Arkansas is known as the natural state but did you know that there are quite a few wonderfully iconic things that were invented by Arkansans?

Some of these you may already know about but others you might be surprised to find out that they were invented in Arkansas. The cool thing is that some of these inventions are still around, others might be around but made by different companies.

1. The Bowie Knife


This one is of course one of the most iconic inventions made in Arkansas. It may have the name from James Bowie but it was originally crafted by James Black. Created in the 1830 it was also known as the Arkansas Toothpick. We are fortunate to have the James Black School of Bladesmithing just down the road at Historic Washington State Park, in Washington, Arkansas.

2. Sound on Film

35mm roll of film isolated
Slobodan Djajic

That's right, an Arkansan put an end to silent movies. His name was Freeman Owens and he was born in Pine Bluff. He also invented the first at-home movie projectors. We can blame him for all those home movies our parents showed to guests over and over again.

3. Klipsch Speakers

Invented by Paul Klipsch, the corner horn speaker was patented in 1945. His famous speakers are still made to this day in Hope, Arkansas. He was inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame in 2004.

4. Fried Pickles

Delicious Battered Fried Pickles with Dipping Sauce

We all love them but did you know they were invented in Arkansas? His name was Brenell "Fatman" Austin. He owned the Duchess Drive-In in Atkins, Arkansas. In 1963, he was looking for something new to bring in more business and took his sliced pickets for hamburgers and decided to drop them into batter, because we all know everything tastes better fried. Now every May you can go to the annual Pickle Festival in Downtown Atkins near Russellville.

5. The Wonder Horse

ebay, sunshinedayz
ebay, sunshinedayz

This has to be my favorite because I had one of these and I spent a lot of time on it. The Wonder Horse was invented back in 1939 in Pocahontas, Arkansas named William Baltz. It was originally made as a wooden horse on a metal frame suspended by springs. Later the horse was made out of plastic. The sweet thing is he made it for his 3-year-old son. They still make something like it for kids but the original Wonder Horses were made in Arkansas.


Check out the story of the Bowie Knife in the video below.

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The Jacob Wolf House in Arkansas was used as a home and a courthouse.

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