Inventions

from the 1920's

Invention #1

Medicinal Insulin - 1922


  • In October 1920 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Frederick Banting, an unknown surgeon with a bachelor's degree in medicine, had the idea that the pancreatic digestive juices could be harmful to the secretion of the pancreas.


  • He therefore wanted to ligate the pancreatic ducts in order to stop the flow of nourishment to the pancreas. This would cause the pancreas to degenerate, making it shrink and lose its ability to secrete the digestive juices. The cells thought to produce an antidiabetic secretion could then be extracted from the pancreas without being harmed.


  • Early in 1921, Banting took his idea to Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, who was a leading figure in the study of diabetes in Canada. Macleod didn't think much of Banting's theories. Despite this, Banting managed to convince him that his idea was worth trying. Macleod gave Banting a laboratory with a minimum of equipment and ten dogs. Banting also got an assistant, a medical student by the name of Charles Best. The experiment was set to start in the summer of 1921.


  • The news of the successful treatment of diabetes with insulin rapidly spread outside of Toronto, and in 1923 the Nobel Committee decided to award Banting and Macleod the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Invention #2

The Snowblower - 1925

  • Arthur Sicard was born in Saint-Leonard-de-Port-Maurice, Quebec on December 17,1876 and died on September 13, 1946.


  • He invented the snow blower in 1925 and in 1927 he sold Sicard's first commercially available self-propelled rotary snow blower to the town of Outremont, Montreal, Canada. It consisted of a four wheel drive truck chassis and truck motor, another motor to drive the snow blower head, and a snow blower head with two adjustable chutes.


  • This invention enabled the operator to throw soft, hard, or packed snow over ninety feet away from the snow blower truck or directly into the back of a truck. Although the Sicard snow blowers of today have changed in many ways, they still reflect Mr. Sicard's preoccupation with quality, strength, durability, and efficiency.


  • The rugged functionalism of these machines is the reason so much original Sicard equipment can still be found in operation around the world. Sicard supplies a complete line of industrial snow blowers, runway sweepers, and other related products ( plows, spreaders, etc. ) for airports, municipalities, and military bases worldwide.

Invention #3

Variable Pitch Propellor - 1927

  • A controllable pitch propeller or variable pitch propeller is a type of propellor with blades that can be rotated around their long axis to change their pitch. If the pitch can be set to negative values, the reversible propeller can also create reverse thrust for braking or going backwards without the need of changing the direction of shaft revolutions.



  • On February 7, 1922 Wallace Rupert Turnbull patented the Variable Pitch Propeller. Considered one of the most important developments in the history of aviation, this mechanism allowed for change in blade pitch to suit flying conditions and airplane weight.


  • When Turnbull was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1977, his citation read: “The patient application of his aeronautical theses to a number of problems unique to flight, and more especially his invention of the successful variable pitch propeller, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation."