Photo by Africa Studio from Shutterstock

Usually new items appear out of necessity, so it’s not surprising that the military is the best when it comes to innovation. When a discovery can make the difference between life and death, research, obviously, becomes incredibly important.

Many things invented for the battlefield have found their way to the civilian world and improved our daily lives.

1. GPS

The global positioning system also known as GPS is one of the most interesting military inventions. In the early 1940s, the British Royal Navy developed ground-based radionavigation systems, LORAN and Decca Navigator during World War II.

If initially, GPS was used exclusively for military operations, since 2011 it has become a location system accessible to the general public.

2. Microwave oven

The technology behind the microwave was accidentally discovered. In 1946, while testing the radar tubes with a magnetron, Percy L. Spencer, a Raytheon employee, noticed that the candies he had in his pocket melted during the tests.

So he explored how radiation was able to do this to food and tried to direct the focus to heat food. In 1947, the company built Radarange, the world’s first microwave oven.

3. Aviator sunglasses

While many people perceive aviator sunglasses as a fashionable accessory, they were actually invented for pilots.

When pilots reported vision problems due to sunlight in the 1930s, Ray-Ban created a set of sunglasses with dark green lenses to solve the pilots’ vision problem. The lenses were much larger than today’s sunglasses models as to provide more protection.

4. Computers

ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), the first electronic computer that could be programmed to serve various purposes, was designed for the US military during World War II by physicist John Mauchly, engineer J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and their colleagues at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania .

The military paid for the computer to be used in the ballistics research lab.

5. Super Glue

It was accidentally invented in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover, who worked at Kodak and was trying to discover a plastic material that could be molded into a gun sight during World War II. To Coover’s disappointment, the material he had created was very sticky and unusable.

Little did he know that he had just invented the best glue ever invented. Years later, Coover rediscovered his invention, when the container in which he had kept the sticky substance did not come off the floor. Thus, Kodak then launched the Eastman 910 glue, before coining the name super glue shortly after.

So, maybe we should all just take a second to thank the military for these everyday items that are very much useful, but which would not have been possible without the research done by the army.

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