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Did you know? Fun facts on every day products

Scrolling through Netflix the other day, I came across a documentary from 2017 called ‘What the Health‘. Its primary purpose is to promote and advocate plant-based diets and heavily critiques the health impact of the consumption of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, including the alleged collusion with the pharmaceutical industry to cover it up.

Got me to thinking (not about conspiracy theories so much), but about how much we do not know about a lot of things – how they work, how they are made and how we use them. So, without delving into any of the serious stuff, I thought I’d do some research and provide some neat fun facts about some of the things that we might be using on a daily basis and never have given a thought about where it originated or how it’s made. Check these out:

The Know-How

Ball point pens are made of metal, plastic and other chemicals and the first ball used was  made of steel. These days the ball is made of textured tungsten carbide because of its ability to resist becoming bent. The point that holds the ball is made of brass – a combo of copper and zinc. Brass is often also used for the ink catridge, the spring and the body of the pen itself. The first step is making the ink – complex computer generated steps controlled by workers called ‘compounders’ who manage the mixing of batches of inks made in tanks according to specific formulae. Find out more about the history of the ballpoint pen.

In case you ever wondered, nail polish (or lacquer, or enamel) is not a product with hundreds of years of history but is almost completely an invention of twentieth century technology. Interestingly, there is no single formula for nail polish, but the exact formulation depends solely on the chemists made in the research and development phase of manufacturing. Did you know that formaldahyde was once used in the production of nail polish? The primary ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose (cellulose nitrate) cotton, a flammable and explosive ingredient also used in making dynamite! Interestingly, there are such things as ‘unacceptable pigments’ that are not approved by the FDA in the production of nail polish.

One of the appliances that has become an essential in most homes and commercial kitchens is the blender. History says that blenders were invented in the mid-1900s to meet the demand for malted milk drinks, prescribed by physicians to help build strength. A blender consists of 6 individual and often replaceable components:

  1. Housing
  2. Blade
  3. Jar
  4. Gasket or seal ring
  5. Jar base or jar nut
  6. Lid

Today, the blender has evolved into the ice crusher, smoothie maker, food processor, essentail kitchen aid and food science and microbiology tool. The development of the gadget spans continents and brands including the Vitamix brand that has been around since 1949.

Drinking tea forms part of the cultural staple of many countries. Lipton made ‘dip-a-dip’ the advertising song of the decade and propelled tea drinking to a new level. The first phase of making tea bags is the harvesting and drying of the tea leaves. The top tea leaves and leaf buds are hand-picked from the plant. The leaves are then subjected to several processes including withering, rolling, drying, cutting, and blending. The intensity and duration of each process differs according to the type of tea. Here’s a fact about tea bags that’s not so fun – research has shown that some bags contain the plastic polypropylene and not the common paper tea bags! For tea lovers, catch a read of some more interesting tea details.

These 4 items are just a minute example of every day products that we use. Think of the millions more and the fun information you can learn about them. This is also a snippet that can encourage you to learn more about the products that you may offer as part of your niche. The more you know the better you can promote to your target audience.

If you found this post interesting, drop me a comment below. In fact, if you know of any fun facts of products that we use all the time, why not share it with us?!

Leave a comment

  1. Hello there, this has been an interesting read. I find it amazing knowing where the daily things we use originated from. It kind of helps one to appreciated the things we use and to not take it for granted at times. The blender history has been my favorite. Definitely would like to learn more about other products that are promoted. Thanks for creating this post. 

    1. Hello Mike. Thanks for taking the time to read the post. It truly is amazing when you consider how some things are made. Of course there are many that we would prefer not to know! However, I think it’s cool knowledge and definite conversation starters. Appreciate your time and comment. 


  2. I didn’t know that the first ball in the first ball pen was made of steel. This is an interesting fact. I have been particularly interested in this now that we write more and more digitally. I believe that a few days from now, all related to pens and this classic way of writing will be something good for museums. It sounds surreal.

    1. Hello Ann. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read the blog. It truly is interesting how much we don’t know about so many items that we use on a daily basis. The history of some of them is quite wild. It’s cool to research some of these things, if only for the knowledge. Much appreciated.