1938 ~ Part II, Ten New Things

Today’s installment–things invented, founded and established in ’38.

Dr. West's amazing breakthrough in oral hygiene!

Dr. West’s amazing breakthrough in oral hygiene!

Falling as it did before WWII but at the onset of a slow rebound from the dreariness of the Great Depression, 1938 seems to have been a year for new things. Here are ten.

    1. The National Button Society was founded, and is still going strong.
    2. Superman debuted in Action Comics #1.
    3. Superman was new

      Superman was new

    4. Nylon was accidentally invented.
    5. Consequently, the nylon toothbrush (see above) first made its appearance. Before that, people brushed their teeth with boar’s bristle brushes. (1939 saw the advent of women’s nylon stockings)
      Boar's bristle toothbrushes

      Boar’s bristle toothbrushes

    6. Soft-serve ice cream may or may not have been invented that year, by someone in Illinois, maybe. Or by a young Margaret Thatcher. Depends on whom you ask.
    7. The National Arborists Association was established. It, too, is still around. Woo.
    8. A demonstration of the Drunk-o-Meter

      A demonstration of the Drunk-o-Meter

    9. The Drunk-o-Meter, an early form of the breathalyzer test for drunkenness, made its debut.
    10. This Ferragamo shoe (I know, again with the shoes):



    11. The board game Scrabble was invented, but it wasn’t called Scrabble yet.
    12. And finally, this … vehicle:

      Tractorcycle. Did not catch on.

      Tractorcycle. Did not catch on.

    Did anything surprise you? More to come!

    In 1938: What a Year, Part I, we talked 1930s fashion, namely, shoes.


One thought on “1938 ~ Part II, Ten New Things

  1. L. Marie says:

    I vaguely knew about Superman, but the others were a surprise, particularly the Ferragammo shoe and the nylon toothbrush!!! Love these facts!

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