June 25, 2009

Cultural chest-thumping heralds Canada Day

In the run-up to Canada's 142nd birthday on July 1, a survey Thursday found much of the population isn't aware Canadians invented light bulbs and the zipper.

The Interac banking group, launched by the country's five largest banks in 1984 linking automated banking machines, commissioned the Strategic Counsel poll of 1,000 citizens June 4-10. The survey found only 49 percent knew the brand as a Canadian institution.

It also found only 53 percent knew Swedish-Canadian inventor Gideon Sundback invented the zipper in 1925 and 47 percent were aware two Canadian inventors devised the light bulb and sold the patent to Thomas Edison in 1874.

The survey found 46 percent of Canadians knew the paint roller was invented in Toronto in 1940, while 41 percent knew Winnipeg's Harry Wasylyk and Larry Hansen invented polyethylene bags in 1950.

A full 77 percent knew Scottish immigrant Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, but even more -- 80 percent -- knew the hockey mask for goalies was a native creation, started by Montreal's Jacques Plante in 1959, the release said.

The poll had a 3.1 percent margin of error, the pollster said.