In an apparent early modern example of urban legend, the invention of the pet door was attributed to Isaac Newton (1642–1727) in a story (authored anonymously and published in a column of anecdotes in 1893) to the effect that Newton foolishly made a large hole for his adult cat and a small one for her kittens, not realizing the kittens would follow the mother through the large one.
Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach in the 1950s who didn’t like how running shoes were made. He first created the Cortez shoe, but still wanted to make a shoe even lighter that could be worn on various surfaces. During a waffle breakfast with his wife in 1970, the idea came to him of using the waffle texture on the sole of running shoes. The waffle sole shoe made their appearance in the 1972 U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene.