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Weed Eater inventor, native of Ruston, dead at age 85

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George Ballas, who was born in Ruston and invented the Weed Eater, died recently in Houston at the age of 85.

Raised in Rayville, Ballas spent much of his adult life in Houston, where he founded his Weed Eater company in 1971. Ballas reportedly came up with the idea for the Weed Eater, a device also commonly known as a weed whacker, while sitting in a car wash and wondering whether the idea of spinning bristles, like the ones cleaning his car, could be applied to trimming grass and weeds in areas a lawnmower couldn’t reach.

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