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RIP The Professor of Gilligan's Island and His Jetpack Fuel

Illustration for article titled RIP The Professor of Gilligans Island and His Jetpack Fuel

Actor Russell Johnson died yesterday at the age of 89. He was best known for his role as The Professor on the hit TV show Gilligan's Island from 1964 until 1967. In honor of the actor, Mental Floss has compiled a list of the good Professor's greatest inventions —greatest inventions that never were.

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From a lie detector to a battery charger to a bicycle-powered washing machine, they may have all been fictional, but they sure were a lot of fun. And while the professor may not have invented the jetpack that appears in season 3, he did concoct his own fuel to get the thing flying. Only now do I realize how much shows like MacGyver really owe to The Professor and that strange band of misfits stuck on Gilligan's Island.

You can watch the March 27, 1967 episode, titled "It's a Bird, It's a Plane" over at Amazon. R.I.P. Professor, and your crazy, delightful inventions. [Mental Floss]

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Illustration for article titled RIP The Professor of Gilligans Island and His Jetpack Fuel

Images: Screenshots from the March 27, 1967 episode of Gilligan's Island

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DISCUSSION

He could develop fuel for a jet pack, but couldn't repair the Minnow? In truth, if I was stuck on an island with Maryanne, I wouldn't try to leave.