New. Improved. Or old…


It seems as a culture, we are always trying to improve upon things. It is sort of the human way, in this part of the world. If we are doing something a certain way…. certainly there is another method which is slightly better.

As foods go… thing continue to show up on grocery shelves, which is “Better Tasting”… “New Flavor”…. “Crispier”…. “Fluffier”…. “Leaner” and on…

Everything is “New & Improved”…. “Longer Lasting”…. “Faster Acting”….

But a few things have stood the test of time. There are a handful on great inventions which have not changed since their inception.

For instance. Barbed Wire. In the late 1800s…. folks decided they wanted to keep their cows out of their corn. Or keep them from roaming. Well… it took a whole lot of fence to do that. They were made of wood, or stone and such back then.  So… out in Oklahoma…. four guys came up with the idea of barbed wire around 1880… and it hasn’t changed much since.

Bubble Wrap is another invention which hasn’t changed.  Well…. sort of.   It was first designed in the 1950s by a guy named Alfred Fielding. But he thought it would make snazzy three-dimensional wall paper. But alas. People thought the wall paper sucked. So Fielding redirected their plan and made it into packing material. It has been working great since.

Another good one is the Mouse Trap. William C. Hooker is the guy. His invention of the spring-loaded mousetrap came around in 1894. Place the cheese. Catch the mouse. In 1903, John Mast improved on Hooker’s design by making it safer to load and less finger-cracking-snapping.  And today….. we still use his same design.

Finally… the Sock Monkey. There were “stuffed monkeys” around in the Victorian Era… but they weren’t necessarily made of socks. So….. it took John Nelson to come up with the Awesomeness. He was a Swedish immigrant to the United States. Nelson patented the sock-knitting machine in 1869, and began manufacturing work socks in Rockford, Illinois in 1890.

Here is the big news of the night. It happened in 1932. The iconic sock monkeys made from red-heeled socks emerged at the Nelson Knitting Company. They added the trademarked red heel to its product around that time.

Oh sure… there are knock-offs. And different colors… and different types of sock-animals. But the “Original” is the go-to monkey of socks.

And.   That brings me back to the beginning.  

We should find enjoyment in the world regardless.  Some things need “new and improving.”  Other things… are pretty perfect from the very start.

I don’t necessarily think that one is better than the other.  Except for Sock Monkeys.  They are better than mouse traps, barbed wire, and bubble wrap all rolled in to one. Count on it.

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.  – E. B. White”

3 thoughts on “New. Improved. Or old…

  1. You are the sock monkey expert, for sure. Every day I learn something new now that I have my new Kindle Fire! Thanks for that!

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