Our Stories

Unique Innovations from Champaign-Urbana

May 18, 2021

It's no surprise that some incredible innovations come out of the Champaign-Urbana community. With a world-class university in our community and countless trailblazing businesses and start-ups nearby, there's always an Outside of Ordinary innovation around the corner. Here are a few that definitely impacted our lives, as well as the lives of millions around the world. 

Whipped Cream in a can

Can't picture a slice of pie with a little whipped cream from a can on top? Thank Champaign-Urbana for that one! Charles A. Getz made whipped cream in a can possible. Earning three degrees during his time in Champaign-Urbana (B.S., M.S., Ph.D., 1932, 1934, 1938), Getz was a graduate student in chemistry when he developed the technology to instantly apply whipped cream via machine. How sweet is that? 


Speaking of sweet, there's nothing that ties together a great summer meal quite like sweetcorn. For a long time, sweetcorn wasn't a staple at the grocery store because it didn't have a long shelf life. That changed with University of Illinois professor John Laughnan, who worked to create a hybrid breed of sweetcorn that lasted longer and still tasted amazing. Next time you're enjoying a summer BBQ, be sure to tip your ear of corn to Laughnan and C-U!

The modern web browser

You're reading this blog about Champaign County innovation on the internet! We don't think twice about opening up an internet browser and visiting our favorite websites, but at one time, there wasn't a way for everyday users to traverse the world wide web. In 1993, a team of computer science students at U of I's National Center for Supercomputing Applications led by Marc Andreessen released Mosaic, one of the first graphical Web browsers. Thanks to commercialization, the technology led to the browsers we use daily. 

Wear your community pride with chambana proud

From whipped cream to the way we traverse the internet, you can wear your community pride with Chambana Proud. Shop shirts that celebrate the innovations above and more at the Chambana Proud Store. 

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