Write For Us

10 All-American Things That Actually Aren't

Google Rank
Here are 10 things often thought to be American creations but actually aren’t.

Some aspects of our culture have become so synonymous with the American experience that many naturally believe they were invented here. That isn’t always the case.
Here are 10 All-American things that actually aren’t.
Number 10. The National Anthem. Francis Scott Key is credited with writing The Star Spangled Banner, but he actually just supplied the words. The melody was taken from a song performed by the Anacreontic Society, a British glee club.
Number 9. Apple pie. The first documented recipe for one dates back to the late 14th century and appeared in an English cookbook. A hundred or so years later the Dutch added a bit of flair to the simple dish, topping it with a lattice crust.
Number 8. Cars. Though many credit Henry Ford with inventing the first automobile, others will point to Germany’s Karl Benz in the late 1880s. Ford’s major contribution was revolutionizing mass production and thus affordable cars.
Number 7. Cowboys. Thanks mostly to Hollywood, cowboys are associated with the Wild West and the expansion that occurred in the 1800s. They’ve been around since the 16th century, though, and came from Mexico.
Number 6. Hotdogs. In the battle over which country actually created the ballpark favorite, the US isn’t even a contender. Germany and Austria both claim to have first enjoyed the food hundreds of years before it ever turned up on American soil.
Number 5. The Statue of Liberty. The statue, and the sentiment behind it, were France’s doing. French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to make it, and upon completion it was sent to the US as a gift.
Number 4. Peanut Butter. Washington Carver may be credited with finding over 300 uses for the peanut, but they don’t include turning them into a spread. There’s evidence that the Aztecs made something similar, but it was a Canadian who was issued the patent for the food in 1884.
Number 3. Fireworks. Other than that they’re heavily used in the US, there isn’t much about the explosives that’s particularly American. Fireworks were invented by the Chinese, and it was Italian pyrotechnicians who figured out how to make them in an array of dazzling colors.
Number 2. The YMCA. The Young Men’s Christian Association was founded in London in the mid-1800s. Further, putting together the musical group the Village People, who famously sang about the organization, was the work of a French music producer.
Number 1. Donuts. The Dutch have long challenged America’s claim to the invention of donuts, but it looks like neither country actually did. A recipe for a similarly-named fried dough delectable was found in a British cookbook written decades before any other known reference.
Which All-American import do you find most surprising?
Tech News
Sign in or sign up to post comments.
Be the first to comment