Of course, there are many more than just ten inventors who have created our culture and society until it is now. It all began with the wheel, or with language, Where it all started exactly is actually hard to say. What we can tell about is the inventors of very specific commonly used inventions, phenomena or machinations. The inventors mentioned below all have a thing in common, they all contributed to the comfort we can experience today. Where would we be today without a computer, electricity and airplanes !? Exactly, not much further than the Middle Ages …
10. Thomas Edison – the video camera and light bulb
Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He was the youngest of seven, and never a star at school. He received an official lesson for only three months, and in the three months he learned to pull the blood under the nails of the teacher, because he always asked questions and never did what was asked for him. He was able to generate his own genius mainly by reading a lot. Thus, at the age of twelve, he read the treaty of Sir Isaac Newton. And not only did he read this work, he was also convinced that it was superfluous, and that he could make it simpler.
TOP 10 INVENTORS THAT HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD
Through a number of bullies, he managed to collect money to fund a chemical kit. With this, Edison did not really get started. Another happiness was also beneficial to him after he had saved a boy of a certain battle with a steam locomotive, Edison was offered a position as a telegraph operator by the grateful father. During his work, he also experimented with his chemistry kit (and worship a wagon). He was obviously fired and could therefore pour 100% on inventions.
TOP 10 INVENTORS THAT HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD
His first patent was registered in 1869, for a so-called stock ticker. In subsequent years, he sold more patents and managed to accumulate capital to afford massive experiments. In 1877 he developed a phonograph, a precursor of the phonograph record player, in turn, a precursor of the CD player! A year later, he launched the first light bulb, along with his fellow designer William Joseph Hammer (which has been forgotten over the years). Of course, such a light bulb needed electricity, and there Edison also whipped up.
One fact is that Edison has never developed (or consciously) in his life (or consciously) a weapon. He was a fierce advocate of pacifism and non-aggression. He died of diabetes on October 18, 1931, at a respectable age of 84, leaving six children.
9. Wright’s brothers – the plane
Wright’s brothers were Orville (1871 to 1948) and Wilbur (1667-1912), and they can be considered as inventors of the first plane that was not lighter than air (such as a zeppelin). Orville and Wilbur had two older brothers and a younger sister, and their father was a bishop, so nothing suggested that these two would become world famous, and contribute to society we all have a lot of fun. After all, who does not want a flight to the Maldives, do shopping in Manhattan or discover Australia’s outback?
The Wrights were encouraged by their father to read as much as possible and be creative, and this brought off fruit. With a little helicopter as a gift from father, the passion in Wilbur and Orville was stimulated. In 1889, they first found (one should start small) a new printing press, which could print much faster news magazines. Three years later, in 1892, they opened a bicycle trade and earned some extra money. It was time for real work.
There was a lot of interest in the flight, but most of the inventors focused on automotive machines. The Wrights, however, wanted a motorcycle, and thus developed the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And yes, on December 17, 1903, the first historically registered airplane flight took place, called The Flyer. This first flight was well-known twelve seconds, bringing the airplane 37 meters far, about 11 kilometers per hour. No glowing speeds, so. But it was soon clear that more could be achieved, and the fourth flight lasted for more than a minute.
In 1909 Wilbur demonstrated a flying machine to a large crowd by flying around the Statue of Liberty. In 33 minutes, over a million New Yorkers could see how the Wrights floated in the sky. Unfortunately, they had trouble getting a patent. Wilbur died during pregnancy. Orville died only a few years later, at the age of 77, at a heart attack. Neither sneaked in the sky. Neither did they marry because Wilbur thought they had no time for both a woman and an airplane! One must set priorities …
8. Benjamin Franklin – thunder and lightning
Benjamin Franklin was an American who lived January 17, 1706 (note, North America was not yet an independent country) until April 17, 1790, and thus became 84 years. He came from a poor family and had 17 farmers and sisters (his father needed a total of two women). He grew up in the family store, candle maker, and his brother’s print shop. Like previous inventors, however, Ben was an avid reader, reading all that was loose and fast, from Sophocles to modern science. In addition, he started writing his own articles at a very young age. He published under a pseudonym, and has been sustained throughout his life. Only after a few publications he knew his father that he had written them.
TOP 10 INVENTORS THAT HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD
Ben’s little supportive father gave him a suit for his disobedience, and Benjamin saw that as a reason to leave his family and move to Philadelphia. There he had success as a writer, he was able to write both humoresque and satirical. Of course, that also attracted the attention of the rulers, including William Keith. In a masterful strategic move, William offered the young Ben to give him a position in England.Benjamin saw his chance clean and got in. Once in England, however, William let the young inventor down.
However, he did not allow it, and nevertheless found a job with a publisher. He was known as the Water American because he drank water instead of the normal beer. It became a fun experience, but he returned to Philadelphia when he got the chance, in 1726.
As a hobbyist, Benjamin found some important things. Thus he found out, by means of a kite with a key attached to the harness, that electricity and lightning are one and the same thing. He found a urine catheter, a glass harmonica, bifocal spectacles and finally, the Franklin stove, a mechanism for distributing heat through a room.
At a later age, Benjamin became a major player in the political field, among other things, one of the most important characters in the United States and England independence war. And then one last small fact: Unlike most of today’s debaters, Ben was also a major speaker, but rarely allowed aggressive confrontations and convictions. He preferred to participate in difficult questions, and to let the opponent fall into his own pitfalls!
7. Nikola Tesla – electricity and transformers
Photo: Wellcome blog post ( archive ).
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, and was of Serbian origin, but was born in Austria. He was a good student and went to the Polytechnic University in Graz nicely, although he later interrupted his studies to work in Marburg, Slovenia. He had a somewhat difficult temperament, according to the stories, and suffered, among other things, from a nerve sinking.
Nikola often had a burden of light flashes (presumably a form of migraine) and as a result, he meant to see all kinds of mechanical and technical inventions. Those revelations he could make in reality, and so he did. He rarely wrote anything, worked only from his visual memory. In 1882 he helped with his first invention: an amplifier for the telephone signals. In 1882 he worked in Paris for the Continental Edison Organization (guess who had that company under his wings!). Two years later, he moved to the United States, and went to the true Edison work. He had to improve the electrical system, and was, according to his own words, promised $ 50,000 if he succeeded. However, he did not get this money when he accomplished his job, and this brought Edison and Tesla a less friendly relationship relationship.
In 1886, Tesla therefore started its own business, but it was not really a dazzling success. In 1887 he started x-rays, X-rays, and became aware of the side effects of this radiation. This, however, is a much less familiar part of his research, unfortunately, because it could have prevented a lot of suffering.
In later decades, Tesla could finally prove that its AC power (as opposed to the DC power used by Edison) was also useful. Better even. He also found fluorescent lamps, and although the honor went to G. Marconi, Tesla was convinced that he had invented the radio as well. An invention that has really come to its name is the so-called ‘teslet transformer’.
He was both eccentric and genius, but unfortunately not a salesman, like Edison. He followed strange habits and had an obsessive compulsive tic that was taken care of around him. He only slept two hours a day and at all alone. He was a vegetarian and lived with milk, bread, honey and vegetable juice. It was apparently a healthy diet because he joined 86 and died on January 7, 1943. He was far past in all areas!
6. Charles Babbage – Father’s Day computer
Charles Babbage was born in London, in 1791, on December 26, second Christmas Day. He was born in a good family, and had a variety of personal teachers and schools available in his youth. Enough chance to develop his passion for math, so. Already in 1810, at the age of 19, he was admitted to the famous Trinity College in Cambridge.
Once upon a time, he was disappointed at the level of mathematics, and found that there had to be improvement. In particular, his idea of calculating with a machine came to fruition during this period.In 1822 he started his life work, the “difference machine”, a machine that could calculate calculations.Like many of his inventions, they were never completely realized. He was especially discouraged by the fact that the lenders soon lost sight of the usefulness of such a machine. Babbage was not the best seller, and he was often not very polite to the “right” people.
In 1991, the difference machine was rebuilt, as it was intended in Babbage’s own sketches, and he worked. Also a printer for its design. It was mechanical machinations, unlike our current electrical computers, but in many other respects, Babbage’s machine was a true “computer”.
By the way, Babbage was offered a knighthood, but he rejected it. He did not like such bullshit. He married (finally an inventor who married) with Georgiana Whitmore in 1814, and together they received 8 children, of which only four youths survived. He became 79 years, and died in 1871.
5. James Watt – blow down steam
James Watt was born on January 18, 1736, and, of course, we know little about his young years. He was born in Greenock, Scotland, and was a producer of mathematical measuring instruments in his young years. At the time, steam engines already exist, but they were not always the most efficient machines.In 1764, James worked on such machining, thinking that he could not only fix, but also improve the thing. He found a way that the steam could be condensed in a separate room, rather than around the piston. In 1775 he had been able to create a working model (eleven years after the idea was in him, James was a persistent individual!). He claimed a patent, got this and knew an Alliance to start with Matthew Boulton, a less genius, but much more successful businessman. Boulton & Watt formed such a successful company that rented the renewed steam engine. As time went on, James made more and more improvements to his own design, and the company remained a daunting success.
James earned a capital, made his old day safe, and went with the vibe. On August 25, 1891, he died, at the age of 83.
4. Alexander Bell – Call a bell
Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, in Scotland, Edinburgh. From the very beginning, Bell was interested in acoustics and the spoken word. Perhaps this interest found its source in the fact that his mother was deaf, maybe not. Whatever the case, Bell has, besides his most famous invention, also contributed greatly to research and solutions for deafening.
At the age of 23, the young Bell left his fatherland to move to Canada (what refreshed that someone did not move to the United States for once!). Here he developed a learning method for deafening, and three years later he was appointed professor of vocal physiology at Boston University. Professor at the age of 26, that’s nothing! And he just just started. For three years later, in 1876, he already claimed the patent on his world-famous invention, the first phone. He had built in his own words in collaboration with Thomas Watson, “as a hobby” in the evenings.
Thus, the third of August 1876 was the first telephone call, between persons 6 kilometers apart (on a telephone line manufactured on the spot). What did Bell say? These were not very heroic words, unfortunately. Bell spoke about his phone “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you “. Well
In 1876, the Bell company bought Edison’s patent for carbon microphone, and thus mass production could get started. Less than ten years later, more than 150,000 people in the United States had a phone home. Funny is that Bell himself did not see much in his invention. He found the thing but distracting, and had banished the machine from his office.
Unfortunately, this true inventor died of anemia on August 2, 1922. He died in his own trusted fatherland Scotland, at his Scottish villa Beinn Bhreagh.
3. Leonardo Da Vinci – the man who was home from all markets
Ever heard of a Renaissance man? Such a man (or woman) is a person who is from all markets at home.Present mathematical specialists, astronomers, or literary heroes are often highly specialized, and outstanding in one thing (sometimes two), but rarely as much as, for example, Leonardo Da Vinci. He was a thousand feet, did not scare to realize both art and technology as science, and all more or less in the same time span!
Leonardo was an unmarried seed of a Florentine nobleman, and a farmer, and was born in the year 1452. He probably thought of his mother had a love for nature, and therefore studied them accurately for his inventions and art. Already at a young age (14 years!) He lived in Florence and worked there in the workshop of the artist Verrocchio. However, he soon became better than the Master himself, and he gained a reputation.
In 1482, at the age of thirty years, he appeared at the court of Ludovico Sforza, and under his career he continued painting, as well as investigating human anatomy (by means of analysis) and technique. Of all his studies, we wrote notes, written by his own (left) handwriting, although reading could be difficult because he wrote everything in mirror. He also sketched complex drawings and maps of machines that should enter the air. He carefully studied the wing movement of birds. His design was never tested during his own life, but it turned out to be the blueprint for the much later discovered helicopter.
In addition, he was still a physician, and was the first to find out how blood flows through the body. His life came to an end when he drew to Rome in 1513 to work for the Pope. In 1515, however, he became too old for this (63 years of age was a lot, that time), and he returned to the countryside, in a castle down Amboise. Here he lived his last years of life, and died in 1519.
Earlier we wrote about the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci
2. Galileo – and yet she moves
Galileo Galilei was born in 1564, less than 50 years after Leonardo, in Florence. He came from a poor but noble family, and has shown exceptional intelligence from an early age. His parents saw this and called him a medical career. Unfortunately, Galileo had other plans. At the University of Pisa, he decided to change direction, namely astronomy. He studied mathematics and soon became a professor. He was a very constant man, and remained this professorship for over eighteen years. He investigated during this period, among other things, gravity, mass inertia, and developed the thermometer precursor. He was also very busy with motion energy. But we know Galileo mainly because of his contribution to astronomy.
He pursued the idea of a heliocentric universe, which means “sun” (helio) “in the middle” (centric). It was simply the belief that the sun did not turn around the earth but vice versa, the earth around the sun. This sounds simple in our ears, but it was a revolutionary point of view at the time, and it was also contrary to the teachings of the Church. Bad idea…
He was not the only one with these ideas, by the way. Other scientists, Johannes Kepler and Copernicus, for example, shared his vision. But Galilei managed to confirm it by finding a telescope and scanning heaven. Among other things, he found that Saturn has beautiful circles of rock around him, that the moon is not smooth from surface, but very jokingly, and that Jupiter has many men, which in turn circle around Jupiter, not around the sun like all the planets do that.
He was aware that publication about such an idea was heretical practice, but he nevertheless considered no need to “believe in a god that created us with reason and intellect, but we deny it”.However, the church undertook drastic measures. First, his classes were forbidden, and Galileo was soon arrested and held captive. He was sentenced to heresy and was forced (and at that time they could be very convincing) to withdraw his comments. He did this, but remained the rest of his life under house arrest.
In addition to heliocentrism, Galileo has also supplied us with compass models, and from the thermometer. His contribution was mainly in the improvement. In 1642, he died at the age of 78.
1. Tim Berners Lee – Modern Time
picture: Paul Clark / wikicommons
Tim Berners Lee, an unknown name? I suspect all of the above names are known to you in the ears, but they may not. However, Tim Berners Lee nevertheless has one of the most important inventions ever known. More or less to him we have the opportunity to share this article with you!
Tim is a computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web (WWW). He designed the system of linked ‘web’ pages, and is currently one of the W3C directors, the global web consortium, an institution that controls the world around the world.
On June 8, 1955, he was born in London, England. Among other things, he went to Oxford University, and initially got a nice job at a publisher in Plessey Poole. After that he worked for a company in CERN, Switzerland, and for this role he had to consult a lot with scientists in different geographic locations.Slow and tiring, even by telephony, he found. And so he found the Internet.
Please note, the ‘internet’ is something we already have since 1960, although it is absolutely not in the form it now takes. Only in 1990, Tim, together with Robert Cailliau, launched the global web, the first widely accessible global network of web pages. In 1991 it was “online”, and the web address of the very first website was info.cern.ch.
Tim still lives, and is still as pronounced as always about freedom of expression and information. He was quite right to receive the prize ‘Man who changed the World’ in 2011. He married twice and has three children. A whole book has been written about him, so if you want to know more, feel free to read.
TOP 10 INVENTORS THAT HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD