Lonnie Johnson: The Mind Behind the Super Soaker

Lonnie Johnson: The Mind Behind the Super Soaker

Lonnie Johnson

The Mind Behind the Super Soaker

(Johnson holding the Super Soaker)

Lonnie Johnson is a name that may not be familiar to many, but his invention has brought joy to millions of people worldwide. Johnson is the inventor of the Super Soaker, one of the most popular and recognizable water guns on the market today.

Johnson, an engineer by trade, started working on the Super Soaker in 1982. He was inspired by his love for science and a desire to create a new type of water gun that could shoot water with greater force and distance than other toys on the market. His goal was to create a water gun that would allow people to cool off and have fun during the hot summer months.

When I came up for the idea for the water gun, I was working on something else,” Johnson recalls. “I was working on a new idea for a heat pump that would use water as a working fluid instead of Freon.” At the time, there was concern about how the continuous use of Freon would impact the environment, so Johnson set out to see if he could develop a refrigeration system that used water, instead. 

(Actual Patent of the Super Soaker)

“I was experimenting with some nozzles that I machined, and I shot a stream of water across the bathroom and I thought, ‘Geez, maybe I should put this hard science stuff aside and work on something fun like a water gun. Maybe I could get enough money to support my habit,” Johnson recalls.

This wasn’t the engineer’s first foray into toy-making. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to make a better toy, something I enjoyed playing with,” he remembers.

(Johnson Quotes from CNN Article Published in 2020)

One of his earliest toy creations was building chinaberry guns with his friends using a mop and hollowed out bamboo tubing. This would foreshadow a later (very popular) invention.

After several years of development and testing, Johnson finally released the Super Soaker in 1990. The water gun was an instant hit, selling over a million units in its first year alone. The Super Soaker quickly became one of the most popular toys in the world, and it remains a staple of summertime fun to this day.

What makes the Super Soaker so special is its high-pressure pump system, which allows it to shoot water with greater force and accuracy than other water guns. The pump system also makes it possible to control the pressure and distance of the water stream, making it possible to play with the Super Soaker in a variety of different ways.

(Lonnie Johnson sitting on lawn holding patent with gun)

Lonnie Johnson is a true inventor and a great example of what can be accomplished with hard work and determination. He saw a need for a better water gun and created a product that has brought joy to millions of people around the world. The Super Soaker remains one of the most popular toys on the market, and it is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of its inventor.

Lonnie Johnson's Super Soaker is a true masterpiece of engineering and design. Its popularity speaks to the fact that people love having fun and getting creative, especially during the hot summer months. Johnson's invention has brought joy to countless people and will continue to do so for generations to come.

(Model in Super Soaker inspired fit for Black designer brand Pyer Moss)




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