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7 things that are surprisingly as old as Betty White

Image: The Everett Collection

Betty White passed away days short of her 100 birthday. To put her longevity in perspective, consider other celebrities born in 1922 — Judy Garland, Bea Arthur, Ava Gardner, Redd Foxx, Telly Savalas, Veronica Lake, Stan Lee, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Klugman, Jack Kerouac, Charles Schulz, Doris Day, Barbara Hale… we could go on. They all seem to belong to another era. Betty White is for every generation.

And so are these introductions, innovations, and inventions that came into the world in 1922. They will surprise you.



A Polish-American inventor named Stephen Poplawski patented the blender in 1922, initially conceived to mix up malted milkshakes at soda fountains. About a decade later, L. Hamilton and Chester Beach started cranking out the machines as the "Miracle Mixer." 

Image: Hamilton Beach


Girl Scout Cookies

In a 1922 issue of The American Girl, the magazine published by Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the organization offered up a way for troops to collect money — baking cookies. Yep, originally, troops had to whip up their own batches. The original recipe was for a buttery sugar cookie and came with a helpful bit of prose to sell them, seen here.

Image: The American Girl / Girl Scouts


Klondike Bars

"What would you do for a Klondike bar?" That jingle has been rattling around in our brains for decades. But the ice cream treats had been around for half a century before that, originating from Isaly's, a dairy restaurant chain in Ohio. A savvy businessman named Henry Clarke bought the rights in 1976 and took the bars nationwide.

Image: Isaly's / Good Humor


La Choy

A Korean immigrant named Dr. Ilhan New partnered with a fellow from the University of Michigan named Wally Smith to can mung beans for a Detroit grocery store. The branded the mung beans "La Choy," and an Asian food giant was born. In the 1960s and '70s, Muppets legends Jim Henson and Frank Oz performed as Delbert the La Choy Dragon and Mert in commercials for the brand, seen here.

Image: La Choy / Con Agra


The Little Rascals

Hal Roach, pictured here with his kiddie stars, kicked off his "Our Gang" franchise in 1922, originally as silent shorts. One Terrible Day, the first installment of the scamps' adventures, introduced characters Jackie, Mickey, the Doty Twins, Farina, and Booker T. Bacon. Spanky would not appear for another decade. Buckwheat followed a couple of years later — initially as a female character. Did you know that?

Image: Everett Collection


Quaker Quick Oats

Quick Oats were one of the first "convenience products," cutting the time it took to enjoy breakfast. Americans were starting to get on the go.

Image: Quaker Oats / PepsiCo


Water Skiing

Ah, what would the world be without Fonzie jumping the shark? The sport was invented in Minnesota, Land of Lakes, by a teenager named Ralph Samuelson, who bravely strapped two boards to his feet and had a boat drag him around Lake Pepin by a clothesline. Thus, a sport was born.

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