Ten best Colorado inventions -- from weird to wise

Birthplace of the cheeseburger -- in north Denver, Colorado.
Birthplace of the cheeseburger -- in north Denver, Colorado.

From its rolling prairies to its purple mountains majesty, Colorado is full of natural beauty. But this state is also home to many manmade marvels, too. In addition to some of the country's best craft beer, Colorado is the birthplace of numerous inventions, from wacky to wise. Here are the ten best:

See also: Ten best free fountains in Denver

Ten best Colorado inventions -- from weird to wise
Hotel Colorado Facebook page

10) Teddy Bear The popular toy was reportedly invented in 1905 when maids at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs presented a small bear made out of scraps of material to President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, who was on a hunting trip in the area. The toy was quickly dubbed a Teddy Bear, and became a national craze.

Ten best Colorado inventions -- from weird to wise
Photo courtesy of the Jolly Rancher Facebook page

9) Jolly Ranchers The hard candies we all know and love were created right here in Colorado, by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, who'd originally attempted to market ice cream. Their hard candy worked much better, and the couple ran a factory in Wheat Ridge for decades. The brand is now owned by The Hershey Company.

Ten best Colorado inventions -- from weird to wise

8) Root Beer Float There are several stories about the invention of the root-beer float floating around, but most people credit Frank Wisner with the creation of the popular ice cream drink. He was looking out of his window at Cow Mountain, and decided that the snow on top looked like ice cream floating in a dark drink. The next day he dropped a scoop of ice cream in some root beer, and the famous concoction was born.

Ten best Colorado inventions -- from weird to wise

7) Cheeseburger Although numerous cooks have claimed credit for being the first to put cheese on a burger, Louis Ballast was awarded the "cheeseburger" trademark in 1935. Today a monument stands at 2755 Speer Boulevard, where the Humpty-Dumpty once flipped burgers. Keep reading for more Colorado inventions.


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