Lonnie Johnson and The Super Soaker

By: Taylor Billinger

   Ever wondered as a youngster, how could a super soaker be so much fun? Give thanks to Lonnie Johnson, the American inventor. Born in Mobile, Alabama, Johnson had already completed a series of accomplishments in his life, such as attending Tuskegee University, earning his master’s degree, and joining the U.S Air Force. Johnson was an intelligent student, being nicknamed “The Professor” by bullies. Later in life, Johnson became an engineer for NASA, working on the Galileo mission to Jupiter and other historical events that occurred at NASA. Johnson was a brilliant engineer at NASA, earning multiple awards for his fine work! One day when Johnson was working on an eco-friendly heat pump, he accidentally shot a stream of water from the bathroom sink and thought it would make a great toy, this gave him the inspiration.

     After Johnson rejoined the Air Force he started working on his invention to bring it to life. At first it was tough for Johnson to get his idea out there but he continued to tweak with the gun. Johnson added a water reservoir, which is the department which holds the water.  He wanted to manufacture the gun himself but it would have costed him an arm and a leg, so he decided to partner with a toy company instead.

     Lonnie Johnson holds more than 80 patents and the super soaker was ranked the world’s top 20 for best-selling inventions. In 1991, the super soaker topped $200 million in sales. Johnson went on to continue working on inventions, using his intelligence to create useful things. Lonnie Johnson is an outstanding man and is sure to keep bringing the coolest inventions.

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