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Inventions of Youth

When I was growing up in the ‘90s, I wanted to be an inventor.

Well, I wanted to be a hillbilly.

And then an inventor.

I still have the desire to create something that will change people’s lives for the better. I do not, however, still want to be a hillbilly.

I had several ideas for inventions. One I acted on, somewhat. The other two have stuck with me all these years, as I still see the need for my radical solutions.

The invention I pursued was for a third-grade class project themed around Earth Day. I created a board game, called Earth Walk, about the climate.

It was a Monopoly-style board game that used a spinner instead of dice. It had trivia-type questions around greenhouse gases, pollution, fossil fuels, etc.

Some of the questions were “define non-renewable resource” and “name something some communities do to reduce noise pollution”.

My mom even helped me pitch it to Milton Bradley to see if we could get it made into a real game. I fear it was a little ahead of its time.

The two inventions that I didn’t act on, but have stuck with me, are the nose warmer and the heating-and-air-conditioned cat carrier. Sure, they could be used for other animals, so it could be a “pet” carrier, but for ‘90s me, it was for cats only!

Over the years, I’ve continued to need a nose warmer. I have ear muffs to keep my ears warm. Gloves to keep my fingers warm. But my nose is often freezing!

My solution (in thought only; I never made a prototype) was some kind of breathable cloth covering the nose.

But where to hook it?

The ears make the most sense, but the look and imagined feel of fabric strung across my face, hooked on my ears wasn’t selling me. So I never took action.

Enter 2020 and a global pandemic.

While wearing masks isn’t ideal, it has proven to me that a nose warmer is a great idea! In the winter, wearing a mask outside keeps my nose from freezing!

Maybe I was short-sighted in covering just the nose?!

Again, I was ahead of my time!

Stay tuned for the future of the heating-and-air-conditioned cat carrier!!

Or more likely, stay tuned for the “I had that idea but didn’t act on it” when someone else does the work!


1- I love little Jill and her game. 2- I love your mom for helping you pitch it to Milton Bradley. 3- How boring were school projects? Props for making this one fun(ish)

Jill Anthony
Jill Anthony
Jun 01, 2021
Replying to

I love that you call it fun(ish). Adult me would never want to play this game! Ha! It served a purpose, and was a creative idea for a school project, but ... snooze on the actual "fun" front for me personally! 🤣

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