Innovation was in Alan Hale's blood

The Skipper's dad would've had them off that island so much sooner!

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Fans of Gilligan's Island probably most associate inventions with The Professor. Russell Johnson was the face of levelheaded science as Professor Roy Hinkley, Ph.D. Over the course of the show's 98 episodes, The Professor made things like a Geiger counter, an electric generator, a sewing machine and a washing machine, all with mostly just bamboo!

While the island inventions may have all come from Hinkley, back on the mainland, another cast member was actually closer to some real-life product development. Alan Hale, Jr., who played the Gilligan's Skipper, was, appropriately enough, the son of Alan Hale, Sr. The elder Hale was an actor as well, starring in movies alongside Errol Flynn, Lon Chaney, Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney. Like his son decades later on Gilligan's Island, Hale Sr. was typically a supporting player. However, acting wasn't the only trick up Papa Hale's sleeves.

While he's best remembered for his work in Hollywood, Hale, Sr. was actually a bit of a renaissance man, trying his hand at multiple callings. Interestingly, among his pursuits was the invention of new technology!

"During some of the lulls in pictures, I turned my hand to inventing a few new gadgets," Hale, Sr. told the Times Union in 1935. "I turned out a self-sealing fruit jar of which Mrs. Hale thought highly. Then I did a theater chair that allows the patrons to pass the seated customers without falling over their feet. This is a simple affair which moves the seats backward." 

It may have been his in-demand status in Hollywood that pushed Hale toward invention. All of his contrivances strive for convenience, ease of use and speed. 

"Inventors are dsually lazy men also," said Hale. "They are always trying to think of something to keep people out of work. Nobody is ever more surprised than I when some of mine turn out successfully. I began it because I found the acting profession precarious; I am continuing it because I'm not sure I shall not make more money in it than in pictures. Children sharpen the wits. It takes money to educate them." 

He must've been onto something. After hundreds of movies and dozens of inventions, Alan Hale, Sr. is rightly viewed as a Hollywood legend. So too was his son, The Skipper. 

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CaptainDunsel 8 months ago
I hadn't heard Hale's comment, but I have long maintained that the great march of human technological process is largely the product of lazy people looking for an easier way to accomplish something.
Coldnorth CaptainDunsel 8 months ago
Let us give a cheer to the lazy people. They sure made my life easier..🎉🎉🍾🍾🍾🎊🎊🎊
Coldnorth CaptainDunsel 8 months ago
I do believe that statement is correct. When I reread my comment I’m sorry it sounded snarky. I really didn’t mean it to sound like that.
CaptainDunsel Coldnorth 8 months ago
Nothing to apologize for.
WGH 8 months ago
Let's see how successful he would have been with Gilligan running around the house!
CoreyC 8 months ago
Alan Hale Jr aka The Skipper was my favorite. Beneath his gruff demeanor was a man with a heart of gold.
Runeshaper 8 months ago
Alan Hale, Sr. must have been so honored to star in movies alongside Errol Flynn, Lon Chaney, Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney. Kudos to Alan hale, Jr. for his skills as well!
Bapa1 8 months ago
I would see Sr. in movies and swear it was The Skipper. They looked so much alike. The Fighting 69th with James Cagney is a classic.
cperrynaples 8 months ago
Fun Fact: Alan Hale Sr. is best remembered for playing Little John opposite Errol Flynn's Robin Hood! "Nah...It couldn't be him!'"..LOL!
Runeshaper cperrynaples 8 months ago
Love that movie!
Andybandit 8 months ago
I love the different things that was made to survive on the island.
McGillahooala Andybandit 8 months ago
Yes, the professor could make just about anything out of a stick of bamboo and a couple of clam shells, but oddly, he couldn’t fix a hole in a boat.
He was MacGyver before MacGyver was MacGyver.
With Ginger and Mary Ann on the island,why would he want to fix the boat??!
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