Stop and think for a moment about all of the things that make your life better or easier on a day-to-day basis. There's a lot of stuff bouncing around in your head, isn't there? It's easy to forget or just take for granted, that each of those wonderful things started out as an idea in someone's head. Can you imagine your life without those inventions?

Fun Fact: "Eureka" comes from a Greek phrase that translates to "I have found it.

When I think of history's most famous inventors - guys like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, and Nikola Tesla just to name a few - I don't instantly think about Indiana or the Midwest. The fact is, though, some of our greatest inventions have come from the Hoosier state.

What is Indiana's Greatest Invention?

gas pump
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We have to go back over 135 years to find what has got to be the greatest invention to come from Indiana - the FUEL PUMP. Yep, you can thank Fort Wayne native Sylvanus Freelove Bowser for creating the first fuel pump back in 1885. The pump was originally used to dispense kerosene - it included a storage barrel, plunger, and two levers and would so become known as a “filling station.” Here's a little more history from ...

By 1893, Bowser was selling his filling stations to mechanic shops and garages. However, for the first few years, these filling stations were all indoors. By 1905, Bowser had made some improvements, changes, and adjustments to his system and was able to develop an outdoor drive-up model–these fuel delivery systems were the early predecessor to the gas pumps we use today.

Other Notable Tri-State Inventions

  • Indiana: Theme Parks - shout out to the Koch family and original theme park - Santa Claus Land.
  • Illinois: Zippers were created in Chicago by a mechanical engineer named Whitcomb L. Judson.
  • Kentucky: The 'Happy Birthday' song was written by sisters Mildred and Patty Smith Hill from Louisville.

9 Groundbreaking Inventions Created By Women

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Indiana using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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