Minnesota became a state on this day in 1858. The 32nd state in the Union, we're nicknamed "The Land of 10,000 Lakes", but really, we have about 12,000 lakes, with more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined!  Here are Minnesota's Five Most AMazing Firsts!

 

  • 1

    MICROWAVE POPCORN

    Up in Edina, there was a company called Golden Valley Act II making microwave foods. In 1984 they became the first in the world to make shelf-stable microwave popcorn. Act II is still going strong as the 3rd best selling in the USA, tho now it's owned by Con Agra.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • 2

    RECREATIONAL SNOWMOBILE

    The snowmobile was invented before 1956, but that was the year Edgar Hetteen realized how much fun it would be as a recreation machine. Right? Before that, it wasn't for fun! How is that possible? Anyway, Hatteen built the first recreational sled in Roseau at his business (called Polaris Industries!). BTW - Hetten left POlarPolaris to start another company. Its name? Artic Cat!

    CREDIT: Public Domain
  • 3

    FURNACE THERMOSTAT

    Albert Butz was a Swiss-born immigrant that started the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Co. of St Paul, which gave us the "damper flapper". It would open and close the damper when the world's first furnace thermostat told it to. Eventually, Butz's company turned into Honeywell International, which created the round thermostats we know and love to..this...day. Nowadays it's in New Jersey.

    Kitty Ellis
  • 4

    BREATH RIGHT NASAL STRIP

    These strips are amazing. They keep me from snoring, and when I wear 'em, I sleep so deep. But, they didn't really take off until NFL players started wearing 'em on the field. Who invented them? A guy that needed 'em. Bruce Johnson had the idea in 1991, figured out a basic idea of 'em, then licensed 'em to a Minnesota medical equipment company called CNS. CNS was bought out in 2006 by GlaxoSmithKline.

    Rodolfo Ganzales /Allsport / Getty Images
  • 5

    WALK-BEHIND SNOW BLOWER

    Of course, this was invented in Minnesota! A great testing spot, a population hungry for a better way to get rid of Minnesota's wicked winters. Toro created it in 1951, tho by 1952 other companies were coming out with their own models.

    Getty Images
  • 6

    BONUS: THE INFAMOUS FILE

    Things we might not be so proud of...

    It was 1991, and tho many a significant other cried out in pain, the men in their lives loved Zubaz. Comfy, baggy, soft, sloppy and lazy. Basically, they were 1991's Crocs. The two guys who invented 'em started with shorts for the guys that worked out at their Minnesota gym. You can still get 'em, by the way. Click HERE for more.

    CREDIT: Ianwpugh at English Wikipedia