3 Things Unlikely Things You Didn’t Know Were Invented in Arizona
Arizona has a rich history of innovation. From developing a way to use tree rings for climate study, a non-lethal way to take someone down to a way to make roads a little smoother, Arizona has made an indelible mark on inventions used around the world.
1. The Taser was Invented in Arizona
Way back in September of 2007, a University of Florida student was stunned by police with a taser at a forum featuring then–U.S. Senator John Kerry, according to Wikipedia.
In case you don't remember that strange newsworthy moment, Andrew Meyer was a 21-year-old college student. He was forcibly carried away from the microphone when we began asking some rather impertinent questions of Senator Kerry during a Q & A session.
As he was taken away by security, he kept hollering the phrase, "Don't Tase Me, Bro!".
According to Phoenix New Times, the TASER, which is an acronym for Tom A. Swift’s Electric Rifle - is named after a fictional character from a novel. The TASER was invented by Jack Cover in 1974. At the time it was invented, the TASER was considered a firearm.
The TASER we know today is a non-lethal weapon that delivers an electric shock. It does a pretty good job of incapacitating someone. This version was developed in Arizona in the 1990s.
2. Rubberized Asphalt Concrete was Developed in Phoenix
Driving around Arizona some days, it's hard to believe this substance was invented here.
We can complain about the Arizona Department of Transportation all we want, but when they finally do get around to fixing our roads and highways, we can be grateful for that smooth ride feel.
Doug Nintzel, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation, explains that ADOT has used rubberized asphalt on state highway projects for decades. There's a site dedicated to this invention; RubberPavements.org.
The site explains, "Over 40 years ago, Charlie McDonald, an engineer for the City of Phoenix, developed an ad time/temperature formula for mixing scrap tire material and asphalt to develop a material that would make the asphalt behave much like tire rubber."
He developed this new process which adds elasticity to the pavement and helps prevents roadways from cracking.
3. Dendrochronology Helps Us See the Past
According to Dictionary.com, dendrochronology is "the science or technique of dating events, environmental change, and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in timber and tree trunks."
It's a way for scientists to see into the past using tree rings to analyze different events recorded in the rings.
This scientific method of dating historical events and environmental changes by analyzing the growth rings of trees was developed by astronomer A.E. Douglass in Flagstaff in the early 1900s.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, who was the first to suggest a tree’s rings could determine its age, SciHi.org explains A.E. Douglass suggested the theory that there could be a connection between sunspots and the weather on Earth.
Douglass used tree ring research to discover that in regions of higher precipitation, the rings were wider than in drier regions. After years of research, he founded the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona in 1937.
Even today, scientists in Tucson and around the world study dendrochronology to learn more about a variety of things like climate science, fire history, ecology, archeology, and hydrology.
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