Had No Idea a Guy From Iowa Invented These Back Yard Atrocities
Iowa is known for many things. It's home to the Iowa State Fair, one of the biggest state fairs in the country. Iowa is the home to the Iowa Hawkeyes. It's the nation's top pork producer and of course corn.
But did you also know it was the birthplace of the trampoline?
Yes, that giant metal circle structure in your backyard that you cuss at every time you have to mow was actually invented by a man from Iowa.
George Nissen invented the trampoline in the 1930s for his act in the Iowa Hawkeye Circus.
According to Vulyplay:
The two men had noted circus trapeze artists using their safety nets to rebound and perform additional stunts and decided that this would be a fantastic training tool for the team.
George and his gymnastics coach created a piece of equipment out of "scrap steel and tire inner tubes".
The New York Times says, "this 'bouncing rig' gave Nissen the power to leap into a back somersault. Later the two men formed a company to manufacture a portable version, and Nissen christened it with a name he acquired while performing in Mexico: Campeón de Trampolín."
Campeón de Trampolín
No, they didn't start off with the name "jump-o-line" until your mom got on one. That's an old wives tale.
Since then trampolines have been used by NASA, by the US Military, and by almost every child in America, despite overprotective mothers.
But How Do You Keep Them From Blowing Away?
Ole George Nissen isn't the only inventor around these parts. I'm pretty proud to say, my invention of bungee cords and dog ties helped my trampoline stay put during the Iowa derecho of 2020.
Here's an instructional video I made while power was still knocked out after the storm.