Did you know that the Hoosier State is to thank for a device that we use every day while driving?

When you think of Indiana, you might think of it being a flyover state. Perhaps you associate it with corn or the Indianapolis Colts. Most people think of the Indianapolis 500. These are all examples of popular Indiana staples. However, when you think of great things that came from Indiana, what do you think of? I'm not talking about celebrities like Michael Jackson, John Mellencamp, or Larry Bird. I'm talking about inventions that people from all over the country and the world use on a day-to-day basis.

Indiana is responsible (in some way) for some great inventions that we all use, or at least know someone who has used them. Some of these inventions include the gas pump, tomato juice, the breathalyzer, and even sliced bacon. There is yet, another item that was invented here in Indiana that we all use every day, and you might not have realized that it was created in the Hoosier State.

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Did You Know This Was Invented in Indiana?

The rearview mirror in vehicles is something that we use quite frequently when driving. We use it to check for traffic (or for cops) behind us, to check on the kids, to touch up your makeup, or to make sure you don't have anything in your teeth before you go about your day. It's a handy device that has origins in Indiana. You're welcome, world!

Detail of rear-view mirror in the interior of a rural van
Sylvia Becerra Gonzalez

Ray Harroun was a race car driver who drove a special six-cylinder Marmon to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911. Until then, he used to have a co-driver with him who would tell him if it was safe to change lanes. However, the car he used at the first Indianapolis 500, allowed him to take control himself with a handy-dandy mirror. According to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum:

After complaints from other teams during practice that his single-seat race car represented a safety hazard because it did not carry a riding mechanic, he devised what is believed to have been the first rearview mirror used on an automobile. He based the design on something he had seen several years earlier on a horse-drawn taxi cab in Chicago.

That was the first official use of the rearview mirror on a vehicle. However, it took another ten years for the rearview mirror to begin to take off in passenger vehicles. In 1921, Elmer Berger patented the first rear-view mirror in the industry. He named the device “Cop Spotter” as he primarily used it for looking out for cops tailing his car. Throughout the years, the rearview mirror became more useful than for just spotting cops on the roadway behind you. Still, its origins began right here in Indiana, and that's pretty cool!

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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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