You might be able to name five things that Washington state is known for - but can you even name five things actually invented or innovated here in Washington?

The state has had - and still has - some remarkable minds at work. From scientists and researchers at the University of Washington, to the engineers at Boeing, to creative individuals and entrepeneurs - there are dozens of things that found their initial spark right here in the Evergreen State.

Did you know these things were created in Washington?

Just to prove my point - here are a few things that can thank Washington for their existence.

The minivan. While minivans of the past were extremely different from those of today, they were first thought of by Roy McCarty, service manager at a Seattle dealership. His design would have seated seven - now eight is a standard number, and some seat more than that!

The Slinky Dog and Snap-Lock Beads. Both well loved toys were created by Helen Malsed from Seattle. She in fact invented 26 toys in her time!

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The kidney dialysis machine. A standard part of medical practice now, the machine was created by a Seattle team who were trying to help a woman get dialysis at home. Before then, "outpatient" dialysis centers were unknown.

Cialis. The drug, now used for erectile dysfunction, was originally designed for hypertension and angina.

Now that I've got your interest, let's take a look at some of the major innovations and inventions that came from Washington State.

50 Incredible Things Invented or Created in Washington State

Invention and innovation happen all over the world, all the time - but there's no denying that Washington State has contributed a distinct collection of ideas that have changed the world. Here's a look at over 100 years of innovations created in Washington, as chronicled in part by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

Of course, Washington is also home to many incredible companies that have changed the world.

World-Famous Companies That Started in Washington

Washington has a bigger role to play in world commerce than you may realize. While you will probably recognize some names on this list, you may find some surprises.

Gallery Credit: Pete Christensen

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