9 everyday products that are actually military inventions

Government spending on military research has resulted in science and engineering breakthroughs which benefit many people today.

Like the spin-offs invented by NASA, many technologies originally developed for military applications trickle down to consumers and become household items.

We have featured nine of the most famous military inventions below.


The Global Positioning System was created by the United States Air Force to serve as a navigation system.

The system is still operated by the United States government, which can choose to deny access to selected recipients – including entire countries.



The invention of the microwave oven is related to radar systems used by militaries.

The technology was designed to be used for air defence and early warning systems, and in 1945 an American engineer discovered that the microwaves from a radar emitted enough energy to cook food.


Jet Engines

The German and British air forces both developed the first jet engines for use in World War II.

The technology was quickly adopted by military powers worldwide and became ubiquitous among military aircraft.

F-22 Raptor Jet


Aviator sunglasses were originally developed by Bausch & Lomb in 1935 to protect the eyes of pilots, replacing flight goggles.

The sunglasses became popular due to their large lenses and were eventually trademarked as Ray Bans.

Top Gun Ray Bans

Duct Tape

Duct tape was invented by Revolite during World War II and was used as an adhesive tape for creating a waterproof seal for ammunition cases.

The product was useful for many other applications and quickly became popular among consumers.

Duct Tape

The Internet

While a lot of networking and research was required to refine the Internet, the United States government funded the first building block of the global network.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network was funded by the US Department of Defense and eventually adopted TCP/IP as its standard networking protocol.


Super Glue

Super Glue was discovered by scientists attempting to create clear plastic gun sights during World War II.

The scientists created a substance which stuck to everything it came in contact with, and the strong adhesive was born.

Super Glue


Jeep originally manufactured its iconic vehicles for the United States military during World War II.

Following the war, the company began producing civilian models.

Jeep Wrangler SEMA 2015


The first drones appeared following World War II and included unmanned jets and various UAV designs.

Since then, militaries around the world have improved the design of their UACVs (Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles), with the technology filtering down to commercial units.


Now read: US military launches Space Mission Force

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9 everyday products that are actually military inventions