some of the first Christmas toy rushes that are seen annually during Black Friday sales events anymore. What is even more remarkable about this invention, however, is that it was created by accident while its inventor, Lonnie Johnson, was trying to find a more efficient way to cool down a heat pump.
Even more remarkable was that it took 7 years to be able to successfully market this top selling toy. The first Super Soaker prototype was created by Johnson in 1982 and in 1989, it successfully made its debut in stores across the country.
Lonnie Johnson continues to be a remarkable inventor. Part of this is due to his engineering and aeronautics background, but another part of this is because of his love for inventing. Here is a brief look at some of his other inventions.
1. Air Powered Robot
Linex was Johnson’s first ever invention and he created it for the Alabama Science Fair. In some ways this invention was revolutionary simply because he was the only minority student in the competition and he was able to win it. Linex was a robot that ran on compressed air and it was so good that his invention was able to break through the social and racial stigmas that existed during Johnson’s childhood years.
2. Toy Rocket Launchers
Johnson always had a sense of awe when he would see rockets fly up into the sky, which is what propelled him toward the career that he had with the military. He also wanted to be able to transition that love into something that everyone could enjoy as a toy. Through these efforts, he was able to develop an air pump that was powered manually. The pump was then tied to the rocket base with a pressure tube. When the air is release, the rocket goes up into the air and can then be recovered to do it time and time again. No more parachutes, no more rocket engines, and no more mess.
3. Magnetic Propulsion
Scientists have long known that magnets repel each other when opposite poles are forced to face each other. When placed in conjunction with each other and with a propulsion aid, these opposing fields can make objects float within the field and then move. Johnson loved the idea of being able to find transportation options that would be viable for society, but he also had a passion to create a fun toy for children as well. This led to the development of the magnetized car, which would be continuously propelled forward because of the magnetic fields that were installed in the toy.
Johnson’s company continues to put out new inventions or improvements on existing inventions still today. Look for new Super Soakers in stores coming soon that will create even more opportunities for wet and wild fun for the kids.
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