From the American Profile Magazine. Each week they either have a list of state tidbits like these or a list of state happenings. They break them down by region and I'm in the Midwest.
NORTH DAKOTA-- BOBCAT CO. headquartered in West Fargo (pop. 14,940) started in 1947 when Edward Gideon "E.G." Melroe started the Melroe Machine Co. in Gwinner (pop. 717) to manufacture the Melroe Pickup, a combine attachment invented to pick up grain without losing kernels.
SOUTH DAKOTA-- The first baseball manager to win a World Series for both the National and American League was Sparky Anderson (who just died November 2010). He was born George Lee Anderson in 1934 in Bridgewater (pop. 607). He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to World Series championships in 1975 and 1976 and the Detroit Tigers in 1984.
ILLINOIS-- The world's first rust-prevention paint, Rust-Oleum, came into being after Captain Robert Ferguson observed that corrosion stopped spreading when raw fish oil spilled on his rusted metal decks.
Years of research led to a fish oil-based paint and the founding in 1921 of the Rust-Oleum Corp., headquartered in Vernon Hills (pop. 20,120). I lived in that community for a year back in the 1970s.
Just Some Interesting Facts to Look for the Next Time You're on the Road. --RoadDog