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Swedish Innovation

Despite having only 10 million residents, Sweden hits way above its weight when it comes to innovation, having produced some of the most well-known products in the world, many of which we use on a daily basis.

Propeller

One of the most important inventions making modern-day travel possible, the propeller was originally designed for ships and patented by Swedish inventor John Ericsson in 1836. Ericsson famously built the Yankee battleship Monitor, which helped the North clinch victory from the South.

Propeller

One of the most important inventions making modern-day travel possible, the propeller was originally designed for ships and patented by Swedish inventor John Ericsson in 1836. Ericsson famously built the Yankee battleship Monitor, which helped the North clinch victory from the South.

Skype

Many of us chat daily with family and friends on video through Skype, but did you know the service is something which originally came from Sweden? Working with a small team that included Danish inventor Janus Friis, Niklas Zennström developed the back-end for Skype, a company which sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011.

Skype

Many of us chat daily with family and friends on video through Skype, but did you know the service is something which originally came from Sweden? Working with a small team that included Danish inventor Janus Friis, Niklas Zennström developed the back-end for Skype, a company which sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011.

Milking Machine

Anyone who has worked on a dairy farm knows how laborious it is to milk a cow by hand. Enter Swedish inventor Gustaf de Laval who invented the milking machine in 1896, drastically streamlining the dairy industry. (He also invented a Separator to divide the cream from the milk.)

Milking Machine

Anyone who has worked on a dairy farm knows how laborious it is to milk a cow by hand. Enter Swedish inventor Gustaf de Laval who invented the milking machine in 1896, drastically streamlining the dairy industry. (He also invented a Separator to divide the cream from the milk.)

Bottle Return Machine

The machines can be seen throughout Europe thanks to Wicanders, who created the first working model. Today, over 100,000 of the machines are spread out across the planet, accepting used bottles and containers and returning money to the user.

Bottle Return Machine

The machines can be seen throughout Europe thanks to Wicanders, who created the first working model. Today, over 100,000 of the machines are spread out across the planet, accepting used bottles and containers and returning money to the user.

Pacemaker

The savior of millions of lives, the pacemaker was developed in 1958 by Rune Elmqvist. Run by a battery, the device is placed inside a person’s body to regulate an irregular heartbeat, emitting electrical pulses to ensure proper muscle contraction.

Pacemaker

The savior of millions of lives, the pacemaker was developed in 1958 by Rune Elmqvist. Run by a battery, the device is placed inside a person’s body to regulate an irregular heartbeat, emitting electrical pulses to ensure proper muscle contraction.

Celsius Temperature Scale

Used by all but five countries, the Celsius temperature scale was developed by mathematician and astronomer Anders Celsius. After massively contributing to the field of astronomy with his observations of eclipses and planetary orbits, the scientist developed a new thermometer which measures 100 degrees between the freezing point and boiling point of water.

Celsius Temperature Scale

Used by all but five countries, the Celsius temperature scale was developed by mathematician and astronomer Anders Celsius. After massively contributing to the field of astronomy with his observations of eclipses and planetary orbits, the scientist developed a new thermometer which measures 100 degrees between the freezing point and boiling point of water.

Ultrasound

In the 1970’s, Swedish physician Inge Edler worked with Austrian researcher Carl Hellmuth Hertz to develop the first ultrasound, the primary non-invasive way to examine our hearts and internal organs.

Ultrasound

In the 1970’s, Swedish physician Inge Edler worked with Austrian researcher Carl Hellmuth Hertz to develop the first ultrasound, the primary non-invasive way to examine our hearts and internal organs.

Three-Point Seatbelt

These days, almost every car on the planet has Sweden to thank for its invention of the three-point seatbelt. Running across the waist and over the shoulder like a “Y” to spread energy during an accident, the seatbelt was created by Nils Bohlin for Volvo.

Three-Point Seatbelt

These days, almost every car on the planet has Sweden to thank for its invention of the three-point seatbelt. Running across the waist and over the shoulder like a “Y” to spread energy during an accident, the seatbelt was created by Nils Bohlin for Volvo.

Gamma Knife

The gamma knife is one of the most important medical inventions which has come from Sweden. Professors Lars Leskell and Borge Larsson invented the surgical device which, despite its name, has no metal knife; it uses gamma waves to treat cancer and brain tumors without making dangerous incisions.

Gamma Knife

The gamma knife is one of the most important medical inventions which has come from Sweden. Professors Lars Leskell and Borge Larsson invented the surgical device which, despite its name, has no metal knife; it uses gamma waves to treat cancer and brain tumors without making dangerous incisions.

Zipper

A common feature of most of our wardrobes, backpacks, and more, the zipper was designed by Swedish-American inventor Gideon Sundbäck. Patented in 1917, the zipper’s interlocking teeth and slider have touched nearly every textile industry on Earth.

Zipper

A common feature of most of our wardrobes, backpacks, and more, the zipper was designed by Swedish-American inventor Gideon Sundbäck. Patented in 1917, the zipper’s interlocking teeth and slider have touched nearly every textile industry on Earth.

Dynamite

One of the most famous Swedes, Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866, revolutionizing the construction and exploration industries. He also bequeathed most of his fortune to create the Nobel Prizes.

Dynamite

One of the most famous Swedes, Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866, revolutionizing the construction and exploration industries. He also bequeathed most of his fortune to create the Nobel Prizes.

Safety Match

Though matches weren’t invented in Sweden, until Gustaf Erik Pasch took a look at them, they were quite dangerous. With flammable phosphorous embedded in the match head, they easily burned the user. Pasch moved the phosphorous to the side of the match box and replaced the poisonous yellow phosphorous with a non-toxic red version. Thanks to his innovation, Sweden has at times produced upwards of 75% of global matches.

Safety Match

Though matches weren’t invented in Sweden, until Gustaf Erik Pasch took a look at them, they were quite dangerous. With flammable phosphorous embedded in the match head, they easily burned the user. Pasch moved the phosphorous to the side of the match box and replaced the poisonous yellow phosphorous with a non-toxic red version. Thanks to his innovation, Sweden has at times produced upwards of 75% of global matches.

Tetrapak

Almost every carton of milk, fruit juice, and a host of other liquids has Sweden to thank. Invented by Erik Wallenberg in 1946, the Tetrapak revolutionized packaging systems by making cartons out of paper. It was soon commercialized by Swede Ruben Rausing.

Tetrapak

Almost every carton of milk, fruit juice, and a host of other liquids has Sweden to thank. Invented by Erik Wallenberg in 1946, the Tetrapak revolutionized packaging systems by making cartons out of paper. It was soon commercialized by Swede Ruben Rausing.

Telephone Handset

Famous Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson was founded by Lars Magnus Ericsson in 1876. Its first widely successful product was a telephone handset with both speaker and mouthpiece built into the same housing. Previously, telephone users had to hold the speaker to their ear and hold the separate microphone to their mouth to speak.

Telephone Handset

Famous Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson was founded by Lars Magnus Ericsson in 1876. Its first widely successful product was a telephone handset with both speaker and mouthpiece built into the same housing. Previously, telephone users had to hold the speaker to their ear and hold the separate microphone to their mouth to speak.

GPS/AIS

Though a Swede didn’t directly invent GPS (Global Positioning System), Håkan Lans did invent one of its most important derivations. His AIS (Automatic Identification System) has become the standard for both sea and air traffic tracking and collision avoidance.

GPS/AIS

Though a Swede didn’t directly invent GPS (Global Positioning System), Håkan Lans did invent one of its most important derivations. His AIS (Automatic Identification System) has become the standard for both sea and air traffic tracking and collision avoidance.

The System of Nature

Anyone who studies plants, animals, or minerals has Carl Linnaeus to thank. Not receiving nearly the amount of notoriety he should, Linnaeus compiled a classification system for our natural world, creating a central repository for scientists worldwide which is still used over 250 years later.

The System of Nature

Anyone who studies plants, animals, or minerals has Carl Linnaeus to thank. Not receiving nearly the amount of notoriety he should, Linnaeus compiled a classification system for our natural world, creating a central repository for scientists worldwide which is still used over 250 years later.

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