Did you know that the popsicle, ear muffs AND the trampoline were invented by kids? And, more than a few kids have become rich off of their inventions before they even graduated high school.


20One Saturday morning in 1991, eight-year old Abbey Fleck was making bacon with her dad. They’d run out of paper towels, so he put it on the classified section of the newspaper. Mom wasn’t too pleased, prompting dad to growl, “I could just stand here and let it drip dry.”

Ding! Young Abbey thought if they could make a rack to hang the bacon, with a dish underneath, they’d never need paper towels. And so, the Makin’ Bacon Dish for cooking bacon in the microwave was born. Not only does it save on paper towels, it’s healthier because the grease drips out.

Today, the Makin’ Bacon dish costs less than $10 and is sold in Walmart stores — next to the microwaves. Abbey is now 27 and lives in Los Angeles where she works with special children. She’s married to a man who sells the Deflecktor, fuel-saving wheel covers for trucks, that her dad invented.


Hart Main’s sister was selling candles for a school fundraiser, but the candles were “really girlie scents” like apple cinnamon, lavender, and cotton, the 13-year-old said. He thought, “Why don’t we make candles people actually want to buy?!” Hart meant it as just a joke,

16but his parents thought it was a good idea and encouraged him to start making the candles.And so, Hart created Man-Cans, candles in more “man-friendly” scents, such as coffee, sawdust, dirt, grass, new mitt (for baseball) and campfire that are sold in recycled soup cans. (The “can” in Man-Cans.) The soup is donated to homeless shelters. Hart started the company with $100 he made from delivering newspapers.

Today, the candles are sold for $9.50 in about 40 stores across the country and on their site, www.Man-Cans.com. Hart, now 14, is a freshman in high school. He made enough money to do what he set out to do: Buy a road bike to compete in a triathalon. The rest of the money he poured back into the business. Someday, he’d like to attend the Naval Academy and is considering a career in law. Hart’s currently writing a blog, Teen Business by Hart (teenbizbyhart.blogspot.com), to offer other kids advice on starting a business.


Sometimes inventions by kids are amazing technological innovations and sometimes they’re just plain practical ideas that make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

18The Popsicle, that staple of summer, was created in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson — by accident! Epperson had left a mixture of powdered soda, water and a stick in a cup on his porch overnight — and it was a cold night. He woke up the next morning and it was a frozen treat on a stick, Popsicle.com explains.

He initially called it the “Epsicle,” which was quite popular with the other kids at school and later his own kids. They kept asking for “Pop’s ‘sicle” and that, Jimmy, is how the popsicle was born. He got a patent on it in 1923 and then sold the rights to a bigger company. Today, the brand is owned by Unilever and they sell more than two billion Popsicles every year.

Here’s another fun fact: The double popsicle was invented during the Depression so two children could share it and it would only cost one nickel.


Maddie Bradshaw of Dallas, Texas (pictured left) says her family has always been creative — and into recycling. When she was 10, she wanted to decorate her locker. So, her uncle, who had an old Coke machine, gave her 50 bottle caps. She painted them and put magnets on them, and even gave some to her friends, who loved them. She liked them so much she decided to turn them into necklaces so she could take them anywhere with her.

19With the help of mom, Diane, she withdrew $300 she had saved up from birthdays, Christmases and the tooth fairy, and went out to buy supplies. She took about 50 of the necklaces, called “Snap Caps,” to the local toy store, and they sold out in a few hours.

She made her first million by age 13. Today, Snap Caps are a must-have for tween girls. The company, m3 girl designs, has 40 employees and sells over 60,000 necklaces per month in over 2,500 stores. They also make Snap Cap hair bows and Snap Cap “Huggers” to decorate your Ugg boots.

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Source: CNBC