A new year brings new challenges, travels and discoveries.  Maybe it is a good idea to enlighten you of some pretty cool inventions coming from South Africa – some of it you will probably recognize.

1) The Kreepy Krauly

The funny swimming pool vacuum cleaner was invented by Ferdinand Chauvier from Springs. Chauvier tried to figure out a way to take the hassle out of pool cleaning. The result was the Kreepy Krauly and the first one was created in 1974.

I think he was just tired of cleaning the pool and thought of all the pool sweepers out there, so he made them happy!

2) Dolosse

Created by Eric Merrifield, a harbour engineer from East London. Dolosse is that large, unusually shaped concrete blocks weighing up to 20 tons that you sometimes notice on the shoreline.  Initially they were called the “Merrifield block.”  A Dolos resembles the knuckle bones of a sheep and was first placed at the breakwater in the East London harbour. These huge structures are designed to break up wave action and protect harbour walls and coastal installations.

Today the dolos is used in over 100 countries around the world.  The world’s biggest dolosse have been used to create the 2.5 km long breakwater that protects the new deep water harbour at the Port of Ngqura at Coega, 20km east of Port Elizabeth.

3)  Q20

Who of you have not used magical Q20?

It was invented during 1950 in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal by Mr Robertson as a product to displace water from the distributor caps on the old VW Beetle, which was notorious for stalling in wet weather.  (He was probably driving a VW Beetle himself!).  It was (and still is) an effective water repellent, kept rust at bay, eased squeaky door hinges, and made it easy to release rusted or seized nuts and bolts. Initially he did not know what to call it but he told his neighbour that it certainly had 20 answers to 20 questions.

The secret behind Q20 is that it is heavier than water. Since oil floats on water, simply oiling the area will not resolve the problem. But because Q20 has a specific gravity of 1.154, it can displace water which only has a specific gravity of 1. Once Q20 is sprayed on water, it sinks to the bottom, where it acts as a water displacer and lubricant on the problem area.

Q20 is definitely my solution to many of my problems when hubby is not around to assist.

4)  Computerized Ticketing

Have you ever been to a show or attended a sport match?  Well, then you probably would have used this South African invention.

A high five to Percy Tucker of Benoni. His Computicket is the world’s first complex computerized reservation system for ticket holders. He wanted to find a way to make theater-going easier for fellow South Africans but had never seen a computer in his life. Minor problem. Tucker’s vision went national in 1971, then soon after international.

This is pretty cool stuff coming from Southern Africa!  As they say in Afrikaans “Boer maak ‘n plan”.

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