South African Inventions: What was invented by South Africans and when?

02:40 Monrovia 0 Comments

South Africa has a rich history of innovation and invention across various fields. Here are some notable South African inventions, along with brief descriptions of what they are, when they were invented, and by whom:

Kreepy Krauly (Pool Cleaner):

Invented by Ferdinand Chauvier in the early 1970s, the Kreepy Krauly is an automatic pool cleaning device that moves around the pool floor, walls, and steps to remove dirt and debris. This invention revolutionized pool maintenance, making it more convenient and efficient for pool owners to keep their pools clean.

Pratley Putty (Adhesive Putty):

In 1948, George Montague Pratley, a South African engineer and inventor, created Pratley Putty. This versatile adhesive putty was initially developed to secure components in an electrical box but has found a wide range of applications due to its strong bonding properties. It's often credited as one of the world's first epoxy adhesives.

Q20 (Multi-Purpose Lubricant):

In 1950, South African engineer and inventor Joe Palframan developed Q20, a versatile multi-purpose lubricant. Q20 has a wide range of applications, including lubrication, rust prevention, and corrosion protection. It became a popular product in South Africa and beyond.

CAT Scan (Computed Axial Tomography):

Although the invention of the CAT scan is credited to British engineer Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, South African physicist Allan Cormack played a crucial role in its development. In 1972, Cormack published mathematical methods that significantly improved the image reconstruction process, contributing to the advancement of CAT scan technology. CAT scans have since become an essential medical imaging tool.

Thawte (Digital Certificates and Encryption):

Mark Shuttleworth, a South African entrepreneur, founded Thawte in 1995. Thawte was one of the first companies to offer digital certificates and encryption services, contributing to the secure transmission of data over the internet. The company played a significant role in the growth of e-commerce and online security.

Hippo Roller (Water Roller): 

Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker invented the Hippo Roller in 1991. This innovative device is designed to make it easier for people in water-scarce regions to transport water from distant sources. The Hippo Roller's large cylindrical container can hold up to 90 liters of water, and its rolling design reduces the physical effort required to transport water.

Thermal Lance (Industrial Cutting Tool):

In the 1970s, South African engineer and inventor Lance Ferris developed the thermal lance, a tool used for cutting through materials that are difficult to cut using conventional methods. The thermal lance operates by combining oxygen and iron rods, producing an intensely hot flame that can cut through materials like steel.

These inventions showcase South Africa's contribution to various fields, from technology and engineering to medical imaging and social innovation. It's important to note that while some of these inventions were entirely created by South African inventors, others involved collaborations or contributions from individuals outside of South Africa.

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