5 Things to Thank Immigrants For


Many of us spend so much time degrading immigrants that we forget just how many contributions they have made to our country. Here are five things created by immigrants that you probably use every day and didn’t even know.


1. ATM

The efficient means of depositing and withdrawing money was invented by Luther George Simjian. Simjian was born in Turkey in 1905 and immigrated to the U.S. by himself, at age 15, following WWI. He came to New York in 1934 and came up with the idea to create the automated teller machine.


2. Bicycle

Many of us ride us bicycles around campus every day. It’s great exercise, and it takes less time than walking. Pierre Lallement was born in France in 1843 and came to the U.S. in 1865. Lallement created the first bicycle while he was working as a carriage-maker in France.


3. Google

I think it’s safe to say that we all use Google at least once a week, if not more. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union at 6 years old. He got his PhD in computer science from Stanford University and met Larry Page there. The two began creating search engine designs in dormitory rooms and came up with Google.


4. Automatic Transmission

A majority of people in the U.S. drive an automatic car. Oscar Banker was born in the Ottoman Empire and came to find success in America after surviving the Armenian genocide. He called America “the greatest country existing for opportunity.” He is known for patenting automatic transmission for motor vehicles.


5. Jeans

While leggings seem to be making a comeback, let’s not forget who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss was born in Germany in 1829, immigrated to the U.S. when he was 18 and moved to NYC. He partnered with Jacob Davis in 1872, and the two produced the new type of pants.