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Happy Canada Day from Activo, and Cheers to Over 150 Years of Canadian Technological Innovation!

We wanted to take a moment to wish all of our clients and friends a wonderful Canada Day! This year is a particularly special one, as our country celebrates its 150th birthday.

Over the past century and a half, we’ve been a lot of things—peacemakers, politicians, astronauts, adventurers, entertainment stars, comedians, storytellers, and technological leaders (to name a few).

Here are just some of the innovations for which we have Canada to thank:

  • The Steam-Powered Foghorn: In the 1850s, Robert Foulis designed an instrument (as well as the code system to be used with it) to produce low-frequency, more audible sound to warn ships about hazards and prevent crashes.
  • The Lightbulb: Thomas Edison is renowned for bringing electricity into homes across North America, but it was Henry Woodward (a Canadian inventor) who first patented the electric lightbulb in Canada in 1874.
  • The Walkie-Talkie: Donald L. Hings created a portable radio signaling system in 1937. Originally called the “packset” by Hings, we now know it by its more popular name: the walkie-talkie.
  • The Pacemaker: Dr. John Hopps invented this lifesaving device, the external artificial pacemaker, in 1951. A Swedish team went on to implant a pacemaker in 1958.
  • The Canadarm: The Canadarm started its life in in space in 1981 before retiring in 2011 after its 90th mission. Throughout that time, it was instrumental in deploying payloads between spacecraft and enabling crew members to undertake critical repairs outside shuttles and on satellites.
  • Java: James Gosling, a Canadian graduate from the University of Calgary, introduced Java in 1995. Today this general-purpose computer programming language is one of the most prevalent in the world, being used to run everything from web-based applications to mobile games.

We’d like to extend an honourable mention to Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian-born inventor, who was a pioneer in the fields of radio and sonar. He became the first person to send audio via electromagnetic waves in 1900, relay a two-way transmission in 1902, broadcast a message over public radio in 1906, and take a crucial early step in the development of sonar (the Fessenden Oscillator) in 1912.

From everyone at Activo, we hope you have a fun and safe Canada Day weekend!

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