An inventor is any person or organization that has invented or patented something.
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Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails. He worked on this device while living in Yonkers, New York in 1852, and had a finished product in 1854.
Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont to Stephen Otis, Jr. and Phoebe Glynn. He moved away from home at the age of 20, eventually settling in Troy, New York, where he lived for five years employed as a wagon driver. In 1834, he married Susan A. Houghton. They would have two children, Charles and Norton. Later that year, Otis suffered a terrible case of pneumonia which nearly killed him, but he earned enough money to move his wife and three-year-old son to the Vermont Hills on the Green River. He designed and built his own gristmill, but did not earn enough money from it, so he converted it into a sawmill, yet still did not attract customers. Now having a second son, he started building wagons and carriages, at which he was fairly skilled. His wife later died, leaving Otis with sons aged [8 and ? old, but still in diapers].
At 34 years old and hoping for a fresh start,
Yuri Vasyliovych Kondratyuk (June 21, 1897–1942), follower, supporter and founder of cosmism, pioneer of astronautics and spaceflight. He was a theoretician and a visionary who, in the early 20th century, foresaw ways of reaching the moon. He is generally credited with the authorship of the first known Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR), a key concept for human landing on the Moon and returning to Earth, published in 1916. LOR was later used by the Apollo missions for human spaceflight to the Moon.
Kondratyuk used an adopted pseudonym, while his birth name was Oleksandr Hnatovych Shargei.
Kondratyuk was born in Poltava, Ukraine. His father, Hnat Benedyktovych Shargei, studied Physics and Mathematics at Kiev University. Kondratyuk's mother, Ludmyla Lvivna Schlippenbach taught French at a Kyiv high school, and must already have been pregnant when she married in January 1897. Because of her unusual surname, it is often suggested that Ludmyla must have been a descendant of Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach, a general who took part in Charles XII of Sweden's failed invasion of Russia. Ludmila was devoted to social activism and was imprisoned on several occasions for participating in
Jean-Pierre Minckelers (first name also Jan Pieter, last name also Minkelers or Minckeleers) (b. Maastricht, the Netherlands, 1748; d. there 4 July 1824) was an inventor of illuminating gas.
At the age of sixteen, in 1764, he went to the Catholic University of Leuven (French: Louvain), where he studied theology and philosophy at the Collegium Falconis, in which he became professor of natural philosophy in 1772.
At this time the question of aerostats and Montgolfier balloons was occupying the mind of scientists, and Louis Engelbert, 6th Duke of Arenberg, a promoter of science and art, engaged a committee to examine into the question of the best gas for balloon purposes. Minckelers was on this committee, and in 1784, after many experiments, published a work entitled Mémoire sur l'air inflammable tiré de différentes substances, rédigé par M. Minkelers, professeur de philosophie au collège du Faucon, université de Louvain (Louvain, 1784). As an appendix to this memoir there was a Table de gravités spécifiques des différentes espèces d'air, by T.F. Thysbaert, a member of the committee.
In his memoir Minckelers tells us how he made his discovery: from the very beginning of his
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg ( /joʊˌhɑːnɨs ˈɡuːtənbɜrɡ/ yoh-HAH-nəs GOO-tən-burɡ; c. 1398 – February 3, 1468) was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.
Gutenberg was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included
Oliver Evans (13 September 1755 – 15 April 1819) was an American inventor. Evans was born in Newport, Delaware to a family of Welsh settlers. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a wheelwright.
Evans' first invention was in 1777, when he designed a machine for making card teeth for carding wool. He went into business with his brothers and produced a number of improvements in the flour milling industry.
Evans devoted a great deal of his time to patents, patent extensions, and enforcement of his patents.
In 1792 he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He produced an improved high-pressure steam engine in 1801. For some years he contemplated the idea of applying steam power to wagons. He was granted a patent for a steam-carriage design in 1789, but did not produce a working example of such a machine until over a decade later (see below on his Oruktor Amphibolos). Part of his difficulties was a failure to get financial backing. After lack of support in his native land, in 1794 he sent copies of some his designs to Great Britain in an attempt to interest investors there.
Evans designed a refrigeration machine which ran on vapor in 1805, so he is often called the inventor of the
Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electrical supply system.
Tesla started working in the telephony and electrical fields before immigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories/companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop an alternating current system. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.
Tesla's achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous. Although he made a great deal
Johann Wolfgang Ritter von Kempelen de Pázmánd (Hungarian: Kempelen Farkas) (23 January 1734 – 26 March 1804) was a Hungarian author and inventor.
Von Kempelen was born in Pressburg, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Empire (now Bratislava, Slovakia). The Kempelen family settled in Pressburg in 1640. He is supposed to have been of Irish ancestry, but the name Kempelen itself is Hungarian. Kempelen's father, of noble ancestry, was Engelbert Kempelen (1680–1761). Kempelen's mother was Ágnes Mohai.
Von Kempelen studied law and philosophy in his birthplace, and then in Győr, Vienna and Rome, but mathematics and physics also interested him. He spoke German, Hungarian, Latin, French, Italian, and later also English. He started to work as a clerk in Vienna.
Von Kempelen was most famous for his construction of The Turk, a chess-playing automaton later revealed to be a hoax. It was described in an essay by Edgar Allan Poe, "Maelzel's Chess-Player". He also created a manually operated speaking machine.
He constructed steam-engines, waterpumps, a pontoon bridge in Pressburg (1770), patented a steam turbine for mills (1788/89) and a typewriter for the blind Viennese pianist Maria Theresia von
Benjamin Leroy Holt (January 1, 1849 – December 5, 1920) was an American inventor who patented and manufactured the first practical crawler-type tread tractor. The continuous-type track is used for heavy agricultural and engineering vehicles to spread the weight over a large area to prevent the vehicle from sinking into soft ground. He founded with his brothers the Holt Manufacturing Company and acquired a related patent for a track-type drive mechanism from a British company, Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham, England in 1911.
Benjamin Leroy Holt (January 1, 1849, Concord, New Hampshire, – December 5, 1920, Stockton, California) Not to be confused with Ben Holt from St. Fx Jazz Program, was the youngest of four brothers and eleven siblings, the children of William Knox Holt and first, Eliza Jane Virgin, and later Harriet Parker Ames of Concord, New Hampshire William Knox owned a sawmill that made hardwood for wagon and coach construction. In 1864, Benjamin's brother Charles H. Holt arrived in San Francisco, California where he founded C. H. Holt and Co. The company produced wooden wheels for wagons and later on steel streetcar wheels. Brothers William Harrison Holt and Ames Frank
Gottlieb Daimler (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɔtliːp ˈdaɪmlɐ]; March 17, 1834 – March 6, 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed petrol engine and the first four-wheel automobile.
Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device. In 1885 they designed a precursor of the modern petrol (gasoline) engine which they subsequently fitted to a two-wheeler, the first internal combustion motorcycle and, in the next year, to a stagecoach, and a boat. Daimler baptized it the Grandfather Clock engine (Standuhr) because of its resemblance to an old pendulum clock.
In 1890, they founded Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders that led to his
John Philip Holland (Irish: Seán Pilib Ó hUallacháin / Ó Maolchalann) (29 February 1840 – 12 August 1914) was an Irish engineer who developed the first submarine to be formally commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and the first Royal Navy submarine, the Holland 1.
He was one of four brothers who may have been born in Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland to an Irish speaking mother, Máire Ní Scannláin, and John Holland, and learned English properly only when he attended the local English-speaking National School system and, from 1858, in the Christian Brothers in Ennistymon. Holland joined the Irish Christian Brothers in Limerick and taught in Limerick and many other centers in the country including North Monastery CBS in Cork City. Due to ill health, he left the Christian Brothers in 1873.
Holland emigrated to the United States in 1873. Initially working for an engineering firm, he returned to teaching again for a further six years in St. John’s Catholic School in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1875, his first submarine designs were submitted for consideration by the U.S. Navy, but turned down as unworkable. The Fenians, however, continued to fund Holland's research and development expenses at a
Wilhelm Maybach (help·info) (German pronunciation: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈmaɪbax]; 9 February 1846 – 29 December 1929) was an early German engine designer and industrialist. During the 1890s he was hailed in France, then the world centre for car production, as the "King of constructors".
From the late 19th century Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. These were fitted to the world's first motorcycle, motorboat, and after Daimler's death, to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model, built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek.
Maybach rose to become technical director of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, or DMG, (and never known by the English name of the quite separate English business, The Daimler Motor Company) but he did not get on well with its chairmen. As a result Maybach left DMG in 1907 to found Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH together with his son Karl in 1909; they manufactured Zeppelin engines. After the signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919 the company started producing large luxury vehicles, branded as "Maybach". The company joined the German war effort in
Alexey Yevgrafovich Favorsky, also spelled Favorskii (Russian: Алексе́й Евгра́фович Фаво́рский; 20 February [O.S. 3 March] 1860 – 8 August 1945), was a Soviet/Russian chemist.
Favorsky studied chemistry at the imperial University of Saint Petersburg from 1878 to 1882. He joined Alexander Butlerov's laboratory for several years, and in 1891 became a lecturer. In 1895, Favorksy received his PhD and became professor for technical chemistry. His discovery of the Favorskii rearrangement in 1894 and the Favorskii reaction between 1900 and 1905 are connected to his name. He worked at the new inorganics department from 1897, and served as its director from 1934 to 1937. For his improvement of the production of synthetic rubber, Favorsky was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1941.
The artist Vladimir Favorsky was his nephew.
Favorsky died in 1945 and was buried at the Volkovskoye Orthodox cemetery.
Clarence Frank Birdseye II (December 9, 1886 – October 7, 1956) was an American inventor, entrepreneur and naturalist considered the founder the modern frozen food industry.
Clarence Birdseye was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 9, 1886, the sixth of nine children of Clarence Frank Birdseye I and Ada Jane Underwood. Birdseye was briefly a student at Amherst College, dropping out sometime about 1908 (the exact date is uncertain), before moving west for the United States Agriculture Department. He worked in New Mexico and Arizona as an “assistant naturalist”, a job, that involved killing off coyotes. He also worked in Montana with Entomologist Willard Van Orsdel King (1888-1970), where, in 1910 and 1911 Birdseye captured several hundred small mammals, and King removed several thousand ticks for research, isolating them as the cause of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Birdseye's next field assignment, off and on from 1912 to 1915, was in Labrador in the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada), where he became further interested in food preservation by freezing, especially fast freezing. He was taught by the Inuit how to ice fish under very thick ice. In -40°C weather, he
Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them. De Forest is one of the fathers of the "electronic age", as the Audion helped to usher in the widespread use of electronics. He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.
He was involved in several patent lawsuits and spent a substantial part of his income from his inventions on the legal bills. He had four marriages and 25 companies. He was defrauded by business partners and he defrauded business partners. He was indicted for mail fraud, but was later acquitted.
He was a charter member of the Institute of Radio Engineers. DeVry University was originally named DeForest Training School by its founder Dr. Herman A. DeVry, who was a friend and colleague of De Forest's.
Lee De Forest was born in 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the son of Anna Margaret (née Robbins) and Henry Swift De Forest.
His father was a Congregational Church minister who hoped that his son would also become a minister. Henry Swift DeForest accepted
Edwin Herbert Land (May 7, 1909 – March 1, 1991) was an American scientist and inventor, best known as the co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation. Among other things, he invented inexpensive filters for polarizing light, a practical system of in-camera instant photography, and his retinex theory of color vision. His Polaroid instant camera, which went on sale in late 1948, made it possible for a picture to be taken and developed in 60 seconds or less.
Edwin was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Harry and Helen Land of English Jewish descent. His father owned a scrap metal yard. He attended the Norwich Free Academy at Norwich, Connecticut, a semi-private high school, and graduated in the class of 1927. The library there was posthumously named for him, having been funded by grants from his family. He studied chemistry at Harvard University. After his freshman year, he left Harvard for New York City.
In New York City, he invented the first inexpensive filters capable of polarizing light, Polaroid film. Because he was not associated with an educational institution, he lacked the tools of a proper laboratory, making this a difficult endeavor. Instead, he would sneak into a laboratory
The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving "the flying problem". This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful
Felix Hoffmann (January 21, 1868 – February 8, 1946) was a German chemist, credited for the first synthesized medically useful forms of heroin and aspirin, though some sources maintain that Arthur Eichengrün was the real creator of the latter. Hoffmann was born in Ludwigsburg and studied Chemistry in Munich. In 1894, he joined the Bayer pharmaceutical research facility in Elberfeld.
He is best known for having synthesized acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) on August 10, 1897, for the first time in a stable form usable for medical applications. Bayer marketed this substance as Aspirin. In 1949, Arthur Eichengrün published a paper in which he claimed to have planned and directed the synthesis of Aspirin along with the synthesis of several related compounds. He also claimed to be responsible for Aspirin's initial surreptitious clinical testing. Finally, he claimed that Hoffmann's role was restricted to the initial lab synthesis using his (Eichengrün's) process.
The Eichengrün version was ignored by historians and chemists until 1999, when Walter Sneader of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow re-examined the matter and concluded that
Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky (May 25, 1889 – October 26, 1972), was a Russian American pioneer of aviation in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He designed and flew the world's first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the Russky Vityaz in 1913, and the first airliner, Ilya Muromets, in 1914.
After emigrating to the United States in 1919, Sikorsky founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1923, and developed the first of Pan American Airways' ocean-conquering flying boats in the 1930s.
In 1939 Sikorsky designed and flew the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the first viable American helicopter, which pioneered the rotor configuration used by most helicopters today. Sikorsky would modify the design into the Sikorsky R-4, which became the world's first mass-produced helicopter in 1942.
Igor Sikorsky was born in Kiev, Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine), as the youngest of five children. His father, Ivan Alexeevich Sikorsky, had a Russian and noble Polish (Polish: szlachta) family background. A professor of psychology, Ivan was the son and grandson of Russian Orthodox priests and held monarchist and Russian nationalist views.
Igor Sikorsky's mother, Mariya Stefanovna Sikorskaya (née
George Herman Babcock (June 17, 1832 – December 16, 1893) was an American inventor. He and Stephen Wilcox co-invented a safer water tube steam boiler, and founded the Babcock & Wilcox boiler company.
Babcock's water tube steam boiler provided a safer and more efficient production of steam, and was built to work better under higher pressures than earlier boilers. In 1881 their company was incorporated, with Babcock as president and Wilcox as vice president.
In 1997, Babcock was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Guglielmo Marconi (Italian pronunciation: [ɡuʎˈʎɛːlmo marˈkoːni]; 25 April 1874 – 20 July 1937) was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy". As an entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of the The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in Britain in 1897, Marconi succeeded in making a commercial success of radio by innovating and building on the work of previous experimenters and physicists. In 1924, he was ennobled as Marchese Marconi.
Marconi was born in Bologna on 25 April 1874, the second son of Giuseppe Marconi, an Italian landowner, and his Irish/Scots wife, Annie Jameson, daughter of Andrew Jameson of Daphne Castle in County Wexford, Ireland and granddaughter of John Jameson, founder of whiskey distillers Jameson & Sons. Marconi was educated privately in Bologna in the lab of Augusto Righi, in Florence at the Istituto Cavallero and, later, in Livorno. As a child Marconi
Udi Manber (Hebrew: אודי מנבר) is an Israeli computer scientist. He is one of the authors of agrep and GLIMPSE. As of April 2006, he is employed by Google as vice president of engineering.
He earned both his bachelor's degree in 1975 in mathematics and his master's degree in 1978 from the Technion in Israel. At the University of Washington, he earned another master's degree in 1981 and his Ph.D. in computer science in 1982.
He has won a Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1985, 3 best-paper awards, and the Usenix annual Software Tools User Group Award software award in 1999. He developed suffix array, a data structure for string matching, with Gene Myers.
He was a professor at the University of Arizona and authored several articles while there. He wrote Introduction to Algorithms — A Creative Approach.
He became the chief scientist at Yahoo! in 1998.
In 2002, he joined Amazon.com, where he became "chief algorithms officer" and a vice president. He later was appointed CEO of the Amazon subsidiary company A9.com. He filed a patent on behalf of Amazon.
In 2006, he was hired by Google as one of their vice presidents of engineering. In December 2007, he announced Knol, Google's
Samuel Colt (July 19, 1814 – January 10, 1862) was an American inventor and industrialist from Hartford, Connecticut. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company (now known as Colt's Manufacturing Company), and made the mass-production of the revolver commercially viable for the first time.
Colt's first two business ventures ended in disappointment. His first attempt at manufacturing firearms in Paterson, New Jersey, occurred during an economic crisis in the US leading to poor sales, and was further hampered by Colt's mismanagement and reckless spending. His next attempt at arms making, underwater mines for the US Navy, failed due to lack of US Congressional support. After the Texas Rangers ordered 1,000 of his revolvers during the American war with Mexico in 1847, his business expanded rapidly. His factory in Hartford built the guns used as sidearms by both the North and the South in the American Civil War, and later his firearms were credited in taming the western frontier. A second plant in London closed after four years because of poor sales to the British military.
Colt died in 1862, before the end of the Civil War, as one of the wealthiest men in
Ambrose Swasey (December 19, 1846 – June 15, 1937) was an American mechanical engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, manager, astronomer, and philanthropist. With Worcester R. Warner he co-founded the Warner & Swasey Company.
Swasey was born near Exeter, New Hampshire to Nathaniel and Abigail Swasey. He apprenticed as a machinist at the Exeter Machine Works and was afterwards employed at Pratt & Whitney. As his career progressed he became a foreman in the gear-cutting section. He developed a new technique for making gear-tooth cutters. In 1880 he and Warner formed their eponymous firm, which quickly moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Swasey would perform the engineering and machine development at this company.
The close friends Warner and Swasey built their homes next to each other on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, a street that was known as "Millionaire's Row".
In addition to army ordnance contracts, the firm of Warner & Swasey became notable for their work on astronomical observatories and equipment. The founders were interested in astronomy as an avocation, and in the field's quest for better optical telescopes, which was burgeoning at the time. They also realized that obtaining contracts to
Elias Howe, Jr. (/haʊ/; July 9, 1819 – October 3, 1867) was an American inventor and sewing machine pioneer.
Howe was born on July 9, 1819 to Dr. Elias Howe, Sr. and Polly (Bemis) Howe in Spencer, Massachusetts. Howe spent his childhood and early adult years in Massachusetts where he apprenticed in a textile factory in Lowell beginning in 1835. After mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to work as a mechanic with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. Beginning in 1838, he apprenticed in the shop of Ari Davis, a master mechanic in Cambridge who specialized in the manufacture and repair of chronometers and other precision instruments. It was in the employ of Davis that Howe seized upon the idea of the sewing machine.
He married Elizabeth Jennings Ames, daughter of Simon Ames and Jane B. Ames on 3 Mar 1841 in Cambridge. They had three children: Jane Robinson Howe, Simon Ames Howe, and Julia Maria Howe.
Contrary to popular belief, Howe was not the first to conceive of the idea of a sewing machine. Many other people had formulated the idea of such a machine before him, one as early as 1790, and some had even
George Westinghouse, Jr (October 6, 1846 – March 12, 1914) was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system. Westinghouse's system, which used alternating current based on the extensive research by Nikola Tesla, ultimately prevailed over Edison's insistence on direct current. In 1911, Westinghouse received the AIEE's Edison Medal "For meritorious achievement in connection with the development of the alternating current system."
He was born in Central Bridge, NY in 1846. He was the son of a machine shop owner and was talented at machinery and business. At the age of fifteen, as the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the New York National Guard until his parents urged him to return home. Two years later in 1863, he persuaded his parents to allow him to re-enlist and joined the New York Cavalry. In December 1864 he resigned from the Army to join the Navy, serving as Acting Third Assistant Engineer on the USS Muscoota through the end of the war. In 1865 he returned to his family in Schenectady and
Steve Wozniak or Stephen Wozniak (born August 11, 1950), known as Steve Wozniak or Woz, is an American computer engineer and programmer who founded Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak single-handedly invented the Apple I computer and the Apple II computer in the 1970s. These computers contributed significantly to the microcomputer revolution.
The name on Wozniak's birth certificate is "Stephan Gary Wozniak", but Steve's mother said that she intended it to be spelled "Stephen", and "Stephen" is what he uses.
Wozniak has been referred to frequently by the nickname "Woz" or "The Woz"; "WoZ" (short for "Wheels of Zeus") is also the name of a company Wozniak founded.
Wozniak met Steve Jobs when a fellow Homestead High School student, Bill Fernandez, introduced them to each other. In 1970, they became friends when Jobs worked for the summer at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where Wozniak was working on a mainframe computer. According to Wozniak's autobiography, iWoz, Jobs had the idea to sell a computer as a fully assembled printed circuit board. Wozniak, at first skeptical, was later convinced by Jobs that even if they were not successful they could at least
George Washington Carver (January 1864 – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864.
Carver's reputation is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. He also developed and promoted about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.
During the Reconstruction-era South, monoculture of cotton depleted the soil in many areas. In the early 20th century, the boll weevil destroyed much of the cotton crop, and planters and farm workers suffered. Carver's work on peanuts was intended
J Strother Moore (his first name is the alphabetic character "J" – not an abbreviated "J.") is a computer scientist, and he is a co-developer of the Boyer–Moore string search algorithm and the Boyer–Moore automated theorem prover, Nqthm. An example of the workings of the Boyer–Moore string search algorithm is given in Moore's website. Moore received his SB in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 and his Ph.D in computational logic at University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1973.
In addition, Moore is a co-author of the ACL2 automated theorem prover. He and others used ACL2 to prove the correctness of the floating point division operations of the AMD K5 microprocessor in the wake of the Pentium FDIV bug.
For his contributions to automated deduction, Moore received the 1999 Herbrand Award with Robert S. Boyer, and in 2006 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.
He is currently the Admiral B.R. Inman Centennial Chair in Computing Theory at The University of Texas at Austin.
Before joining the Department of Computer Sciences as the chair, he formed a company, Computational Logic Inc., along with others including his close friend at
John Lee was a Scottish-Canadian - Canadian inventor and arms designer, best known for co- inventing a prototype bolt action rifle with his brother James Paris Lee. The rifle they made led to the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield series of rifles.
Harrowing from Hawick, Scotland the Lee family emigrated to Ontario in Canada c.1835. After John grew up he moved to a small town along the Sydenham River called Wallaceburg.
In 1878, Lee and his brother James Paris perfected a rifle with a box magazine in Wallaceburg . This rifle later became an antecedent to the famous Lee Enfield rifle. A well trained gunman could fire approximately 15-30 shots a minute. The prototype was tested successfully in Wallaceburg. The rifle, still in exhistence, is housed at the Wallaceburg and District Museum.
In the spring of 1964 Frank Mann, Wallaceburg’s local historian, and Darcy McKeough, Chatham-Kent’s M.P.P. corresponded. The letters discussed the possibility of erecting a plaque to commemorate the first test shot of the Lee rifle in Wallaceburg. The two discovered that they needed the approval of the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario (A.H.S.B.O.) to get official historic site designation.
Alphonse Pénaud (May 31, 1850 – October 22, 1880), was a 19th-century French pioneer of aviation design and engineering. He was the originator of the use of twisted rubber to power model aircraft, and his 1871 model airplane, which he called the Planophore, was the first truly successful automatically stable flying model. He went on to design a full sized aircraft with many advanced features, but was unable to get any support for the project, and eventually committed suicide in 1880, aged 30.
Pénaud was born in Paris into a naval family, his father being an admiral in the French Navy. Because of a hip disease he walked with the aid of crutches and so was unable to attend the Naval School. At 20, he began studying aviation and joined the newly founded Société Aéronautique de France. He became vice-president of the Society in 1876 and participated in the publication of the journal L'Aéronaute.
In 1870 Pénaud made the first of a series of successful model helicopters. The principal of this was not new, having been demonstrated to French Academy of Sciences in 1784 by M. Launoy, a naturalist, and M. Bienvenu., and was known by Sir George Cayley, but it was the first used of twisted
Édouard Belin was born in Vesoul, Haute-Saône on 5 March 1876, and died on 4 March 1963 in Territet, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
In 1907, Belin invented a phototelegraphic apparatus called the Bélinographe, a system for sending photographs over telephone and telegraphic networks. Since 1914, a photograph of report is transmitted by telephotograph.
The process was improved in 1921 to enable to transmission of images by radio waves.
In this apparatus, the transmitter traverses the original image point by point. At each point a measurement of light intensity is made with an electric eye. The measurement is conveyed to the receiver. There, a variable intensity light source reproduces the light measured by the electric eye, while carrying out same displacements exactly. By doing this, it exposes the photographic paper and makes it possible to obtain a copy of the original image.
Modern telecopiers and photocopiers use the same principle, with this close the sensor of light intensity was replaced by a sensor CCC, and that the device of impression is based on the laser technology, and either photographic.
Belin was a president of the French Company of photography.
Belin gave his name to
Gideon Sundback (April 24, 1880 – June 21, 1954) was a Swedish-American electrical engineer. Gideon Sundback is most commonly associated with his work in the development of the zipper.
Otto Fredrik Gideon Sundback was born on Sonarp farm in Ödestugu Parish, in Jönköping County, Småland, Sweden. He was the son of Jonas Otto Magnusson Sundbäck, a prosperous farmer, and his wife Kristina Karolina Klasdotter. After his studies in Sweden, Sundback moved to Germany, where he studied at the polytechnic school in Bingen am Rhein. In 1903, Sundback took his engineer exam. In 1905, he emigrated to the United States.
In 1905, Gideon Sundback started to work at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1906, Sundback was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company of Hoboken, New Jersey. Subsequently in 1909, Sundback was promoted to the position of head designer at Universal Fastener.
Sundback made several advances in the development of the zipper between 1906 and 1914, while working for companies that later evolved into Talon, Inc. He built upon the previous work of other engineers such as Elias Howe, Max Wolff, and Whitcomb Judson.
Joseph Bramah (13 April 1748 – 9 December 1814), born Stainborough Lane Farm, Stainborough, Barnsley Yorkshire, England, was an inventor and locksmith. He is best known for having invented the hydraulic press. Along with William George Armstrong, he can be considered one of the two fathers of hydraulic engineering.
He was the second son in the family of three sons and two daughters of Joseph Bramma (note the different spelling of the surname), a farmer, and his wife, Mary Denton. He was educated at the local school in Silkstone and on leaving school he was apprenticed to a local carpenter. On completing his apprenticeship he moved to London, where he started work as a cabinet-maker. In 1783 he married Mary Lawton of Mapplewell, near Barnsley, and the couple set up home in London. They subsequently had a daughter and four sons. The couple lived first at 124 Piccadilly, but later moved to Eaton Street, Pimlico.
In London, Bramah worked for a Mr. Allen, installing water closets (toilets) which were designed to a patent obtained by Alexander Cumming in 1775. He found that the current model being installed in London houses had a tendency to freeze in cold weather. Although it was Allen
Cyrus Hall McCormick, Sr. (1809–1884) was an American inventor and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which became part of International Harvester Company in 1902. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members of his family became prominent residents of Chicago.
Although McCormick is credited as the "inventor" of the mechanical reaper, he based his work on that of many others, including Scottish and American men, more than two decades of work by his father, and the aid of Jo Anderson (slave), a slave held by his family. Cyrus McCormick filed patents for the invention, and his achievements were chiefly in the development of a company, marketing and sales force to market his products.
Cyrus McCormick was born February 15, 1809 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as one of several sons. His father purchased the original design for a mechanical reaper from a blacksmith named McPhetrich. As the elder McCormick saw the potential of the design, he applied for a patent to claim it as his own invention. He worked for 28 years on a horse-drawn mechanical reaper to harvest grain; however, he was never able to reproduce a reliable version.
His son Cyrus took
Lewis Edson Waterman (November 18, 1837 – May 1, 1901), born in Decatur, New York, was the inventor of the capillary feed fountain pen and the founder of the Waterman pen company.
Lewis Edson Waterman founded his company in New York in 1883 with the invention of a new feeder. He used the capillarity principle which allowed air to induce a steady and even flow of ink. Waterman got a patent for his new fountain pens in 1884.
Waterman began selling his fountain pens behind a cigar shop and gave his pens a five year guarantee. He opened a factory in Montreal, Canada in 1899, offering a variety of designs. Following his death in 1901, his nephew Frank D. Waterman took the business overseas and increased sales to 350,000 pens per year. After Frank took over, he also renamed the business to Waterman. S. A.
Waterman was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.
Morris Michtom (1870 – July 21, 1938) was a Russian Jewish immigrant, who with his wife Rose invented the Teddy Bear.
Mitchtom, who arrived in New York in 1887, was selling candy in his shop at 404 Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn by day and making stuffed animals with his wife Rose at night. The Teddy Bear came about in response to a cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman depicting Teddy Roosevelt having compassion for a bear at the end of an unsuccessful hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. After the creation of the bear in 1902, the sale of the bears was brisk that Michtom created the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company .
Morris' daughter - also named Rose (1897-1986) - appeared as background character in over 40 episodes of the American television program Get Smart.
Antoine-Joseph "Adolphe" Sax (6 November 1814 – c. 4 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is best known for having invented the saxophone.
Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant in Wallonia, Belgium. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was an instrument designer himself, who made several changes to the design of the horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of fifteen. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal School of Singing in Brussels.
Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to produce conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Adolphe's first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design, which he patented at the age of twenty-four.
In 1841, Sax relocated permanently to Paris, and began work on a new set of instruments that were exhibited there in 1844. These were valved bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so much more successful than those of his rivals that
Louis Charles Joseph Blériot (1 July 1872 – 1 August 1936) was a French aviator, inventor and engineer. He developed the first practical headlamp for cars and established a profitable business manufacturing them, using much of the money he made to finance his attempts to build a successful aircraft. In 1909 he became world famous for making the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier than air aircraft, winning the prize of £1,000 offered by the Daily Mail newspaper. Blériot was also the first to make a working, powered, piloted monoplane. and the founder of a successful aircraft manufacturing company.
Born in at No.17 rue de l'Arbre à Poires (now rue Sadi-Carnot) in Cambrai, Louis was the first of five children born to Clémance and Charles Blériot. At the age of 10, Blériot was sent as a boarder to the Institut Notre Dame in Cambrai, where he frequently won class prizes, including one for drawing. When he was 15 he moved on to the Lycée at Amiens, where he lived with an aunt. After passing the exams for his Bacclaureat in Science and German, he determined to try to enter the prestigious École Centrale Paris. Entrance was by a demanding exam for which special tuition
Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev (Russian: Ростисла́в Евге́ньевич Алексе́ев; December 18, 1916, Novozybkov, Chernigov Governorate (now Bryansk Oblast), Russian Empire – February 9, 1980, Gorky, USSR) was a designer of highspeed shipbuilding. He invented and designed the world's first Ekranoplans. His work has been compared to that of A.N. Tupolev in aviation and S.P. Korolev in space flight.
Alexeev was the first to create high speed ships on the so-called low submerged underwater wings, the most popular ones being passenger ships Raketa, Volga, Meteor, Kometa, and Burevestnik, with passenger capacity up to 150 persons and cruising speed up to 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn).
Alexeyev revolutionised the shipbuilding industry (though in secrecy) by inventing crafts that use ground effect, whereby (in very simple terms) a wing traveling close to the ground is provided with extra lift by the "cushion" of air compressed under it - thereby enabling a combination of greater aircraft weight for less power and/or enhanced fuel economy.
The KM or "korabl-maket", the largest ekranoplan ever built, was one of the first very successful vehicles designed by Alexeev and built by his Central Hydrofoil
The history of Sumer, taken to include the prehistoric Ubaid and Uruk periods, spans the 5 to 3 millenia BC, ending with the downfall of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BC, followed by a transition period of Amorite states before the rise of Babylonia in the 18th century BC. The first settlement in southern Mesopotamia was Eridu. The Sumerians claimed that their civilization had been brought, fully formed, to the city of Eridu by their god Enki or by his advisor (or Abgallu from ab=water, gal=big, lu=man), Adapa U-an (the Oannes of Berossus). The first people at Eridu brought with them the Samarran culture from northern Mesopotamia and are identified with the Ubaid period, but it is not known whether or not these were Sumerians (associated later with the Uruk period). The Sumerian king list is an ancient text in the Sumerian language listing kings of Sumer from Sumerian and foreign dynasties. Some of the earlier dynasties may be mythical; and only a few of the early names have been authenticated through archaeology. The best-known dynasty, that of Lagash, is not listed there at all.
Permanent year-round urban settlement may have been prompted by intensive agricultural
John Bardeen ForMemRS (May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.
The transistor revolutionized the electronics industry, allowing the Information Age to occur, and made possible the development of almost every modern electronic device, from telephones to computers to missiles. Bardeen's developments in superconductivity, which won him his second Nobel, are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
In 1990, John Bardeen appeared on LIFE Magazine's list of "100 Most Influential Americans of the Century."
John Bardeen was born in Madison, Wisconsin on May 23, 1908. He was the second son of Dr. Charles Russell Bardeen and Althea Harmer Bardeen. He was one of five children. His father, Charles Bardeen, was Professor of Anatomy and the first Dean of the Medical School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Althea Bardeen, before marrying, had
Samuel Leeds Allen (May 5, 1841 – March 28, 1918) was the inventor and manufacturer of the Flexible Flyer sled, for over one hundred years the best selling and most famous American sled.
Allen was born on May 5, 1841 in Philadelphia to Quaker parents, John Casdorp Allen, a prominent druggist; and Rebecca Smith Leeds, his wife.
In 1861, Allen moved to Ivystone, a farm, which his father owned, near the community of Westfield in Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey.
On November 22, 1866, Samuel Leeds Allen and Sarah Hooton Roberts were married in Moorestown Friends Meeting House.
Allen's revolutionary sled was developed and tested at Westtown School and Ivystone. Many throughout the years have chosen "Breidenhart", his home across from Stokes Hill in Moorestown Township, New Jersey, as the birthplace of the Flexible Flyer. However, "Breidenhart" wasn't built until 1894, five years after the Flexible Flyer was introduced.
he died on March 28, 1918.
Allen was awarded almost 300 patents for a wide range of farming machinery, including the fertilizer drill, seed drill, potato digger, cultivator, furrower, pulverizer, grass edger and numerous other farm implements. In order to provide
Willis Haviland Carrier (November 26, 1876 – October 6, 1950) was an American engineer who invented modern air conditioning.
He was born on November 26, 1876, in Angola, New York, the son of Duane Williams Carrier (1836–1908) and Elizabeth R. Haviland (1845–1888).
The first Carrier in the United States was Thomas, who arrived in Massachusetts around 1663. There is historical evidence that Thomas was born in Wales in 1622 and that he was a political refugee who assumed the name "Carrier" upon coming to America. Thomas married Martha Allen, daughter of Andrew Allen, a first settler of Andover, MA. After standing up against the Andover town fathers in a boundary dispute, she was accused of being a witch. Two of her sons, aged 13 and 10, were hung by their heels until they, too, testified against her. Cotton Mather denounced her as a "rampant hag" whom the Devil had promised "should be the queen of Hell." She was arrested, convicted and, on August 19, 1692, hanged on Salem's Gallows Hill. Later it was recorded that of all the New Englanders charged with witchcraft, "Martha Carrier was the only one, male or female, who did not at some time or other make an admission or confession."
William Daniel "Danny" Hillis (born September 25, 1956, in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American inventor, scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, and author. He co-founded Thinking Machines Corporation, a company that developed the Connection Machine, a parallel supercomputer designed by Hillis at MIT. He is also co-founder of the Long Now Foundation, Applied Minds, Metaweb Technologies, Applied Proteomics, and author of The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work.
Danny Hillis was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1956. His father, William Hillis, was a US Air Force epidemiologist studying hepatitis in Africa and relocated with his family through Rwanda, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, and Kenya. He spent a brief part of his childhood in Calcutta, India when his father was a visiting faculty at ISI, Calcutta. During these years the young Hillis was home schooled by his mother Aryge Briggs Hillis, a biostatistician, and developed an early appreciation for mathematics and biology. His younger brother is David Hillis, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Texas at Austin, and his sister is Argye E. Hillis, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins
Stefan Drzewiecki (July 26, 1844 in Kunka, Podolia, Russian Empire (today Ukraine) – April 23, 1938 in Paris) was a Polish scientist, journalist, engineer, constructor and inventor, working in Russia and France.
Drzewiecki left Poland early in life to complete his education in France. With a knack for creativity and invention, he invented such useful tools as the kilometric counter for cabs. At the specific request of Grand Duke Konstantin, Drzewiecki moved to St. Petersburg in 1873. While in Russia, he constructed an instrument that drew the precise routes of ships onto a map.
Drzewiecki distinguished himself mainly in aviation and ship building. Beginning in 1877, during the Russo-Turkish War, he developed several models of propeller-driven submarines that evolved from single-person vessels to a four-man model. He developed the theory of gliding flight, developed a method for the manufacture of ship and plane propellers (1892), and presented a general theory for screw-propeller thrust (1920). He also developed several models of early submarines for the Russian Navy.
His work "Theorie generale de l'helice" (1920), was honored by the French Academy of Science as a fundamental work
Thomas Blanchard (June 24, 1788 – April 16, 1864) was an American inventor who lived much of his life in Springfield, Massachusetts, where in 1819, he pioneered the assembly line style of mass production in America, and also invented the major technological innovation known as interchangeable parts. Blanchard worked, for much of his career, with the Springfield Armory. In 1825, Blanchard also invented America's first car, which he called a "horseless carriage," powered by steam. During Blanchard's lifetime, he was awarded over twenty-five patents for his creations.
He was born in Sutton, Massachusetts. He had a fondness for mechanical employment, and was associated with his brother in the manufacture of tacks by hand. This process was exceedingly slow and tedious, and his first machine, made and patented in 1806, was a mechanical tack-maker, which could fabricate five hundred tacks per minute, each much better than tacks made by hand. He sold the rights to his machine for $5,000.
Blanchard then turned his attention to gun barrels, and invented a machine tool that streamlined the process of their manufacture. Hired by the Springfield Armory during its construction, Blanchard
Patents:Analog/Digital System for Television Services
I've worked in electronics manufacturing businesses for forty years. My roles have ranged from business unit general management, M&A, business development, strategic planning, regulatory affairs, and financial planning. I've lead acquisition transactions throughout the world and have been responsible several times for expanding domestic businesses internationally. I have served four CEOs in three industries as a senior corporate strategy and business development officer. I've also experienced what it's like to be an entrepreneur co-founding and running a small consulting business for several years. Most recently I've been focused on the convergence of video, voice, & data technologies related to cable television and IPTV. I've been studying future consumer entertainment business models, interactive television applications, targeted television advertising, audience measurement, viewer behavior modeling, consumer privacy, authentication & identity models, reputation systems, social networks, digital rights management, content security and content search & retrieval technologies.
I love music, history, philosophy and a good bottle of wine. I'm an avid golfer, a technology geek, a newby genealogy buff and a lifelong political junky. I met my wife of 40+ years at Baylor University and we are the proud parents of three fine sons. But the real center of our life now is our four grandchildren.
Elijah J. McCoy (May 2, 1844 – October 10, 1929) was a black Canadian-American inventor and engineer, who was notable for his 57 U.S. patents, most to do with lubrication of steam engines. Born free in Canada, he returned as a five-year-old child with his family to the United States in 1847, where he lived for the rest of his life and became a US citizen.
Elijah J. McCoy was born free in 1844 in Colchester, Ontario, Canada to George and Mildred (Goins) McCoy, who were African American. They were fugitive slaves who had escaped from Kentucky to Canada via helpers through the Underground Railroad. In 1847, the family returned to the US, settling in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
At age 15, McCoy traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for an apprenticeship and study. After some years, he was certified in Scotland as a mechanical engineer. After his return, he rejoined his family. He had eleven siblings.
In Michigan, McCoy could find work only as a fireman and oiler at the Michigan Central Railroad. In a home-based machine shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, McCoy did his own higher skilled work, developing improvements and inventions. He invented an automatic lubricator for oiling the steam engines of
Leo Hendrik Baekeland (Sint-Martens-Latem (near Ghent), November 14, 1863 – February 23, 1944) was a Belgian chemist who invented Velox photographic paper (1893) and Bakelite (1907), an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile, and popular plastic, which marks the beginning of the modern plastics industry.
Leo Baekeland was born in Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent, Belgium, Baekeland was the son of a cobbler and a maid. He told The Literary Digest: "The name is a Dutch word meaning 'Land of Beacons.'" He graduated with honours from the Ghent Municipal Technical School and was awarded a scholarship by the City of Ghent to study chemistry at the University of Ghent, where he acquired a PhD maxima cum laude at the age of 21. He was subsequently appointed associate professor of chemistry in 1889, and married Céline Swarts, the daughter of his head of department.
In 1889 Baekeland honeymooned in New York, where he met Richard Anthony, of the E. and H.T. Anthony photographic company. Baekeland had already invented a process to develop photographic plates using water instead of chemicals, and was interested in moving to America; Anthony saw potential in the young chemist and offered him a job.
Richard Thompson James (1914–1974) was a naval engineer. He and his wife, Betty were the inventors of the Slinky in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 1940s.
Mr. James graduated from Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school located in Chester County, PA, in 1935. He graduated in 1939 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. In 1943, Richard James was a naval engineer trying to develop a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships.
Richard James was trying to develop a means for suspending sensitive shipboard instruments aboard naval vessels, even in rough seas. He was working with tension springs, when he accidentally dropped one. Seeing how the spring kept moving after it hit the ground, an idea for a toy was born.
With a US$500 loan, Richard James developed a coil winding machine and started the James Spring & Wire Company to mass-produce the Slinky. The name for the toy was coined by Betty James. Slinky was successfully demonstrated at Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia during the 1945 Christmas season and then at the 1946 American Toy Fair. It became a huge success, with around 300 million Slinkys purchased since
Stephen Wilcox, Jr. (February 12, 1830 – November 27, 1893) was an American inventor, best known as the co-inventor (with George Herman Babcock) of the water-tube boiler. They went on to found the Babcock & Wilcox Company. He was born in Westerly, Rhode Island.
Viktor Meyer (8 September 1848 – 8 August 1897) was a German chemist and significant contributor to both organic and inorganic chemistry. He is best known for inventing an apparatus for determining vapour densities, the Viktor Meyer apparatus, and for discovering thiophene, a heterocyclic compound. He is sometimes referred to as Victor Meyer, a name used in some of his publications.
Viktor Meyer was born in Berlin in 1848, the son of trader and cotton printer Jacques Meyer and mother, Bertha. His parents were Jewish, though he was not actively raised in the Jewish faith. Later, he was confirmed in the reformed Jewish Church. He married a Christian woman, Hedwig Davidson, and raised his children as such. He entered the gymnasium at the age of ten in the same class as his two-year older brother Richard. Although he had excellent science skills his wish to become an actor was based on his love for poetry. At a visit from his brother Richard, who was studying chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, he became attracted to chemistry.
In 1865, when not yet 17 years old but pushed by his parents, Meyer began studying chemistry at the University of Berlin, the same year that August
John Moses Browning January 23, 1855 – November 26, 1926), born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world. He is arguably the most important figure in the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms and is credited with 128 gun patents. He made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24.
Browning influenced nearly all categories of firearms design. He invented or made significant improvements to single-shot, lever-action, and slide-action, rifles and shotguns. His most significant contributions were arguably in the area of autoloading firearms. He developed the first autoloading pistols that were both reliable and compact by inventing the telescoping bolt, integrating the bolt and barrel shroud into what is known as the pistol slide. Browning's telescoping bolt design is now found on nearly every modern semi-automatic pistol, as well as several modern fully automatic weapons. He also developed the first gas-operated machine gun, the
Nikolai Yegorovich Zhukovsky (Russian: Никола́й Его́рович Жуко́вский; January 17 [O.S. January 5] 1847, Orekhovo, Vladimir Governorate – March 17, 1921, Moscow) was a Russian scientist, founding father of modern aero- and hydrodynamics. Whereas contemporary scientists scoffed at the idea of human flight, Zhukovsky was the first to undertake the study of airflow.
His name is usually romanised as Joukovsky or Joukowsky in the literature. See for example Joukowsky transform (also Kutta-Schukowski transform), Kutta–Joukowski theorem and so on.
Zhukovsky was born in the village of Orekhovo, Vladimir Governorate, Russian Empire. In 1868 he graduated from Moscow University where he studied under August Davidov. From 1872 he was a professor at the Imperial Technical School. In 1904 he established the world's first Aerodynamic Institute in Kachino near Moscow. From 1918 he was the head of TsAGI (Central AeroHydroDynamics Institute).
He was the first scientist to explain mathematically the origin of aerodynamic lift, through his circulation hypothesis, the first to dimension the lift force generated by a body moving through an ideal fluid as proportional to the velocity and the circulation
Domina Jalbert (1904-1991) invented the ram-air inflated flexible wing often called the "Jalbert parafoil".
Born in Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec. Early in his life he moved to Woonsocket, RI where he lived and worked for many years before moving to Boca Raton, Florida, in his older years. While living in Woonsocket, Jalbert graduated from Woonsocket High School, and later worked as a track coach and administrator for Mount St. Charles Academy.
Jalbert received a US pilots' license in 1927. In the 1930s he was active in kiting - using large kites for advertising purposes. He was hired to help protect the coastline of the western United States during war with the design and making of barrage balloons; he worked for the United States Rubber Company in Naugatuck, Connecticut, USA.
He filed a patent in 1944 patent for a combination of a balloon with a stiffened flexible wing forming what is now known as a "kytoon".
The 1944 patent by Domina Jalbert presaged the flexible-winged hang gliders that latterly flowed from Francis Rogallo's NASA leadership; the mechanical stiffened flexible wing was already evident in Jalbert's earlier kite balloon patent filed on April 15 1944.
In 1957, Jalbert
George de Mestral (June 19, 1907 – February 8, 1990) was an electrical engineer who invented Velcro.
He was born to Albert de Mestral, an agricultural engineer, and Marthe de Goumoëns in Colombier, near Lausanne, Switzerland. De Mestral designed a toy airplane at age twelve and patented it. He attended the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. After graduation in 1930, he worked in the machine shop of an engineering company. He worked on inventing Velcro hook and loop fasteners for ten years starting in 1948. In 1955 he successfully patented hook and loop, eventually selling 60 million yards (about 55,000 km) a year through a multi-million dollar company.
George was married three times: to Jeanne Schnyder in 1932, Monique Panchaud de Bottens in 1949, and Helen Mary Dale. On his father's death in 1966, de Mestral inherited the family home at Colombier, château Saint-Saphorin-sur-Morges.
De Mestral died in Commugny, Switzerland, where he is buried. The municipality posthumously named an avenue, L'avenue George de Mestral, in his honor. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999 for inventing Velcro hook and loop fasteners.
De Mestral first conceptualized
Herman Hollerith (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an American statistician who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards to rapidly tabulate statistics from millions of pieces of data. He was the founder of one of the companies that later merged and became IBM.
Hollerith was born as a son of German immigrant Prof. Georg Hollerith from Großfischlingen (near Neustadt an der Weinstraße) in Buffalo, New York, where he spent his early childhood. He entered the City College of New York in 1875 and graduated from the Columbia University School of Mines with an "Engineer of Mines" degree in 1879. In 1880 he listed himself as a mining engineer while living in Manhattan, and completed his Ph.D. in 1890 at Columbia University. He eventually moved to Washington, D.C., living in Georgetown, with a home on 29th Street and ultimately a factory for manufacturing his tabulating machines at 31st Street and the C&O Canal, where today there is a commemorative plaque placed by IBM. He died in Washington D.C.
At the urging of John Shaw Billings, Hollerith developed a mechanism using electrical connections to trigger a counter, recording information. A key idea was that data
Richard Trevithick (13 April 1771 – 22 April 1833) was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall. Born in the mining heartland of Cornwall, Trevithick was immersed in mining and engineering from a young age. The son of a mining captain, he performed poorly in school, but went on to be an early pioneer in steam-powered rail. His most significant contribution was to the development of the first high pressure steam engine, he also built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive. On 21 February 1804 the world's first locomotive-hauled railway journey took place as Trevithick's unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.
Turning his interests abroad, Trevithick also worked as a mining consultant in Peru and later explored parts of Costa Rica. Throughout his professional career, he went through many ups and downs, and at one point faced financial ruin, also suffering from the strong rivalry of many mining and steam engineers of the day. During the prime of his career, he was a well-respected and known figure in mining and engineering, but near the end of his life and after he fell out of the
Inventions:Improvement in the Art of Preparing Caoutchouc
Charles Goodyear (December 29, 1800 – July 1, 1860) was an American inventor who developed a process to vulcanize rubber in 1839 -- a method that he perfected while living and working in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1844, and for which he received patent number 3633 from the United States Patent Office on June 15, 1844
Although Goodyear is often credited with its invention, modern evidence has proven that the Mesoamericans used stabilized rubber for balls and other objects as early as 1600 BC.
Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process accidentally after five years of searching for a more stable rubber.
Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Amasa Goodyear, and the oldest of six children. His father was a descendant of Stephen Goodyear, one of the founders of the colony of New Haven in 1638.
In 1814, Charles left his home and went to Philadelphia to learn the hardware business. He worked industriously until he was twenty-one years old, and then, returning to Connecticut, entered into partnership in his father's business in Naugatuck, where they manufactured not only ivory and metal buttons, but a variety of agricultural implements.
In August 1824 he
Erastus Brigham Bigelow (April 2, 1814 – December 6, 1879) was an American inventor of weaving machines.
Erastus Bigelow was born in West Boylston, Massachusetts. He was the son of a cotton weaver, and it was his parents' desire that he should become a physician, but, his father's business not being successful, he was unable to continue his studies, and so turned his attention to inventing. He showed an inventive genius at the early age of 14, when he invented a machine to manufacture piping cord, for which he received $100. Before he had reached the age of 18, he had devised a handloom for suspender webbing. His work on Stenography, a short manual on shorthand writing, was written and published about this time. In 1838, he invented a power loom for weaving knotted counterpanes, and later a power loom to weave coach lace and took his brother, Horatio, in with him.
In 1839 he contracted to produce a power-loom capable of weaving two-ply ingrain carpets, such as had been hitherto woven exclusively by the handloom, which only produced eight yards a day. With his first loom he succeeded in obtaining ten or twelve yards daily, which he increased by improvements until a product of
George Eastman (July 12, 1854 – March 14, 1932) was an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888 by the world's first filmmakers Eadward Muybridge and Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by their followers Léon Bouly, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers and Georges Méliès.
He was a major philanthropist, establishing the Eastman School of Music, and schools of dentistry and medicine at the University of Rochester; contributing to RIT and the construction of MIT's second campus on the Charles River; and donating to Tuskegee and Hampton universities. In addition, he provided funds for clinics in London and other European cities to serve low-income residents.
In the last few years of his life Eastman suffered with chronic pain and reduced functionality due to a spine illness. On March 14, 1932 Eastman shot himself, leaving a note which read, "To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?"
The George Eastman House, now operated as the International Museum of Photography and Film, has been designated a
George Ravenscroft (1632 – 7 June 1683) was an English businessman in the import/export and glass making trades. He is primarily known for his work in developing clear lead crystal glass (also known as flint glass) in England.
Little is known about Ravenscroft’s personal life, character or appearance, though his father described him in his will as a responsible family man and an astute businessman. He was born in 1632, the second of five sons of Roman Catholic parents who hid their true faith and lived outwardly as Anglicans, and he was baptized in Alconbury Weston, England, in April 1633. From 1643 to 1651 Ravenscroft attended the English College in Douai, France to train for the priesthood, but he dropped out before finishing his training and returned to London by 1666.
After settling in London and establishing a successful import/export business that made him wealthy, Ravenscroft married Hellen Appleby, from Yorkshire, England, in 1670 or 1671 and had three children with her. Ravenscroft died on 7 June 1683 after suffering from “a palsy” and was buried in the Ravenscroft vault in the Church of St.John the Baptist in Chipping Barnet, North London, England. Today in Chipping
Alexander Nikolaievich Prokofiev de Seversky (Russian: Александр Николаевич Прокофьев-Северский) (June 7, 1894 – August 24, 1974) was a Russian-American aviation pioneer, inventor, and influential advocate of strategic air power.
Of noble Russian parentage, Seversky was born in Tbilisi, then part of the Russian Empire (now Georgia) and called Tiflis. He entered a military school at age 10. Seversky's father was one of the first Russian aviators to own an aircraft (a modified Bleriot XI built by Mikheil Grigorashvili) and by the age of 14, when Seversky entered the Imperial Russian Naval Academy, his father had already taught him how to fly. Graduating in 1914 with an engineering degree, Lieutenant Seversky was serving at sea with a destroyer flotilla when World War I began.
Seversky was selected for duty as a naval aviator, transferring to the Military School of Aeronautics at Sebastopol, Crimea. After completing a postgraduate program on aeronautics in 1914–15, he was reassigned as a pilot in the summer of 1915 to an aviation unit in the Baltic Fleet. While stationed in the Gulf of Riga, on his first mission, he attacked a German destroyer but was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft
David Dunbar Buick (September 17, 1854 – March 5, 1929) was a Scottish-born Detroit inventor, best known for founding the Buick Motor Company. He headed this company and its predecessor from 1902 until 1906, thereby helping to create one of the most successful nameplates in United States motor vehicle history.
Buick was born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland and moved to Detroit at the age of two when his parents emigrated to the United States. He left school in 1869 and worked for a company which made plumbing goods. When the company ran into trouble in 1882, he and a partner took it over. At this time Buick began to show his promise as an inventor, producing many innovations including a lawn sprinkler, and a method for permanently coating cast iron with vitreous enamel which allowed the production of "white" baths at lower cost. Although cast iron baths are uncommon nowadays, the method is still in use for enameling them. With the combination of Buick's innovation and his partner's sound business management the company became quite successful.
During the 1890s, Buick developed an interest in internal combustion engines and began experimenting with them. He was spending little time on
David Schwarz (Croatian: David Švarc) (December 20, 1852, Keszthely, Kingdom of Hungary – January 13, 1897, Vienna) was a Hungarian-Croatian aviation pioneer of Jewish descent.
Schwarz created the first flyable rigid airship. It was also the first airship with an external hull made entirely of metal. He died before he could see it finally fly. Sources claimed that Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin purchased the patent from his widow, but Hugo Eckener disputed this.
David Schwarz was the son of Jewish parents. He was a wood merchant raised in Županja, but he spent most of his life in Zagreb, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Although Schwarz had no special technical training, he busied himself with technology and developed improvements for woodcutting machinery.
Schwarz first interested himself with airships in the 1880s. This occurred as he stayed in a Croatian log cabin at the start of winter to supervise the treefelling in a newly purchased forest. As the work took longer than planned he had his wife send him literature to while away the evenings. Because the works of Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo did not appeal to him, an assumption arising from one of his wife's letters,
Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir also known as Jean J. Lenoir (12 January 1822 - 4 August 1900) was a Belgian engineer who developed the internal combustion engine in 1858. Prior designs for such engines were patented as early as 1807, but none were commercially successful. Lenoir's engine was commercialized in sufficient quantities to be considered a success, a first for the internal combustion engine.
He was born in Mussy-la-Ville (then in Luxembourg, part of the Belgian Province of Luxembourg since 1839). By the early 1850s he had emigrated to France, taking up residence in Paris, where he developed an interest in electroplating. His interest in the subject led him to make electrical inventions including an improved electric telegraph.
By 1859, Lenoir's experimentation without electricity led him to develop the first single-cylinder two-stroke engine which burnt a mixture of coal gas and air ignited by a "jumping spark" ignition system by Ruhmkorff coil, and which he patented in 1860. The engine differed from more modern two-stroke engines in that the charge was not compressed before ignition (a system invented in 1801 by Lebon D'Humberstein, which was quiet but inefficient), with a
Giovanni Biagio Luppis von Rammer (27 August 1813 – 11 January 1875) was an Italian officer of the Austro-Hungarian Navy who had the idea of the first self-propelled torpedo.
Giovanni Luppis (or Lupis) was born in the city of Fiume in 1813, which was at the time part of the Illyrian Provinces, but soon passed back to Austria. His parents where Ferdinando Carlo, nobleman of Poreč (Parenzo) and Vis (Lissa) and Giovanna Parich, noble of Ragusa. In the city of Fiume, Giovanni Luppis's family has been powerful shipowners. Lupis attended a gymnasium in Rijeka and the Collegio di marina, the Austrian naval academy in Venice. Then he married a noblewoman, the Baroness Elisa de Zotti.
He served in the Venezianisch-Österreichische Kriegsmarine (after 1849 K.u.K Kriegsmarine ) and rose up the ranks to the position of Frigate Captain (Fregattenkapitan). In 1848/1849 he was an officer on the ships that blocked Venice.
About the middle in the 19th century, an officer of the Austrian Marine Artillery conceived the idea of employing a small boat carrying a large charge of explosives, powered by a steam or an air engine and remotely steered by cable to be used against enemy ships. Upon his death,
James Edward Maceo West (born April 10, 1931 in Prince Edward County, Virginia) is an American inventor and acoustician. Along with Gerhard Sessler, West developed the foil electret microphone in 1962. Nearly 90 percent of the more than two billion microphones produced annually are based on the principles of the foil-electret and are used in everyday items such as telephones, camcorders, and audio recording devices among others. West received a BS in Physics from Temple University in 1957. He holds over 250 foreign and U.S. patents for the production and design of microphones and techniques for creating polymer foil electrets.
In 2001, West retired from Lucent Technologies after a distinguished 40-year career at Bell Laboratories where he received the organization's highest honor, being named a Bell Laboratories Fellow. West then joined the faculty of the Whiting School at Johns Hopkins University where he is currently a research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Addition to his many contributions to acoustical science, throughout his career West has been a fervent advocate for greater diversity in the fields of science and technology. While at
John Butler Tytus, Jr. (1875-1944) was the inventor of the first practical wide-strip continuous rolling process for manufacturing steel. This process greatly reduced the cost of manufacturing steel, and was first implemented in a new Armco plant in 1924. By 1940, twenty-six plants had been built. He was a Yale University graduate but learned the steel business from the ground up. His home in Middletown, Ohio, the John B. Tytus House, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
John B. Tytus was born in Middletown, Ohio on December 6, 1875. His father owned a paper mill, which Tytus found fascinating as child. He attended the common schools until age fourteen. He then attended Westminster prep school at Dobbs Ferry, New York, which prepared him for admission to Yale University. He graduated from Yale in 1897 with a bachelor's degree in English literature and returned to Middletown to work in the family paper mill. Soon afterward, his father died and his family sold the mill. He went to work with a bridge builder at Dayton, Ohio.
In 1904 he left the bridge builder to work for a steel mill in his hometown as a spare hand. He quickly learned about steel rolling and earned the
Juanelo Turriano (Italian: Gianello Torriano; born Giovanni Torriani, c. 1500 — 1585) was an Italo-Spanish clockmaker, engineer and mathematician. He was born in Cremona.
Called to Spain in 1529 by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, he was appointed Court Clock Master and built the Cristalino, an astronomical clock that made him famous in his time. Philip II of Spain named him Matemático Mayor. He worked and lived in Toledo, where he built the Artificio de Juanelo, an engine that, driven by the river itself, lifted water from the Tagus to a height of almost 100 meters, to supply the city and its castle (Alcázar).
Turriano is attributed as the creator of an automaton manufactured in the 1560s based on a commission from Philip II of Spain.
He died at Toledo in 1585.
Ognjeslav Kostović Stepanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Огњеслав Костовић Степановић) (1851- 16 December 1916) was a Serbian inventor. He was born in Wiesburg, Austria to a Serbian noble family residing in Pesta, Hungary, but spent most of his life in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
He is credited with creating "arbonite" (i.e. plywood), the first plastic in the world. Kostović patented the technology of the production of arbonite in the USA on 4 September 1906. In early 1880s he designed and attempted to construct a dirigible (airship), about 20 years before Ferdinand von Zeppelin. His flight vehicle was destroyed in a fire and it was never tested in the air. He also developed and constructed a large gasoline engine for his dirigible. In 1879 he demonstrated his flying models of a helicopter, aircraft and ornithopter, while in 1881 approached the building of an aircraft. In the catalog of aeronautical exhibition 1911 and in the article of G.V. Piotrovski it is said, that Kostović actually constructed a flight vehicle. The same was also said in A. Ewald's report in the Russian technical society on 12 March 1883.
Ognjeslav lived with his family in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He celebrated the
Sarah E. Goode (b. 1850) was an entrepreneur and inventor. She was the very first African American woman to receive a United States patent.
Born in 1850, Goode was a slave. When the American Civil War ended she moved to Chicago, Illinois and opened a furniture store. Goode invented a folding cabinet bed which provided people who lived in small spaces to utilize their space efficiently. When the bed was folded up, it looked like a desk. The desk was fully functional, with spaces for storage. She received a patent for it on July 14, 1885.
The Bubble Project, as proclaimed by its manifesto, aims to counteract corporate marketing and advertisement messages in public spaces.
The project was conceived by Ji Lee, an artist and art director who originally printed 15,000 stickers that look like speech bubbles used in comic strips. He posts these blank speech bubbles on top of advertisements throughout New York City allowing anyone who sees them to write in their comments and thoughts. By filling in the bubbles people engage in the project and transform “the corporate monologue into an open dialogue”. After time passes, the comments are photographed and posted on the project’s website.
The Bubble Project has quickly gained popularity and independent efforts have sprung up in other parts of the world in countries such as Italy or Argentina.
On June 1, 2006, a book written by Lee himself was released. It explains the whole idea behind the project and shows the best pictures taken in the first 4 years, showing the results of the project.
Another project by Ji Lee
Sir George Cayley, 6th Baronet (27 December 1773 – 15 December 1857) was a prolific English engineer and one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. In 1799 he set forth the concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. He was a pioneer of aeronautical engineering and is sometimes referred to as "the father of aerodynamics." Designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft, he discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight: weight, lift, drag, and thrust, which act on any flying vehicle. Modern aeroplane design is based on those discoveries including cambered wings. He is credited with the first major breakthrough in heavier-than-air flight and he worked over half a century before the development of powered flight, being acknowledged by the Wright brothers. He designed the first actual model of an aeroplane and also diagrammed the elements of vertical flight.
Cayley served for the Whig party as Member of
Peter Nordin is a Swedish computer scientist, entrepreneur and author who has contributed to artificial intelligence, automatic programming, machine learning, and evolutionary robotics.
Peter Nordin was born in 1965 in Helsingborg but moved to Gothenburg in 1967, where he was raised. He began studies at Chalmers University of Technology in 1984 and completed the M.S. in computer science and engineering in 1988 and studied economics. He then worked as a knowledge engineer for artificial intelligence (AI) company, Infologics AB, focusing on research and development of knowledge-based systems and complex system configuration.
Nordin began his research while at Infologics AB, Sweden. His work led to several European research projects (ESPRIT) including projects in machine learning (autonomous vehicles) and methodologies for AI system development. As one of the first researchers in the area he began his research in Genetic Programming (GP) in 1992. GP is a type of evolutionary algorithm and a general automatic programming method that generates Turing complete algorithms – i.e. computers that write their own programs. In 1993, he started Dacapo AB, a research and development company. He
Richard William Pearse (3 December 1877 – 29 July 1953) was a New Zealand farmer and inventor who performed pioneering experiments in aviation.
It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft. The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled flight. Pearse himself never made such claims, and in an interview he gave to the Timaru Post in 1909 only claimed he did not "attempt anything practical...until 1904".
Pearse himself was not a publicity-seeker and also occasionally made contradictory statements, which for many years led some of the few who knew of his feats to offer 1904 as the date of his first flight. The lack of any chance of industrial development, such as spurred the Wrights to develop their machine, seems to have suppressed any recognition of Pearse's achievements.
In 1902 Pearse built and patented a bicycle which was the first flight ever made with vertical crank gears and self-inflating tyres. He then designed and
Robert Elliot "Bob" Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American Internet pioneer, engineer and computer scientist, who, along with Vinton G. Cerf, invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet.
Kahn was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Beatrice Pauline (née Tashker) and Lawrence Kahn, a high school administrator. Through his father, he is related to futurist Herman Kahn. After receiving a B.E.E. degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, Kahn earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. After finishing graduate school, he worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories, and then became an assistant professor at MIT. He then worked at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), where he helped develop the IMP.
In 1972, he began work at the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) within ARPA. In the fall of 1972, he demonstrated the ARPANET by connecting 20 different computers at the International Computer Communication Conference, "the watershed event that made people suddenly realize that packet switching was a
Samuel Owen, born 12 May 1774 in Norton in Hales, Shropshire, England, died 15 February 1854 in Stockholm, was a British-Swedish engineer, inventor and industrialist. Samuel Owen moved to Sweden in 1807 and founded in 1809 a workshop in Stockholm that produced all kinds of mechanical components for the industry.
Family: He was married three times; First in England with Ann Spen Toft, then 1817 in Sweden with Beata Carolina Svedell. Beata died 1822. Soon after he married Johanna Magdalena Elisabeth (1797–1880), also called "Lisette" (probably a children's name for Elisabeth). She was born Strindberg and was an aunt to August Strindberg. In total he had 17 children with his three wives.
His first trip to Sweden was in 1804 to assist with the installation of four steam engines that were ordered from Sweden, intended for industrial use, that had been sold by the company Fenton, Murray & Wood’s in Leeds in England where Owen was employed at that time. The first engine was installed in the autumn 1804 in a textile factory at Lidingö outside Stockholm to replace horses that were used to drive the machines in the factory. After that installation work he went back to England but was asked
John Fitch (January 21, 1743 – July 2, 1798) built the first steamboat in the United States in 1787.
Fitch was born to Joseph Fitch and Sarah Shaler in Windsor, Connecticut on January 21, 1743, on a farm that is part of present-day South Windsor, Connecticut. He received little formal schooling and eventually apprenticed himself to a clockmaker, during time Fitch was not allowed to learn or even observe watchmaking (he later taught himself how to repair clocks and watches). He married Lucy Roberts December 29, 1767. Following this apprenticeship in Hartford, he opened an unsuccessful brass foundry in East Windsor, Connecticut and then a brass and silversmith business in Trenton, New Jersey which succeeded for eight years but was destroyed by British troops during the American Revolution.
He served briefly during the Revolution, mostly as a gunsmith working for the New Jersey militia; he left his unit after a dispute over a promotion but continued his work repairing and refitting arms in Trenton. In the fall of 1777, Fitch provided beer and tobacco to the Continental Army in Philadelphia. During the following winter and spring, he provided beer, rum, and other supplies to troops at
Lester Allan Pelton (September 5, 1829 – March 14, 1908) was an American inventor who contributed significantly to the development of hydropower and hydroelectric power in the old West and world-wide. In the late 1870s he invented the Pelton water wheel, then the most efficient design of the impulse water turbine. Recognized as one of the fathers of hydroelectric power, he was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal during his lifetime and recently was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Lester Allan Pelton was born in Vermilion, Ohio on September 5, 1829. His grandfather, Captain Josiah S. Pelton, who retired after a successful career at sea, had established his family and descendants prominently in the area. Lester's father was Allen Pelton, Josiah's youngest son; his mother was Fanny Cuddeback, she of another locally prominent family. As a youngster Lester worked on the Pelton family farm and attended the Cuddeback School.
In 1850, young Pelton joined a local party of males and emigrated from Ohio to participate in the California gold rush. But he was not successful as a miner, and for a time he fished the Sacramento River and sold his catch locally; and he worked in
Almon Brown Strowger (Penfield, New York, United States, Feb 11, 1839 – St. Petersburg, Florida, United States, May 26, 1902) gave his name to the electromechanical telephone exchange technology that his invention and patent inspired.
Strowger was born in Penfield, near Rochester, New York. Little information is available about his early life, but it is known that he was the grandson of the second settler and first miller in Penfield. In her history of the Town of Penfield, Katherine Thompson reports that if his mother gave her children a task, he and his brothers would spend most of their time figuring out a machine that would do the task for them. He taught school in Penfield for a time, and served in the 8th New York Volunteer Cavalry during the American Civil War. It is believed that he fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia.
After the Civil War, it appears he first became a country school teacher before he became an undertaker. He is variously attributed as living in El Dorado, Kansas or Topeka, Kansas, and finally Kansas City, Missouri. It is not clear where his idea of an automatic telephone exchange was originally conceived, but his patent
Arthur H. Pitney (1871-1933) was an American inventor best known as the father of the postage meter.
Postage meters are used today by millions of businesses to imprint postage on envelopes and parcels. Meter indicia serve as proof of payment, functioning as a postage stamp, a cancellation mark, and a dated postmark all in one.
Pitney filed a patent application, in Stamford, Connecticut for the world’s first postage meter on Dec. 9, 1901. He presented, demonstrated and perfected his invention over two decades – but it was not until he partnered with English-born industrialist Walter Bowes that the postage meter was approved by the U.S. Postal Service.
He co-founded the Pitney-Bowes Postage Meter Company in 1920. Today, the company that bears his name, Pitney Bowes, is a $6.1 billion provider of software, hardware and services related to documents, packaging, mailing and shipping, collectively referred to as the mailstream.
Pitney’s invention, the Pitney Bowes Model M Postage Meter has been recognized as an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Arthur Pitney was born in Quincy, Illinois in 1871. In 1890 he moved to
Granville T. Woods (April 23, 1856 – January 30, 1910), was an African-American inventor who held more than 50 patents. Most of his work was on trains and street cars. Woods also invented the Multiplex Telegraph, a device that sent messages between train stations and moving trains. Born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 23, 1856, Granville T. Woods dedicated his life to developing a variety of inventions relating to the railroad industry.
Granville T. Woods literally learned his skills on the job. Attending school in Columbus until age 10, he served an apprenticeship in a machine shop and learned the trades of machinist and blacksmith. During his youth he also went to night school and took private lessons. Although he had to leave formal school at age ten, Woods realized that learning and education were essential to developing critical skills that would allow him to express his creativity with machinery. In 1872, Woods obtained a job as a fireman on the Danville and Southern Railroad in Nebraska, eventually becoming an engineer. He invested his spare time in studying electronics. In 1874, he moved to Springfield, Illinois, and worked in a rolling mill. In 1878, he took a job aboard the
Herbert Henry Dow (February 26, 1866 – October 15, 1930) was a Canadian born, American chemical industrialist. He is a graduate of Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland, Ohio. His most significant achievement was the founding of the Dow Chemical Company in 1897. He was a prolific inventor of chemical processes, compounds, and products, and was a successful businessman.
Herbert Henry Dow was born in 1866 in Belleville, Ontario (Canada), the eldest child of Joseph Henry Dow, an inventor and mechanical engineer. Six weeks after his birth, the family returned to their hometown of Derby, Connecticut. They moved again in 1878, this time to Cleveland, Ohio (USA) to follow his father's job with the Derby Shovel Manufacturing Company.
Dow was a precocious child, often helping his father with mechanical problems, and inventing an incubator for chicken eggs before he was 12. Several years later he and his father coinvented a small steam turbine which the United States Navy used for many years in torpedo propulsion.
After graduating from high school in 1884, Dow enrolled in the Case School of Applied Science (now known as Case Western Reserve University). While at Case, he became a
Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence (1804 – March 27, 1879) was a French-Brazilian painter and inventor, known as the isolate inventor of photography in Brazil, three years before Daguerre (but six years after Nicéphore Niépce), using the matrix negative/positive, still in use. According to Kossoy, who examined Florence's notes, he referred to his process, in French, as photographie in 1834, at least four years before John Herschel coined the English word photography.
Hercules Florence was born on February 29, 1804 in Nice, France, the son of Arnaud Florence (1749–1807), a tax collector, and Augustine de Vignolis, a minor noblewoman. As a child he manifested interest for drawing and the sciences, as well as for the voyages of the great explorers to the New World and already as a 14 year-old boy he worked as a calligrapher and draftsman in Monaco, where his parents had been living since 1807.
After a period of wandering and working on board of warships and merchant ships, Hércules Florence set sail to Brazil as a crew member of the French warship Marie Thérèze, arriving in the port of Rio de Janeiro on May 1, 1824, two years after the declaration of independence from Portugal. He was
Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009)—known as Les Paul—was an American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.
Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed.
Les Paul was born Lester William Polsfuss outside Milwaukee, in
Maurice Ralph Hilleman (August 30, 1919 – April 11, 2005) was an American microbiologist who specialized in vaccinology and developed over three dozen vaccines, more than any other scientist. Of the fourteen vaccines routinely recommended in current vaccine schedules, he developed eight: those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. He also played a role in the discovery of the cold-producing adenoviruses, the hepatitis viruses, and the cancer-causing virus SV40.
He is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist of the 20th century. Robert Gallo described him as "the most successful vaccinologist in history".
Hilleman was born on a farm near the high plains town of Miles City, Montana. His parents were Anna and Gustav Hillemann, and he was their eighth child. His twin sister died when he was born, and his mother died two days later. He was raised in the nearby house hold of his uncle, Robert Hilleman, and worked in his youth on the family farm. He credits much of his success to his work with chickens as a boy. Chicken eggs are used to develop vaccines based on weakened viruses.
Robert Dennard (born September 5, 1932) is an American electrical engineer and inventor.
Dennard was born in Terrell, Texas, U.S.. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1954 and 1956, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1958. His professional career was spent as a researcher for International Business Machines.
In 1968, he invented dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Dennard was also among the first to recognize the tremendous potential of downsizing MOSFETs. The scaling theory he and his colleagues formulated in 1974 postulated that MOSFETs continue to function as voltage-controlled switches while all key figures of merit such as layout density, operating speed, and energy efficiency improve – provided geometric dimensions, voltages, and doping concentrations are consistently scaled to maintain the same electric field. This property underlies the achievement of Moore's Law and the evolution of microelectronics over the last few decades.
Selman Abraham Waksman (July 22, 1888 – August 16, 1973) was a Ukrainian-American biochemist and microbiologist whose research into organic substances—largely into organisms that live in soil—and their decomposition promoted the discovery of Streptomycin, and several other antibiotics. A professor of biochemistry and microbiology at Rutgers University for four decades, he discovered over twenty antibiotics (a word which he coined) and introduced procedures that have led to the development of many others. The proceeds earned from the licensing of his patents funded a foundation for microbiological research, which established the Waksman Institute of Microbiology located on Rutgers University's Busch Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey (USA). In 1952 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition "for his discovery of "streptomycin," the first antibiotic active against tuberculosis." Waksman was later accused of fraud by one of his lab workers Albert Schatz.
In 2005 Selman Waksman was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of the significant work of his lab in isolating more than fifteen antibiotics, including streptomycin, which
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, PRSE, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Irish-born British mathematical physicist and engineer. At the University of Glasgow he did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He worked closely with mathematics professor Hugh Blackburn in his work. He also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor, which propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, fame and honour. For his work on the transatlantic telegraph project he was knighted by Queen Victoria, becoming Sir William Thomson. He had extensive maritime interests and was most noted for his work on the mariner's compass, which had previously been limited in reliability.
Lord Kelvin is widely known for realising that there was a lower limit to temperature, absolute zero; absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. On his ennoblement in 1892 in honour of his achievements in thermodynamics, and of his opposition to Irish Home Rule, he adopted the title Baron Kelvin of
Arthur Lovett Garford (August 4, 1858 – January 23, 1933) was a noted industrialist, inventor and politician. Today, Garford's home serves as the Hickories Museum and home of the Lorain County Historical Society.
He was born on August 4, 1858, Elyria, Ohio.
Garford was a 1875 graduate of Elyria High School and began his career as a cashier and bookkeeper before he started the Garford Manufacturing Company in Elyria in 1892 and became the inventor of the first padded bicycle seat, known as the Garford Saddle. Over 1 million saddles were sold in the first few years which allowed Garford to form the American Saddle Company.
After his success in the bicycle industry, Garford moved into automobiles and formed the Automobile & Cycle Parts Company in 1893. The company changed its name to Federal Manufacturing Company and, within a few years Garford resigned his interest in it and went on to form the Garford Company. The Studebaker Company became interested in Garford's automobile parts company and together they formed a partnership. Garford engaged to become president or founder of several manufacturing firms including the American Lace Manufacturing Company, the Republican Printing
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. He facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.
Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity; as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies, then as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and
Elihu Thomson (March 29, 1853 – March 13, 1937) was an English engineer and inventor who was instrumental in the founding of major electrical companies in the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
He was born in Manchester (England) on 29 March 1853, but his family moved to Philadelphia in 1858. Thomson attended Central High School in Philadelphia and graduated in 1870. Thomson took a teaching position at Central, and in 1876, at the age of twenty-three, held the Chair of Chemistry. In 1880, he left Central to pursue research in the emerging field of electrical engineering.
With Edwin J. Houston, a former teacher and later colleague of Thomson's at Central High School, Thomson founded the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. Notable inventions created by Thomson during this period include an arc-lighting system, an automatically regulated three-coil dynamo, a magnetic lightning arrester, and a local power transformer. In 1892 the Thomson-Houston Electric Company merged with the Edison General Electric Company to become the General Electric Company.
The historian Thomas P. Hughes writes that Thomson "displayed methodological characteristics in the workshop and the laboratory as
Harold Nathan Braunhut (31 March 1926 - 28 November 2003), also known as Harold von Braunhut, was an American mail-order marketer and inventor, most famous as the creator and seller of both the Amazing Sea-Monkeys and the X-Ray Specs. His grandfather, Tobias Cohn, had the patent for the pail and shovel and was head of the T.Cohn Toy Company until the early 1940s.
Braunhut was born in Memphis, Tennessee on 31 March 1926. He grew up in New York City and resided there until the 1980s, when he moved to Maryland. According to a Washington Post report, he was raised "as Harold Nathan Braunhut, a Jew" - notable in light of his later association with white supremacist groups. He added "von" to his name some time in the 1950s for a more Germanic sound.
Braunhut used comic book advertisements to sell an assortment of quirky products. He held 195 patents for various products, many of which have become cultural icons, including:
Braunhut also raced motorcycles under the name "The Green Hornet", and managed a showman whose act consisted of diving 40 feet (12 m) into a children's wading pool filled with only 1 foot (0.30 m) of water. Braunhut also set up a wildlife conservation area in
Otto Julius Zobel (October 20, 1887 – January 1970) was an electrical engineer who worked for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) in the early part of the 20th century. Zobel's work on filter design was revolutionary and led, in conjunction with the work of John R. Carson, to significant commercial advances for AT&T in the field of frequency division multiplex (FDM) telephone transmissions.
Although much of Zobel's work has been superseded by more modern filter designs, it remains the basis of filter theory and his papers are still referenced today. Zobel invented the m-derived filter and the constant-resistance filter, which remains in use.
Zobel and Carson helped to establish the nature of noise in electric circuits, concluding that—contrary to mainstream belief—it is not even theoretically possible to filter out noise entirely and that noise will always be a limiting factor in what is possible to transmit. Thus, they anticipated the later work of Claude Shannon, who showed how the theoretical information rate of a channel is related to the noise of the channel.
Otto Julius Zobel was born on October 20, 1887 in Ripon, Wisconsin. He first studied at Ripon College,
Robert Bosch (September 23, 1861 – March 12, 1942) was a German industrialist, engineer and inventor, founder of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Bosch was born in Albeck, a village to the northeast of Ulm in southern Germany. He was the eleventh of twelve children. His parents came from a class of well-situated farmers from the region. His father, a freemason, was unusually well-educated for someone of his class, and placed special importance on a good education for his children.
From 1869 to 1876, Bosch attended the Realschule (secondary-technical school) in Ulm, and then took an apprenticeship as a precision mechanic.
After his school and practical education, Bosch spent a further seven years working at diverse companies in Germany, the United States (for Thomas Edison in New York), and the UK (for the German firm Siemens). On November 15, 1886, he opened his own 'Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering' in Stuttgart. A year later, he made a decisive improvement to an unpatented magneto ignition device made by the engine manufacturer Deutz, providing his first business success. The purpose of the device was to generate an electric spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture in a
Sir Alexander Fleming, FRSE, FRS, FRCS(Eng) (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicillin from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain.
In 1999, Time magazine named Fleming one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating:
Fleming was born on 6 August 1881 at Lochfield, a farm near Darvel, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the third of the four children of farmer Hugh Fleming (1816–1888) from his second marriage to Grace Stirling Morton (1848–1928), the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. Hugh Fleming had four surviving children from his first marriage. He was 59 at the time of his second marriage, and died when Alexander (known as Alec) was seven.
Fleming went to Loudoun Moor School and Darvel School, and earned a two-year scholarship to Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London, where he attended the Royal Polytechnic Institution. After working in a
Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin (October 18, 1847 – March 16, 1923) (Александр Николаевич Лодыгин in Russian) was a Russian electrical engineer and inventor, one of inventors of the Incandescent light bulb.
Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin was born in Stenshino village, Tambov guberniya, Russia. His parents were of a very old and noble family (descendants of Andrei Kobyla like Romanovs), but of very moderate means. He studied at the Tambov Cadet School (1859–1865). Then he served in the 71st Belev regiment, and in 1866-1868 studied at the Moscow Infantry School. Soon after graduation from his military school he retired from the military and worked as a worker at the Tula weapons factory.
Lodygin's ideas were almost always ahead of his time. He invented an incandescent light bulb before Thomas Edison, but it was not commercially profitable. The lamp with a tungsten filament is indeed the only design used now, but in 1906 they were too expensive.
In 1871 Lodygin proposed an autonomous diving apparatus that consisted of a steel mask, natural rubber costume, accumulator battery and a special apparatus for electrolysis of water. The diver was supposed to breathe the oxygen-hydrogen mix
Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain (14 December 1911 – 13 March 1998) was a German engineer, one of the inventors of jet propulsion. His first design ran in March 1937, and it was one of his engines that powered the first all-jet aircraft, the prototype of the Heinkel He 178 in late August 1939. In spite of these early successes, other German designs quickly eclipsed von Ohain's, and none of his engine designs entered widespread production or operational use.
von Ohain independently developed the first jet engine during the same period that Frank Whittle was doing the same in the UK, and the two projects were often within weeks of meeting the same milestones. von Ohain's Heinkel HeS 1 ran only weeks before Whittle's WU, but did not run on its own power until six months later. von Ohain's design flew first in 1939, followed by Whittle's in 1941. Operational jet aircraft from both countries entered use only weeks apart. After the war the two men met, and became friends.
Born in Dessau, Germany, he earned a Ph.D. in Physics and Aerodynamics from the University of Göttingen, then one of the major centers for aeronautical research, and was lectured by Ludwig Prandtl. During his studies, in
John Landis Mason (1832 - February 1902) was a native of Philadelphia, a tinsmith and the patentee of the metal screw-on lid for fruit jars that have come to be known as Mason jars. Many such jars were printed with the line "Mason's Patent Nov 30th 1858". He also invented the first screw top salt shaker in 1858.
Some assert that John Mason was at least partially of Native American ancestry.
United States patent 22,186, dated November 30, 1858, is primarily on the use of exterior threads in the jar and a corresponding metal cap. Later patents such as 102,913 improved upon this in various ways such as the addition of rubber rings.
Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville (1817 ￢ﾀﾓ April 26, 1879) was a French printer, librarian, and bookseller who lived in Paris. He invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph, in 1857. The phonautograph used a horn to collect sound, attached to a diaphragm which vibrated a stiff bristle which inscribed an image on a lamp black coated, hand-cranked cylinder. Scott built several devices with the help of Rudolph Koenig, a local musical instrument maker. Unlike Edison's similar 1877 invention, the phonograph, the phonautograph only created visual images of the sound and did not have the ability to play back its recordings. Scott's device was used for scientific investigations of sound waves.
Patents:Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well received. Twain had found his calling.
He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Waldo Lonsbury Semon (September 10, 1898 – May 26, 1999) was a renowned American inventor born in Demopolis, Alabama. He is credited with inventing methods for making polyvinyl chloride useful.
Semon put his name into the history books for inventing vinyl, the world's second most used plastic. He found the formula for vinyl by mixing a few synthetic polymers, and the result was a substance that was elastic, but wasn't adhesive. Semon worked on methods of improving rubber, and eventually developed a synthetic substitute. On December 11, 1935, he created Koreosol from salt, coke and limestone, a polymer that could be made in any consistency. Semon made more than 5,000 other synthetic rubber compounds, achieving success with Ameripol (AMERican POLymer) in 1940 for the B.F. Goodrich company. In all, Semon held 116 patents, and was inducted into the Invention Hall of Fame in 1995 at age 97.
Semon is sometimes credited with inventing bubble gum, but this is inaccurate. He did invent an indigestible synthetic rubber substance that could be used as a bubble gum (and produced exceptionally large bubbles), but the product remained a curiosity and was never sold. Semon graduated from the
Bruno Abdank-Abakanowicz (6 October 1852 – 29 August 1900) was a mathematician, inventor and electrical engineer.
Abakanowicz was born in 1852 in Vilkmergė, Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire. After graduating from the Riga Technical University, Abakanowicz passed his habilitation and began an assistantship at the Technical University of Lwów. In 1881, he moved to France where he purchased a villa in Parc St. Maur on the outskirts of Paris.
Earlier he invented the integraph, a form of the integrator, which was patented in 1880, and was henceforth produced by the Swiss firm Coradi. Among his other patents were the parabolagraph, the spirograph, the electric bell used in trains, and an electric arc lamp of his own design. Abakanowicz published several works, including works on statistics, integrators and numerous popular scientific works, such as one describing his integraph. He was also hired by the French government as an expert on electrification and was the main engineer behind the electrification of, among other places, the city of Lyon. His patents allowed him to become a wealthy man and made him receive the Legion d'Honneur in 1889.
Around that time he retired to a
John Ericsson (July 31, 1803 – March 8, 1889) was a Swedish-American inventor and mechanical engineer, as was his brother Nils Ericson. He was born at Långbanshyttan in Värmland, Sweden, but primarily came to be active in England and the United States. He is remembered best for designing the steam locomotive Novelty (in partnership with engineer John Braithwaite) and the ironclad ship USS Monitor.
John's and Nils's father Olaf Ericsson who worked as the supervisor for a mine in Värmland had lost money in speculations and had to move his family from Värmland to Forsvik in 1810. There he worked as a 'director of blastings' during the excavation of the Swedish Göta Canal. The extraordinary skills of the two brothers were discovered by Baltzar von Platen, the architect of the Göta Canal. The two brothers were dubbed cadets of mechanics of the Swedish Royal Navy and engaged as trainees at the canal enterprise. At the age of fourteen, John was already working independently as a surveyor. His assistant had to carry a footstool for him to reach the instruments during surveying work.
At the age of seventeen he joined the Swedish army in Jämtland, serving in the Jämtland Field Ranger
Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.
Marvin Lee Minsky was born in New York City to a Jewish family, where he attended The Fieldston School and the Bronx High School of Science. He later attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1945. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Harvard (1950) and a PhD in mathematics from Princeton (1954). He has been on the MIT faculty since 1958. In 1959 he and John McCarthy founded what is now known as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is currently the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.
Minsky's inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today's widely used confocal laser scanning microscope). He
Paul Kollsman (February 22, 1900 in Germany – March 17, 1982 in Beverly Hills, California) was an American inventor. He invented barometers and instruments for instrument flight in airplanes.
Kollsman studied civil engineering in Stuttgart and Munich. In 1923 he emigrated from Germany to the USA. He worked as truck-driver until he found a position at Pioneer Instruments Co. in Brooklyn/New York. In 1928 he founded his own company, Kollsman Instruments Co., with $500 of seed money.
He was searching for the right opportunity to launch his product a long time until Jimmy Doolittle flight tested his instruments. His instruments were later used in the NASA Apollo program. The altimeter setting window of the sensitive aircraft altimeter is named the "Kollsman Window" after him.
In 1939, Kollsman, who was then residing in Greenwich, Conn., sold his company for more than $4,000,000. In 1940 he purchased 800 acres (3.2 km) of land outside of Manchester Vermont from International Paper Company, and founded Snow Valley, which formally opened in January 1942, and was one of the earliest ski areas in the United States. Snow Valley operated continuously until 1984, and in 1983 hosted the first
Gottlob Honold (August 26, 1876 - March 17, 1923) was the leading engineer in the workshop of Robert Bosch and, with Bosch, was the inventor of the spark plug and the modern internal combustion engine, as well as headlights. The combination of the Bosch spark plug and the high voltage magneto, a process patented on January 7, 1902, made it possible for the gasoline-powered engine to become the standard for motor vehicles.
Honold was born on August 26, 1876 in Langenau, in Germany, about 10 miles northeast of Ulm. Honold's father was a friend of the father of Robert Bosch, and in 1891, Honold first worked in Bosch's Stuttgart workshop at the age of 14. Following graduation from the Ulm gymnasium, Honold studied engineering at the Stuttgart technical university. In 1901, Honold accepted an offer to become the technical manager of Bosch's company, and worked on the task of developing an improved ignition system for combustion engines. The Daimler company ordered the Bosch engine and was soon breaking automotive speed records. Honold continued work on faster and more powerful engines.
In 1913, Honold helped develop the automotive headlights that are used today. Although lights had been
John Theophilus Desaguliers (/deɪzæɡjuːlɪˈeɪ/; French: Jean Théophile Désaguliers, [dezagylje]; 12 March 1683 – 29 February 1744) was a French-born British natural philosopher who was a member of the Royal Society of London beginning 29 July 1714. He was presented with the Royal Society's highest honour, the Copley Medal, in 1734, 1736 and 1741, with the 1741 award being for his discovery of the properties of electricity. He studied at Oxford, became experimental assistant to Sir Isaac Newton, and later popularized Newtonian theories and their practical applications. He has been credited as the inventor of the planetarium, on the basis of some plans he published.
Born in La Rochelle, Desaguliers was an immigrant to England from France. He was born into a Huguenot (Protestant) family and fled to England not at the age of 11 (1694) but as an infant (1683) to escape the consequences of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and succeeded Dr John Keill in reading lectures on experimental philosophy at Hart Hall. He was the first who introduced the reading of lectures in London, where he had for his auditors not only the learned and the great,
Douglas Carl Engelbart (born January 30, 1925) is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces.
He is a committed, vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems. Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed "bootstrapping strategy". He designed the strategy to accelerate the rate of innovation of his lab.
Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon on January 30, 1925 to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. He is of German, Swedish and Norwegian descent.
He was the middle of three children, with a sister Dorianne (3 years older), and a brother David (14 months younger). They lived in Portland in his early years, and moved to the countryside to Johnson Creek when he was 9 or 10, after the death of his father.
Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a British Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer officer. He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine. The idea was first patented by Maxime Guillaume in 1921, 9 years before Whittle's patent, however it was not brought to fruition as the compressor technology of the era was not advanced enough to permit its construction. Whittle's operational engines were developed some years earlier than those of Germany's Dr. Hans von Ohain and he is regarded as the father of jet propulsion.
From an early age Whittle demonstrated an aptitude for engineering and an interest in flying. At first he was turned down by the RAF but, determined to be a pilot, he overcame his physical limitations to be accepted into the RAF, where his abilities earned him a place on the officer training course at Cranwell. He excelled in his studies and became an accomplished pilot. While writing his thesis there he formulated the fundamental concepts that led to the creation of the turbojet engine, taking out a patent on his design in 1930. His performance on an officers' engineering course earned him a place on a
George Robert Carruthers ( born October 1, 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an African American inventor, physicist, and space scientist. He has lived most of his life in Washington, DC.
From a young age he showed an interest in science and astronomy. He grew up in the South Side of Chicago where at the age of 10 he built his first telescope. Despite his natural aptitude, he did not perform well in school at a young age, earning poor grades in math and physics. Despite his poor grades he won three separate science fair awards during this time.
After graduating from Englewood High School he went on to get a bachelors in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1961, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1962, and a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1964. He now works with NRL’s community outreach organization, and as such helps support several educational activities in the sciences in the Washington D.C. area.
His work on ultraviolet spectrums and other types of astronautical tools helped him earn the Black Engineer of the Year award, of which he was one of the first 100 people to receive. His work has also been used by NASA, and in 1972
Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, FRS (12 June 1851 – 22 August 1940) was a British physicist and writer involved in the development of key patents in wireless telegraphy. In his 1894 Royal Institution lectures ("The Work of Hertz and Some of His Successors"), Lodge coined the term "coherer" for the device developed by French physicist Édouard Branly based on the work of Italian physicist Temistocle Calzecchi Onesti. In 1898 he was awarded the "syntonic" (or tuning) patent by the United States Patent Office. He was also credited by Lorentz (1895) with the first published description of the length contraction hypothesis, in 1893, though in fact Lodge's friend George Francis FitzGerald had first suggested the idea in print in 1889.
Oliver Lodge was born in 1851 at Penkhull in what is now Stoke-on-Trent, and educated at Adams' Grammar School, Newport, Shropshire. He was the eldest of eight sons and a daughter of Oliver Lodge (1826–1884) - later a ball clay merchant at Wolstanton, Staffordshire - and his wife, Grace, née Heath (1826–1879). Sir Oliver's siblings included Sir Richard Lodge (1855–1936), historian; Eleanor Constance Lodge (1869–1936), historian and principal of Westfield College,
Walter Houser Brattain (February 10, 1902 – October 13, 1987) was an American physicist at Bell Labs who, along with John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the transistor. They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention. He devoted much of his life to research on surface states.
He was born to Ross R. Brattain and Ottilie Houser in Amoy, China on February 10, 1902 and spent the early part of his life in Springfield, Oregon where an elementary school is named in his honor, and Tonasket, Washington in the United States. He was raised in Tonasket, Washington on a cattle ranch owned by his parents, and earned his B.A. degree in physics and mathematics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Brattain earned that degree in 1924 and an M.A. degree from the University of Oregon in 1926. He then moved eastward, taking his Ph.D. degree in physics at the University of Minnesota in 1929. Brattain's advisor was John T. Tate Sr., and his thesis was on electron impact in mercury vapor. In 1928 and 1929 he worked at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., and in 1929 was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories.
Brattain's concerns at Bell Laboratories in the
William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison (post-dating the work of Louis Le Prince).
Dickson was born on 3 August 1860 in Le Minihic-sur-Rance, Brittany, France. His mother was Elizabeth Kennedy-Laurie (1823?–1879) who may have been born in Virginia and was of Scottish descent. His father was James Waite Dickson, a Scottish artist, astronomer and linguist. James claimed direct lineage from the painter Hogarth, and from Judge John Waite, the man who sentenced King Charles I to death. A gifted musician, his mother, Elizabeth Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, was related to the Lauries of Maxwellton (immortalised in the ballad Annie Laurie) and connected with the Duke of Atholl and the Royal Stuarts.
In 1879 Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia. In 1888, American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison conceived of a device that would do "for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear". In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the U.S. Patent Office outlining his plans for the device. In March 1889, a
Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. (March 4, 1877 – August 27, 1963) was an African-American inventor. His most notable creations were a type of respiratory protective hood, a traffic signal, and a hair-straightening preparation. He is renowned for a heroic rescue in 1917 at Lake Erie in which he used his hood to save workers trapped in a tunnel system filled with fumes, after other rescue attempts had failed. He is credited as the first African American in Cleveland, Ohio, to own an automobile.
Born in Paris, Kentucky, Morgan moved at the age of fifteen to Cincinnati, Ohio in search of employment. Most of his teenage years were spent working as a handyman for a wealthy Cincinnati landowner. Like many African Americans of his day, he had to quit school at a young age in order to work. However, the teen-aged Morgan was able to hire his own tutor and continued his studies while living in Cincinnati. In 1895, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked repairing sewing machines for a clothing manufacturer. In 1916 he helped to found the Cleveland Call newspaper, and subsequently participated in a 1928 merger that created the Call and Post newspaper. He married his first wife, Madge Nelson,
Sir Peter Mansfield, FRS, (born 9 October 1933), is a British physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Sir Peter is a professor at the University of Nottingham.
Mansfield was born in Lambeth, London on 9 October 1933, to Sidney George (a gas fitter) and Rose Lillian Mansfield. Mansfield is the youngest of three brothers.
Mansfield grew up in Camberwell. During World War II he was evacuated from London, initially to Sevenoaks and then twice to Torquay, Devon, where he was able to stay with the same family on both occasions. On returning to London after the war he was told by a school master to take the 11+ exam. Having never heard of the exam before, and having no time to prepare, Mansfield failed to gain a place at the local Grammar school. His mark was, however, high enough for him to go to a Central School in Peckham. At the age of 15 he was told by a careers teacher that science wasn't for him. He left school shortly afterwards to work as a printer's assistant.
At the age of 18, having developed an interest in rocketry, Mansfield took up a job with the Rocket
Rudolph Ackermann (* 20 April 1764 in Stollberg, Electorate of Saxony, Germany; † 30 March 1834 in London) was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher and businessman.
He was born at Schneeberg, in Saxony, where he attended the Latin school. His wish to study at the university was made impossible by lack of financial means, and he therefore became a saddler like his father.
He worked as a saddler and coach-builder in different German cities, then moved to Paris, and then London, where in 1795 he established a print-shop and drawing-school in The Strand. Ackermann set up a lithographic press and begun a trade in prints. He later began to manufacture colours and thick carton paper for landscape and miniature painters.
In 1809 he applied his press to the illustration of his Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, which appeared monthly until 1829, when forty volumes had appeared. Thomas Rowlandson and other distinguished artists were regular contributors. Ackermann's Repository documented the changing classicising fashions in dress and furniture of the Regency. He also introduced the fashion of the once popular Literary Annuals, beginning in 1823 with
Traian Vuia (Romanian pronunciation: [traˈjan ˈvuja]; August 17, 1872 - September 3, 1950) was a Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer who designed, built and tested the first powered monoplane. His first airborne test traveled about 12 metres (39 feet) on March 18, 1906, and his best distance was 24 m (79 ft). This was the first short flight or "powered hop" by a monoplane. Vuia never achieved sustained, controlled flight with his early aircraft, and his experiments did not result in advances in aviation.
A French citizen since 1918, Vuia was associated with the French Resistance during World War II. He returned to Romania in 1950.
Vuia was born to Romanian parents Simion Popescu si Ana Vuia living in Surducul-Mic, a village in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (The place is now called Traian Vuia, Romania.) After graduating from high school in Lugoj, Banat in 1892, at that time part of Hungary within Austro-Hungarian empire, today in Romania, he enrolled in the School of Mechanics at the Polytechnic University of Budapest where he received his engineering diploma. He then joined the Faculty of Law in Budapest - Hungary, where he earned a Ph.D. in law in May 1901 with the thesis
Charles Franklin Kettering (August 29, 1876 – November 24 or November 25, 1958) was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents. He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947. Among his most widely used automotive inventions were the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. In association with the DuPont Chemical Company, he was also responsible for the invention of Freon refrigerant for refrigeration and air conditioning systems, as well as for the development of Duco lacquers and enamels, the first practical colored paints for mass-produced automobiles. While working with the Dayton-Wright Company he developed the "Bug" aerial torpedo, considered the world's first aerial missile. He led the advancement of practical, lightweight two-stroke diesel engines, revolutionizing the locomotive and heavy equipment industries. In 1927, he founded the Kettering Foundation, a non-partisan research foundation.
Charles was born in Loudonville, Ohio, USA, the fourth of five children of Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter Kettering. Poor eyesight hindered his progress as a student, but he initially attended The College
Gordon Gould (July 17, 1920 – September 16, 2005) was an American physicist who is widely, but not universally, credited with the invention of the laser. Gould is best known for his thirty-year fight with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to obtain patents for the laser and related technologies. He also fought with laser manufacturers in court battles to enforce the patents he subsequently did obtain.
Born in New York City, Gould was the oldest of three sons. Both his parents were Methodists active in their community church, but he himself was an avowed atheist. His father was the founding editor of Scholastic Magazine Publications in New York City. He grew up in Scarsdale, a small suburb of New York, and attended Scarsdale High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Union College, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and a Master's degree at Yale University, specializing in optics and spectroscopy. Between March 1944 and January 1945 he worked on the Manhattan Project but was dismissed due to his activities as a member of the Communist Political Association. In 1949 Gould went to Columbia University to work on a doctorate in
Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 – March 11, 1971) was an American inventor and television pioneer. Although he made many contributions that were crucial to the early development of all-electronic television, he is perhaps best known for inventing the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), the "image dissector", the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system, and for being the first person to demonstrate such a system to the public. Farnsworth developed a television system complete with receiver and camera, which he produced commercially in the firm of the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation, from 1938 to 1951.
In later life, Farnsworth invented a small nuclear fusion device, the Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor, or simply "fusor", employing inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC). Although not a practical device for generating nuclear energy, the fusor serves as a viable source of neutrons. The design of this device has been the acknowledged inspiration for other fusion approaches including the Polywell reactor concept in terms of a general approach to fusion design. Farnsworth held 165 patents, mostly in
Willgodt Theophil Odhner (in Cyrillic, Вильгодт Теофил Однер) was a Swedish engineer and entrepreneur, working in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the inventor of the Odhner Arithmometer, which by the 1940s was one of the most popular type of portable mechanical calculator in the world.
According to a brochure distributed by Odhner's company at the Paris World exposition of 1900 "...Odhner had, in 1871, an opportunity to repair a Thomas calculating machine and then became convinced that it is possible to solve the problem of mechanical calculation by a simpler and more appropriate way". It took him 19 years to perfect the design of this new machine so it could be manufactured effectively.
Odhner studied at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm from 1864 to 1867 but left before graduating. At age 23, in 1868, he moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia, even though he didn't speak any Russian. As soon as he arrived, he went to the Swedish consulate, which found him a job in a local mechanical workshop. A few months later he joined the Nobel's mechanical factory owned by a Swede named Ludvig Nobel (1831–1888), brother of Alfred Nobel of Nobel Prize fame, where he worked until 1877.
Sir David Brewster KH PRSE FRS FSA(Scot) FSSA MICE (11 December 1781 – 10 February 1868) was a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer and university principal.
David Brewster was born at the Canongate in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire to Margaret Key (1753–1790) and James Brewster (c. 1735–1815), the rector of Jedburgh Grammar School and a teacher of high reputation. David was the third of six children, two daughters and four sons: James (1777–1847), minister at Craig, Ferryden; David; David; George (1784–1855), minister at Scoonie, Fife; and Patrick (1788–1859), minister at the abbey church, Paisley.
At the age of 12, David was sent to the University of Edinburgh (graduating MA in 1800), being intended for the clergy. He was licensed a minister of the Church of Scotland, but only preached from the pulpit on one occasion. He had already shown a strong inclination for natural science, and this had been fostered by his intimacy with a "self-taught philosopher, astronomer and mathematician," as Sir Walter Scott called him, of great local fame—James Veitch of Inchbonny—a man who was particularly skillful in making telescopes.
Though Brewster duly finished his
Frederik Hendrik Kreuger (Amsterdam 14 May 1928), is a Dutch high voltage scientist and inventor, lives in Delft, Holland, and is professor emeritus of the Delft University of Technology. He is also a professional author of technical literature, nonfiction books, thrillers and a decisive biography of the master forger Han van Meegeren.
Frederik H. Kreuger stems from an old Amsterdam family where his maternal grandfather ran a small tobacco factory "Het Wapen van Spanje" in the Weteringstraat, in the old town near the Rijksmuseum. He published a Book about his grandfather, this tobacco factory and the explosive development of science and technique in the Belle Époque, the period his grandfather lived.
He was educated in Haarlem HBS B (a bèta-oriented secondary school), took his Engineer's degree at the Delft University of Technology in Holland and received there his Ph.D. degree in 1961. He worked as a high voltage scientist in Sweden, England and Holland. In Holland he was employed by the electrical industry and became later managing director of the Nederlandse Kabelfabriek in Delft. In 1986 he became a high voltage professor of his Alma mater in Delft and worked there until 1995.
George Mortimer Pullman (March 3, 1831 – October 19, 1897) was an American inventor and industrialist. He is known as the inventor of the Pullman sleeping car, and for violently suppressing striking workers in the company town he created, Pullman (which was later annexed and absorbed by Chicago becoming a neighborhood). Marktown, Clayton Mark's planned worker community is located nearby.
Born in Brocton, New York, his family moved to Albion, New York, where he gained many of his ideas that made him successful. Pullman also manufactured coffins during this time. Pullman dropped out of school at age 14, and eventually became one of Chicago's most influential and controversial figures. He arrived in Chicago as that city prepared to build the nation's first comprehensive sewer system.
Chicago was built on a low-lying bog, and it was said that the mud in the streets was deep enough to drown a horse. Unable to drain sewage by placing the sewers below ground, Chicago put its sewers on top of the street and covered them, effectively raising the street level 6–8 feet. Pullman was one of the engineers that undertook the task of raising the buildings of central Chicago to the new grade, and
Nikolaus August Otto (14 June 1832, Holzhausen an der Haide, Nassau - 26 January 1891, Cologne) was the German inventor of the first internal-combustion engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber. Although other internal combustion engines had been invented, these were not based on four separate strokes. Though the concept of four strokes had been theorised in 1861 by Alphonse Beau de Rochas, Otto was the first to make it practical.
Otto was the son of a farmer: his father also ran the local post office. He served an apprenticeship in commerce and following his apprenticeship worked as a business man in Frankfurt am Main and in Cologne. After relocating to Cologne he quit his office job in order to construct small gas engines, starting out by seeking to improve on the existing design of Étienne Lenoir. Otto met another engineer Eugen Langen in 1864. The technically trained Langen recognized the potential of Otto's development, and one month after the meeting, founded the first engine factory in the world, NA Otto & Cie. At the 1867 Paris World Exhibition their improved engine was awarded the Grand Prize.
The Otto & Langen engine was a free piston atmospheric
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (October 6, 1866 – July 22, 1932), a naturalized American citizen born in Quebec, Canada, was an inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio, including early—and possibly the first—radio transmissions of voice and music. In his later career he received hundreds of patents for devices in fields such as high-powered transmitting, sonar, and television.
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden was born October 6, 1866, in East-Bolton, Quebec, Canada, the eldest of the Reverend Joseph Elisha Fessenden and Clementina Trenholme Fessenden's four children. Joseph Fessenden was a priest of the Church of England in Canada, and through the years the family moved to a number of postings within the Province of Ontario. While growing up, Reginald was an accomplished student. In 1877, at the age of eleven, he attended Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario for two years. At the age of fourteen, Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, Quebec granted Fessenden a mathematics mastership. At this time, Bishop's College School was a feeder school of Bishop's University and shared the same campus and buildings. In June 1878, the school had an enrollment of only 43 boys. Thus,
Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 24, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat. In 1800, he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history. He is also credited with inventing some of the world's earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Navy.
Fulton became interested in steamboats in 1777 when he visited William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who had earlier learned about James Watt's steam engine on a visit to England.
Robert Fulton was born on a farm in Little Britain, Pennsylvania, on November 14, 1765. He had at least three sisters--Isabella, Elizabeth, and Mary, and a younger brother, Abraham. His father, Robert Fulton, was born in Ireland and emigrated to Philadelphia where he married Mary Smith. The father moved the family to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the younger Fulton attended a Quaker elementary school. Fulton showed an early interest in mechanical things. At the early age of 13, he invented paddle wheels to go alongside his father's fishing boat. He especially favored gunsmiths and even offered
Glenn Hammond Curtiss (May 21, 1878 – July 23, 1930) was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle then motorcycle builder and racer, later also manufacturing engines for airships as early as 1906. In 1908 Curtiss joined the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA), a pioneering research group founded by Alexander Graham Bell at Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia to build flying machines.
Curtiss rose to fame by making the first officially witnessed flight in North America, winning a race at the world's first international air meet in France, and making the first long-distance flight in the United States. His contributions in designing and building aircraft led to the formation of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. His company built aircraft for the U.S. Army and Navy, and during the years leading up to World War I, his experiments with seaplanes led to advances in naval aviation. Curtiss civil and military aircraft were predominant in the inter-war and World War II eras.
Curtiss was born in 1878 in Hammondsport, New York to Frank Richmond Curtiss and Lua Andrews. Although he only
Vladimir Kosma Zworykin (Russian: Влади́мир Козьми́ч Зворы́кин - Vladimir Koz'mich Zvorykin) (July 29 [O.S. July 17] 1888 – July 29, 1982) was a Russian-American inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology. Zworykin invented a television transmitting and receiving system employing cathode ray tubes. He played a role in the practical development of television from the early thirties, including charge storage-type tubes, infrared image tubes and the electron microscope.
Zworykin was born in Murom, Russia, in 1888, on July 29 (old style July 17), to the family of a prosperous merchant. He had a relatively calm upbringing, and he rarely saw his father except on religious holidays. He studied at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology, under Boris Rosing. He helped Boris Rosing with experimental work on television in the basement of Rosing's private lab at the School of Artillery of Saint Petersburg. Rosing had filed his first patent on a television system in 1907, featuring a very early cathode ray tube as a receiver, and a mechanical device as a transmitter. Its demonstration in 1911, based on an improved design, was among the first demonstrations of TV of any
Christopher Latham Sholes (February 14, 1819 – February 17, 1890) was an American inventor who invented the first practical typewriter and the QWERTY keyboard still in use today. He was also a newspaper publisher and Wisconsin politician.
Born in Mooresburg, Pennsylvania, Sholes moved to nearby Danville as a teenager, where he worked as an apprentice to a printer. After completing his apprenticeship, Sholes moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1837. He became a newspaper publisher and politician, serving in the Wisconsin State Senate 1848-1849, 1856–1857, and the Wisconsin State Assembly 1852-1853. He was instrumental in the successful movement to abolish capital punishment in Wisconsin: his newspaper, The Kenosha Telegraph, reported on the trial of John McCaffary in 1851, and then in 1853 he led the campaign in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was the younger brother of Charles Sholes (1816–1867) who was a newspaper publisher and politician who served in both houses of the Wisconsin State Legislature and as mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In 1845, Sholes was working as editor of the Southport Telegraph, a small newspaper in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During this time he heard about the alleged
Gustave Albin Whitehead, born Gustav Albin Weisskopf (1 January 1874 – 10 October 1927) was an aviation pioneer who emigrated from Germany to the U.S., where he designed and built early flying machines and engines meant to power them from about 1897 to 1915. Whitehead claimed to have flown several times in his own powered aircraft designs in 1901 and 1902, before the Wright brothers flew in 1903. These claims, though supported by researchers in the 1930s and later, have been examined and dismissed by mainstream aviation historians, especially those associated with the Smithsonian Institution.
During his period of active aeronautical work, Whitehead attracted notice from various newspapers, Scientific American magazine, and a book about industrial progress. Claims for Whitehead's best-known reported manned powered flights depend largely on a newspaper article that said he achieved the feat in Connecticut in August 1901, and on an unsigned Scientific American article in September 1903 describing Whitehead making short flights low to the ground in a motorized triplane originally designed as a glider. Affidavits from people who knew Whitehead or lived nearby were collected more than 30
Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS MRIA FGS (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and inventor. He is probably best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth metals, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. Berzelius called Davy's 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity "one of the best memoirs which has ever enriched the theory of chemistry." This paper was central to any chemical affinity theory in the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1815 he invented the Davy lamp, which allowed miners to work safely in the presence of flammable gases.
Davy was born in Penzance, Cornwall, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, on 17 December 1778. The Madron parish register records ‘Humphry Davy, son of Robert Davy, baptized at Penzance, January 22nd, 1779.’ Robert Davy was a wood carver at Penzance, who pursued his art more for enjoyment than for profit. As the representative of an old family (monuments to his ancestors in Ludgvan parish church date as far back as 1635), he became possessor of a modest patrimony. His wife, Grace Millet, came from an old but no longer rich
Sir Isaac Pitman (4 January 1813 – 12 January 1897), knighted in 1894, developed the most widely used system of shorthand, known now as Pitman shorthand. He first proposed this in Stenographic Soundhand in 1837. Pitman was a qualified teacher and taught at a private school he founded in Wotton-under-Edge - The British Schhol, Wotton-under-Edge. He was also the vice president of the Vegetarian Society.
He was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire in England. One of his cousins was Abraham Laverton. In the 1851 census he appears in Bath aged 38, living with his wife, Mary, aged 58, born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. He married Isabella Masters in 1861, and he appears in the 1871 census, aged 58, with his new wife Isabella, aged 46. In the 1881 census he is listed as Eisak Pitman – given his occupation, the phonetic spelling is interesting. In the 1891 census he is again listed as Isaac, but his birthplace has moved to Bath.
Isaac Pitman was fervently Swedenborgian. Not only did he read The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg daily, he also devoted much time and energy to educating the world about them. He published and distributed books and tracts by and about Swedenborg.
In 1837 Isaac
King Camp Gillette (January 5, 1855 – July 9, 1932) was an American businessman popularly associated with the safety razor, although several models were in existence prior to Gillette's design. Gillette's innovation was the thin, inexpensive, disposable blade of stamped steel.
Gillette is widely credited with inventing the so-called razor and blades business model, where razors are sold cheaply to increase the market for blades, but in fact he only adopted this model after his competitors did.
Born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and raised in Chicago, Illinois. King Camp Gillette's family was devastated by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. His ancestors came from England to Massachusetts in 1630.
While working as a salesman for the Crown Cork and Seal Company in the 1890s, Gillette saw bottle caps, with the cork seal he sold, thrown away after the bottle was opened. This made him recognize the value in basing a business on a product that was used a few times, then discarded. As existing, relatively expensive, razor blades dulled quickly and needed continuous sharpening, a razor whose blade could be thrown away when it dulled would meet a real need and likely be profitable.
Ray Dolby (born January 18, 1933) is the American engineer and inventor of the noise reduction system known as Dolby NR. He was also a co-inventor of video tape recording while at Ampex. He is the founder of Dolby Laboratories. He is also a billionaire and a member of the Forbes 400 with an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion in 2008 although as of September 2012 it was estimated to have declined to $2.4 billion .
Dolby was born in Portland, Oregon. He was raised in San Francisco, California and attended Sequoia High School (Redwood City, California).
As a teenager, in the decade following World War II, Dolby held part-time and summer jobs at Ampex in Redwood City, working with their first audio tape recorder in 1949. While at San Jose State University and later at Stanford University (interrupted by two years of Army service), he worked on early prototypes of video tape recorder technologies for Alexander M. Poniatoff and Charlie Ginsburg. As a non degree-holding "consultant", Dolby played a key role in the effort that led Ampex to announce quadruplex videotape in April 1956.
In 1957, Dolby received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford. He subsequently won a Marshall
Inventions:Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Telegraphs
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American inventor. He contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, was co-inventor of the Morse code, and also an accomplished painter.
Samuel F.B. Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of the pastor Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826)—who was also a geographer—and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese (1766–1828). His father was a great preacher of the Calvinist faith and supporter of the American Federalist party. He thought it helped preserve Puritan traditions (strict observance of Sabbath, among other things), and believed in the Federalist support of an alliance with Britain and a strong central government. Morse strongly believed in education within a Federalist framework, alongside the instillation of Calvinist virtues, morals and prayers for his first son.
After attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Samuel Morse went on to Yale College to receive instruction in the subjects of religious philosophy, mathematics and science of horses. While at Yale, he attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He supported
Alfred J. Gross (February 22, 1918 – December 21, 2000), a.k.a. Irving J. Gross was a pioneer in mobile wireless communication. He created and patented many communications devices, specifically in relation to an early version of the walkie-talkie, Citizens' Band radio, the telephone pager and the cordless telephone. Despite the successes of these inventions, his patents expired too early to make any amount of money from them.
Gross was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1918, the son of Romanian immigrants, he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
His lifelong enthusiasm for radio was sparked at age nine, when traveling on Lake Erie by a steamboat. While sneaking around the boat he ended up in the radio transmissions room. The ship's operator let him listen in on transmissions. Later, Gross turned the basement of his house into a radio station, built from scavenged junkyard parts.
At sixteen he earned his amateur radio license, and he used his call sign (W8PAL) his whole life.
His interest and knowledge in radio technology had grown considerably by the time he in 1936 entered the BSEE program at Cleveland's Case of Applied Sciences (now a part of Case Western Reserve
Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian".
Poe switched his
Philip H. Diehl (January 29, 1847 – April 7, 1913) was a German-American engineer and inventor who held several U.S. patents, including electric incandescent lamps, electric motors for sewing machines and other uses, and ceiling fans. Diehl was a contemporary of Thomas Edison and his inventions caused Edison to reduce the price of his incandescent bulb.
He occasionally spelled his first name 'Phillip'.
Philip H. Diehl was born in Dalsheim, Germany.
In July 1868, he emigrated to New York City where he worked in several machine shops before finding work as an apprentice with the Singer Manufacturing Company. In 1870 or 1871 he was transferred to Chicago, Illinois and worked at Remington Machine Company until 1875. He lost all of his possessions in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1873, Diehl married Emilie Loos in Chicago.
In 1875, Diehl moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey and took charge of experimental work improving sewing machines at the Singer plant. His daughter, Clara Elvira, was born April 2, 1876.
While working at Singer in Elizabeth, Diehl experimented at work and at his home. This resulted in several inventions.
Working in the basement of his home on Orchard Street in
Philippe R. Kahn (born March 16, 1952) is a technology innovator and entrepreneur, who is credited with creating the first camera phone sharing pictures instantly on public networks. Kahn has founded four technology companies: Fullpower Technologies, Starfish Software, LightSurf Technologies and Borland.
Kahn grew up in Paris, France, born to Jewish immigrants of modest means. His mother was an Auschwitz survivor, his father a mechanical engineer with a Socialist bent.
Kahn was educated in mathematics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland (Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute), and University of Nice, France. He received a masters in mathematics. He also majored in musicology and classical flute at the Zurich Music Conservatory in Switzerland. As a student, Kahn developed software for the MICRAL, the earliest non-kit personal computer based on a microprocessor. The MICRAL is now credited by the Computer History Museum as the first ever microprocessor-based personal computer.
Kahn is married to Sonia Lee, who co-founded Fullpower Technologies, LightSurf and Starfish Software, and with whom he has a daughter. Kahn has three other children from a prior marriage.
Under Kahn's direction, Borland
Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (German: [ˈʁuːdɔlf ˈkʁɪstjan ˈkaʁl ˈdiːzəl]; March 18, 1858 – September 29, 1913) was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine.
Diesel was born in Paris, France in 1858 the second of three children of Elise (née Strobel) and Theodor Diesel. His parents were Bavarian immigrants living in Paris. Theodor Diesel, a bookbinder by trade, left his home town of Augsburg, Bavaria, in 1848. He met his wife, a daughter of a Nuremberg merchant, in Paris in 1855 and became a leather goods manufacturer there.
Rudolf Diesel spent his early childhood in France, but as a result of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, his family (as were many other Germans) was forced to leave. They settled in London. Before the war's end in 1871, however, Diesel's mother sent 12-year-old Rudolf to Augsburg to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel, to become fluent in German and to visit the Königliche Kreis-Gewerbsschule (Royal County Trade School), where his uncle taught mathematics.
At age 14, Rudolf wrote a letter to his parents stating that he wanted to become an engineer. After finishing his basic
Walter Fredick "Fred" Morrison (January 23, 1920 – February 9, 2010) was an American inventor and entrepreneur, best known as the inventor of the Frisbee. He was born in Richfield, Utah.
Morrison claimed that the original idea for a flying disc toy came to him in 1937, while throwing a popcorn can lid with his girlfriend, Lu, whom he later married. The popcorn lid soon dented which led to the discovery that cake pans flew better and were more common. Morrison and Lu developed a little business selling "Flyin' Cake Pans" on the beaches of Santa Monica, California.
During World War II he learned something of aerodynamics flying his P-47 Thunderbolt in Italy. He was shot down and was a prisoner of war for 48 days.
In 1946, he sketched out a design (called the Whirlo-Way) for the world's first flying disc. In 1948 an investor, Warren Franscioni, paid for molding the design in plastic. They named it the Flyin-Saucer. In 1954, Fred bought more of the Saucers from the original molders to sell at local fairs, but found he could produce his own disc more cheaply. In 1955, he and Lu designed the Pluto Platter, the archetype of all modern flying discs. On January 23, 1957, they sold the
William Seward Burroughs I (January 28, 1857 – September 14, 1898) was an American inventor born in Rochester, New York.
Burroughs was the son of a mechanic and worked with machines throughout his childhood. While he was still a small boy, his parents moved to Auburn, New York, where he and his brothers were educated in the public school system. According to his father's desire that his youngest son should choose a gentleman's vocation, William, after his graduation from high school, entered the Cayuga County National Bank of Auburn as a clerk, where he spent long hours adding numbers.
At this time Burroughs became interested in solving the problem of creating an adding machine. In the bank there had been a number of earlier prototypes, but in inexperienced users' hands, those that existed would sometimes give incorrect, and at times outrageous, answers. The clerk work was not in accordance with Burrough's wishes, for he had a natural love and talent for mechanics and the boredom and monotony of clerical life weighed heavily upon him. Seven years in the bank damaged his health and he was forced to resign.
In the beginning of the 1880s Burroughs was advised by a doctor to move to an
Charles Francis Brush (March 17, 1849 – June 15, 1929) was a U.S. inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Born in Euclid Township, Ohio, Brush was raised on a farm about 10 miles from downtown Cleveland. He had a great interest in science, particularly with Humphry Davy's experiments with the arc light; he tinkered with and built simple electrical devices such as a static electricity machine at age 12, experimenting in a workshop on his parents farm. Brush attended Central High School in Cleveland where he built his first arc light, and graduated there with honors in 1867. He received his college education from the University of Michigan, where he studied mining engineering (there were no majors—as there are today—in electrical engineering). At Michigan, Brush was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Omicron chapter).
In 1876 he secured the backing of the Wetting Supply Company in Cleveland to design his "dynamo" (an electrical generator) for powering arc lights. Brush began with the dynamo design of Zénobe Gramme but his final design was a marked divergence, retaining the ring armature idea that originated with Antonio Pacinotti. Brush remarked on his motivation for
John Dopyera (born Ján Dopjera) (1893–1988) was a Slovak-American inventor and entrepreneur, and a maker of stringed instruments. His inventions include the resonator guitar and important contributions in the early development of the electric guitar.
John Dopyera was one of 10 siblings born at the closing of the 19th century. His father, Jozef Dopyera, was a miller in Dolná Krupá, Slovakia. Gifted in music, Jozef played and constructed his own violins; the makers of which were popular around Slovakia for their craftsmanship. Under his father's guidance, John built his first fiddle still in his boyhood days in Dolná Krupá. In 1908, the Dopyeras emigrated from Slovakia to California, USA sensing a war would erupt in Europe. In the 1920s, Dopyera founded his own store in Los Angeles where he worked making and repairing fiddles, banjos, and other wooden string instruments. Around this time, Dopyera patented several improvements on the banjo.
One day in 1925, vaudeville promoter George Beauchamp approached John Dopyera. It was the era of silent movies, in which a piano and sometimes orchestra supplied live sound at cinemas. Beauchamp made a request; he asked Dopyera to make him a guitar
Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE (21 June 1916 – 1 March 2001) was a British businessman, who was the founder of the JCB company, manufacturing heavy plant.
Joe Bamford was born into a Roman Catholic family from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, which owned Bamfords Ltd, an agricultural engineering business. His great grandfather Henry Bamford was born in Yoxall, and had built up his own ironmongers business, which by 1881 employed 50 men, 10 boys and 3 women. Bamfords International Farm Machinery became one of the country's major agricultural equipment suppliers, famous for its balers, rakes, hay turners, hay Wufflers, Mangold cutters, and standing engines, which were exported all over the world. The company eventually ceased trading in 1986.
After attending Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, Bamford joined the Alfred Herbert company in Coventry, then the UK's largest machine-tool manufacturer, and rose to represent the firm in Ghana. He returned home in 1938 to join the family firm, but in 1941 was called up by the RAF to serve in World War II. Working in supply and logistics, he returned to the African Gold Coast, to run a staging post for USAF planes being ferried to the Middle East.
Lev Sergeyevich Termen; Russian: Ле́в Серге́евич Терме́н) (27 August [O.S. 15 August] 1896 – 3 November 1993 (Léon Theremin in America) was a Russian and Soviet inventor. He is most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, and the first to be mass produced. He is also the inventor of interlace, a technique of improving the picture quality of a video signal, widely used in video and television technology. His invention of "The Thing", an espionage tool, is considered a predecessor of RFID technology.
Léon Theremin was born Lev Sergeyevich Termen in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire in 1896 into a family of French and German ancestry. He had a sister named Helena.
He started to be interested in electricity at the age of 7, and by 13 he was experimenting with high frequency circuits. In the seventh class of his high school before an audience of students and parents he demonstrated various optical effects using electricity.
By the age of 17 he was in his last year of high school and at home he had his own laboratory for experimenting with high frequency circuits, optics and magnetic fields. His cousin, Kirill Fedorovich Nesturkh, then a
Louis Marx (August 11, 1896–February 5, 1982) was an American toy maker and businessman whose company, Louis Marx and Company was the largest toy company in the world in the 1950s. Marx was described as an intense, hard-driving, and energetic man, who "[T]alks, walks, and gestures tirelessly, like one of his own wound-up toys."
Marx was known by numerous nicknames, including "Toycoon," "the Henry Ford of the toy industry," "the hawk of the toy industry," and "the toy king of America."
Born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish German parents, Marx graduated high school at age 15 and started his career working for Ferdinand Strauss, a manufacturer of mechanical toys. By 1916, Marx was managing Strauss' East Rutherford, New Jersey plant. But within a year, Marx was fired by Strauss' board of directors over a disagreement about sales practices.
Marx then entered the United States Army as a private and attained the rank of sergeant before returning to civilian life in 1918. Marx's passion for the Army was reflected throughout his life; most of Marx's military toys represented Army equipment, and Marx would make a practice of befriending generals and naming his sons after them.
Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin, Ph.D, LL.D. (9 October 1858 – 12 March 1935; Serbian Cyrillic: Михајло Идворски Пупин), also known as Michael I. Pupin, was a Serbian physicist and physical chemist. Pupin is best known for his numerous patents, including a means of greatly extending the range of long-distance telephone communication by placing loading coils (of wire) at predetermined intervals along the transmitting wire (known as "pupinization"). Pupin was a one founding member of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) on March 3, 1915, which later became NASA.
Mihajlo Pupin was born on October 9 (September 27, OS) 1854. in village Idvor (today municipality of Kovačica, Serbia) in Banat, Austrian Empire.
He always remembered the words of his mother and cited her in his autobiography, From Immigrant to Inventor (1925):
Pupin went to elementary school in his birthplace, to Serbian orthodox school, and later to German elementary school in Perlez. He enrolled in high school in Pančevo, and later in the Real Gymnasium. He was one of the best students; a local archpriest saw his enormous potential and talent, and influenced the authorities to give Pupin a scholarship.
Because of his
Robert Norton Noyce (December 12, 1927 – June 3, 1990), nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley", co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name.
Active all his life, Noyce enjoyed reading Hemingway, flying his own airplane, hang gliding, and scuba diving. Noyce believed that microelectronics would continue to advance in complexity and sophistication well beyond its current state, leading to the question of what use society would make of the technology. In his last interview, Noyce was asked what he would do if he were "emperor" of the United States. He said that he would, among other things, "…make sure we are preparing our next generation to flourish in a high-tech age. And that means education of the lowest and the poorest, as well as at the graduate school level."
Noyce was born on December 12, 1927, in Burlington, Iowa. He was the third of four sons of the Rev. Ralph Brewster Noyce. His father was a 1915 graduate of Doane College, a 1920 graduate of Oberlin College, and a
William Painter (1838 - 1906) was the inventor of the crown cork and the founder of Crown Holdings, Inc., a Fortune 500 company. He was born in Ireland and moved to the United States at the age of 20. He has over 80 patents, including the common bottle cap, the bottle opener, a machine for crowning bottles, a paper-folding machine, a safety ejection seat for passenger trains, and a machine for detecting counterfeit currency.
The Lumière (pronounced: [lymjɛːʁ]) brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas [oɡyst maʁi lwi nikɔla] (19 October 1862, Besançon, France – 10 April 1954, Lyon) and Louis Jean [lwi ʒɑ̃] (5 October 1864, Besançon, France – 6 June 1948, Bandol), were the earliest filmmakers in history. (Appropriately, "lumière" translates as "light" in English.)
Asteroid 775 Lumière is named in their honour.
The Lumière brothers were born in Besançon, France, in 1862 and 1864, and moved to Lyon in 1870, where both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière (1840–1911), ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him: Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.
It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The
Emile Berliner or Emil Berliner (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929) was a German-born American inventor. He is best known for developing the disc record gramophone (phonograph in American English). He founded The Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895, The Gramophone Company in London, England, in 1897, Deutsche Grammophon in Hanover, Germany, in 1898 and Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada in Montreal in 1899 (chartered in 1904).
Berliner was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1851 into a Jewish merchant family. He completed an apprenticeship to become a merchant, as was family tradition. While his real hobby was invention, he worked as an accountant to make ends meet. To avoid being drafted for the Franco-Prussian War, Berliner migrated to the United States of America in 1870 with a friend of his father's, in whose shop he worked in Washington, D.C.. He moved to New York and, living off temporary work, such as doing the paper route and cleaning bottles, he studied physics at night at the Cooper Union Institute. After some time working in a livery stable, he became interested in the new audio technology of the telephone and phonograph, and invented an improved telephone transmitter (one of
Frank Julian Sprague (July 25, 1857 in Milford, Connecticut – October 25, 1934) was an American naval officer and inventor who contributed to the development of the electric motor, electric railways, and electric elevators. His contributions were especially important in promoting urban development by increasing the size cities could reasonably attain (through better transportation) and by allowing greater concentration of business in commercial sections (through use of electric elevators in skyscrapers). He became known as the "Father of Electric Traction".
Sprague was born in Milford, Connecticut in 1857. He attended Drury High School in North Adams, Massachusetts and excelled in mathematics. In 1874, he won an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. There, he graduated seventh (out of thirty-six) in the Class of 1878.
He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. During his ensuing naval service, he first served on the USS Richmond, then the USS Minnesota. While his ship was in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881, Sprague invented the inverted type of dynamo. After he was transferred to the USS Lancaster, flagship of the European Squadron, he
Joseph Petzval (German: Josef Maximilian Petzval; Hungarian: Petzvál József Miksa; Slovak: Jozef Maximilián Petzval; (January 6, 1807, Zipser Bela, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire – September 19, 1891) was a Hungarian / Slovak mathematician, inventor, and physicist of German origin, born in Upper Hungary (today Slovakia). He is best known for his work in optics. Petzval studied and later lectured at the Institutum Geometricum (currently Budapest University of Technology and Economics) in Buda (today part of Budapest). He headed the Institute of Practical Geometry and Hydrology/Architecture between 1841 and 1848. Later in life, he accepted an appointment to a chair of mathematics at the University of Vienna. Petzval became a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1873.
Petzval is considered to be one of the main founders of geometrical optics, modern photography and cinematography. Among his inventions are the Petzval portrait lens and opera glasses, both still in common use today. He is also credited with the discovery of the Laplace transform and is also known for his extensive work on aberration in optical systems.
The ethnicity of Petzval is disputed.
Richard March Hoe (September 12, 1812 - June 7, 1886), was an American inventor who designed an improved printing press.
Hoe was born in New York City. He was the son of Robert Hoe (1784–1833), an English-born American mechanic who, with his brothers-in-law, Peter and Matthew Smith, established a steam-powered manufactory of printing presses in New York City, which Richard joined at fifteen. He became a senior member of his father's firm in 1833. On his father's death, he became head of the R. Hoe & Company.
In 1843, Richard invented a lithographic rotary printing press that placed the type on a revolving cylinder, a design much faster than the old flatbed printing press. It received U.S. Patent 5,199 in 1847, and was placed in commercial use the same year. In its early days, it was variously called the "Hoe lightning press," and "Hoe's Cylindrical-Bed Press," and was later developed into the "Hoe web perfecting press."
In 1870 he developed a rotary press that printed both sides of a page in a single operation. Hoe's press took a roll of paper five miles long, which was put through the machine at the rate of 800 feet (240 m) a minute. As the sheets came out, they were passed over a
Kazimierz Żegleń (Casimir Zeglen), born in 1869 near Tarnopol (today Ternopil, Ukraine), invented the first bulletproof vest. At the age of 18 he entered the Resurrectionist Order in Lwow (today Lviv, Ukraine). In 1890, he moved to the United States. In 1893, after the assassination of Carter Harrison, Sr., the mayor of Chicago, he invented the first bulletproof vest. In 1897, he improved it together with Jan Szczepanik who was the inventor of the first bulletproof armour in 1901. It saved the life Alfonso XIII, the King of Spain - his carriage was covered with Szczepanik's bulletproof armour when a bomb exploded near it.
He was a Catholic priest of St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, then the largest Polish church in the country, with 40,000 in the parish. In his early 20s he began experimenting with the cloth, using steel shavings, moss, hair, etc. but nothing stood the test until he made use of silk. All early experiments produced an inflexible cloth which was more in the nature of a coat of chainmail. After the assassination of Mayor Carter Harrison, Zeglen renewed his efforts to find a bulletproof material and determined to use silk. In his mid 30s he
Charles Martin Hall (December 6, 1863 – December 27, 1914) was an American inventor, music enthusiast, and chemist. He is best known for his invention in 1886 of an inexpensive method for producing aluminium, which became the first metal to attain widespread use since the prehistoric discovery of iron.
Charles Martin Hall was born the son of Herman Bassett Hall and Sophronia H. Brooks on December 6, 1863 in Thompson, Ohio. His father graduated from Oberlin College in 1847, and studied for three years at the Oberlin Theological Seminary, where he met his future wife. They married in 1849, and the next ten years were spent in missionary work in Jamaica, where their first five children were born. They returned to Ohio in 1860, when the outbreak of the Civil War forced the closing of foreign missions. He had one brother and three sisters, one of whom died in infancy. One of his sisters was Julia Brainerd Hall (1859–1925), who helped him in his experiments according to Trescott 1977.
Charles began his education at home, and was taught to read at an early age by his mother. At the age of six, he was using his father's 1840's college chemistry book as a reader. At age 8, he entered public
Ottmar Mergenthaler (May 11, 1854 – October 28, 1899) was a German-born inventor who has been called a second Gutenberg because of his invention of the Linotype machine, the first device that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses. This machine revolutionized the art of printing.
Mergenthaler was born in Hachtel, Württemberg, Germany. He was the third son of a school teacher, Johann Georg Mergenthaler from Hohenacker near the city of Waiblingen.
He was apprenticed to a watchmaker in Bietigheim before immigrating to the United States in 1872 to work with his cousin August Hahl in Washington, D.C. Mergenthaler eventually moved with Hahl's shop to Baltimore, MD.
In 1876 he was approached by James O. Clephane, who sought a quicker way of publishing legal briefs., via Charles T. Moore who held a patent on a typewriter for newspapers which did not work and asked Mergenthaler to construct a better model. Mergenthaler recognized that Moore's design was faulty and two years later he had assembled a machine that stamped letters and words on cardboard. Although a fire destroyed all his designs and models, he started to work on the invention again as he
Ányos István Jedlik (Hungarian: Jedlik Ányos István; Slovak: Štefan Anián Jedlík; in older texts and publications: Latin: Stephanus Anianus Jedlik) (January 11, 1800 – December 13, 1895) was a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist, and Benedictine priest. He was also member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. He is considered by Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor.
He was born in Szimő, Kingdom of Hungary, (today Zemné, Slovakia). His mother was a member of a Hungarian noble family, while his father's family – based on the surname – was probably of Slovak origin moving in 1720 from Liptó county (now Liptov) to Szímő.
Jedlik's education began at high schools in Nagyszombat (today Trnava) and Pozsony (today Bratislava). In 1817 he became a Benedictine, and from that time continued his studies at the schools of that order, where he was known by his Latin name Stephanus Anianus. He lectured at Benedictine schools up to 1839, then for 40 years at the Budapest University of Sciences department of physics-mechanics. Few guessed at that time that his activities would play an important part in bringing up a new
Charles Proteus Steinmetz (April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a German-American mathematician and electrical engineer. He fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers. He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electric motors for use in industry.
Steinmetz was born as Carl August Rudolph Steinmetz to Carl Heinrich Steinmetz, a Jewish family in Breslau, Province of Silesia. Steinmetz suffered from dwarfism, hunchback, and hip dysplasia, as did his father and grandfather. Steinmetz attended Johannes Gymnasium and astonished his teachers with his proficiency in mathematics and physics.
Following the Gymnasium Steinmetz went on to the University of Breslau to begin work on his undergraduate degree in 1883. He was on the verge of finishing his doctorate in 1888 when he came under investigation by the German police for activities on behalf of a socialist university group and articles he had written for a local socialist newspaper, then a popular ideological pursuit among secular
Edwin Howard Armstrong (18 December 1890 – 31 January 1954) was an American electrical engineer and inventor. He has been called "the most prolific and influential inventor in radio history". He invented the regenerative circuit while he was an undergraduate and patented it in 1914, followed by the super-regenerative circuit in 1922, and the superheterodyne receiver in 1918. Armstrong was also the inventor of modern frequency modulation (FM) radio transmission.
Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City, New York, in 1890. He studied at Columbia University where he was a member of the Epsilon Chapter of the Theta Xi Fraternity. He later became a professor at Columbia University. He held 42 patents and received numerous awards, including the first Institute of Radio Engineers now IEEE Medal of Honor, the French Legion of Honor, the 1941 Franklin Medal and the 1942 Edison Medal. He is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the International Telecommunications Union's roster of great inventors.
Armstrong was born in the Chelsea district of New York City to John and Emily Armstrong. His father was the American representative of the Oxford University Press, which
Jan Ernst Matzeliger (September 15, 1852 – August 24, 1889) was an African-American inventor in the shoe industry.
Matzeliger was born in Paramaribo (then Dutch Guyana, now Suriname). His father was a Dutch engineer and his mother a black Surinamese slave. He had some interest in mechanics in his native country, but his efforts at inventing a shoe-lasting machine began in the United States after a life of working in a machinery shop. He settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 19 after working as a sailor. By 1877, he spoke adequate English and had moved to Massachusetts.
After a while, he went to work in the Harney Brothers Shoes factory. At the time, no machine could attach the upper part of a shoe to the sole. This had to be done manually by a "hand laster"; a skilled one could produce 50 pairs in a ten-hour day.
After five years of work, Matzeliger obtained a patent for his invention in 1883. His machine could produce between 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day, cutting shoe prices across the nation in half. However, his early death in Lynn, Massachusetts from tuberculosis meant he never saw the full profit of his invention.
In recognition of his accomplishment, he was honored on a
Robert Cook is a co-founder of Metaweb. He was a software programmer at Brøderbund in the 1980s and was the model for one of the characters in Jordan Mechner's game Prince of Persia. He designed and created the computer game D/Generation and was technical director for the computer game The Last Express.
Svyatoslav Nikolayevich Fyodorov (Russian: Святослав Николаевич Фёдоров; born August 8, 1927 – June 2, 2000) was a Russian ophthalmologist, politician, professor, full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. He is considered to be the father of the ophthalmic microsurgery.
Fyodorov was born in Proskurov, Ukrainian SSR (now Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine), to ethnic Russian parents. Fyodorov graduated from Rostov Medical Institute, then worked as a practicing ophthalmologist in a small town in Rostov Oblast. In 1960 he performed the first intraocular lens replacement operation, inventing the cure to the cataract. In 1973 he developed a new surgical techinique to cure the early stage of the glaucoma, called Scleroplasty. Il 1974 he developed the surgical techinique he is most famous for, the Radial keratotomy, to change the shape of the cornea and cure the miopia.In 1986, Fyodorov designed the first posterior chamber phakic IOL in the "collar-button" or "mushroom" configuration and manufactured the pIOL from silicone. In 1980 he became the head of the Moscow Research Institute of Eye Microsurgery. Fyodorov was a member of the Congress of People's
Alexander Fedorovich Mozhaysky (also transliterated as Mozhayski, Mozhayskii and Mozhayskiy; Russian: Александр Фёдорович Можайский) (March 21 [O.S. March 9] 1825, Rochensalm (current Kotka), southern Finland – 1 April [O.S. March 20] 1890, Saint Petersburg), was a Russian naval officer, aviation pioneer, researcher and designer of heavier-than-air craft." In 1884, Mozhaysky's monoplane made a failed attempt to fly (only a spring of ca. 100 ft).
His design relied upon a ramp rather than engine power to generate sufficient speed for lift. The wing design of his craft lacked the curvature necessary to generate lift. While it is possible that Mozhaysky's wings slowed his monoplane's descent after launch from the ramp, the wings were unlikely ever to have provided sufficient lift for sustained flight unless used at angles of attack that would have been impractical, given the engines available to Mozhaysky. He also experimented with different angles of attack.
In 1909 a Russian newspaper claimed Mozhaysky's hop was the first powered flight. This false claim was later repeated many times by the Soviet Union as propaganda. In 1971-1981 TsAGI researched the topic and disproved the claim.
Dean L. Kamen (born April 5, 1951) is an American entrepreneur and inventor from New Hampshire.
Born in Long Island, New York, he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out before graduating after five years of private advanced research for drug infusion pump AutoSyringe. He is the son of Jack Kamen, an illustrator for Mad, Weird Science and other EC Comics publications.
Kamen is best known for inventing the product that eventually became known as the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter with a sophisticated, computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilization and control system. The device balances on two parallel wheels and is controlled by moving body weight. The machine's development was the object of much speculation and hype after segments of a book quoting Steve Jobs and other notable IT visionaries espousing its society-revolutionizing potential were leaked in December 2001.
Kamen has worked extensively on a project involving Stirling engine designs, attempting to create two machines; one that would generate power, and the Slingshot that would serve as a water purification system. He hopes the project will help improve living standards in
Earl W. Bascom (June 19, 1906 – August 28, 1995) was an American painter, printmaker, rodeo performer and sculptor, raised in Canada, who portrayed his own experiences cowboying and rodeoing across the American and Canadian West.
Earl Bascom was born in a sod-roofed log cabin on the Bascom 101 Ranch in Vernal, Utah. His father, John W. Bascom, had been a deputy sheriff in Utah who chased Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch Gang. Both sets of Earl's grandparents (Joel A. Bascom and C.F.B. Lybbert) were Mormon pioneers, ranchers and frontier lawmen.
Bascom's paternal ancestral background was a colorful aray of nationalities and ethnicities including Quaker, French Basque and Huguenot, as well as an American Colonial Governor, John Webster, and a Revolutionary War soldier, Oliver Greene. His maternal family was of Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and German ancestry. As a child growing up, he was sometimes affectionately addressed by his British-born aunts as "Lord Bascom - King of the Canadian Cowboys," as he was a descendant of European royalty back to Charlemagne.
While Bascom was still a child his family moved to the Bascom Bar-B-3 Ranch in Alberta, Canada. He quit school while in grade
Jan Wnęk (1828 – July 10, 1869) is believed to have been an aviation pioneer.
Jan Wnek was born in Kaczówka. He was illiterate but known to be very intelligent. Trained as a carpenter, this Polish peasant had a keen sense of detail and was also able to restore paintings. Under the encouragement of the Roman Catholic Father Stanislaw Morgenstern, Wnęk became a prolific wood and stone sculptor for churches and cemeteries in Kraków and Odporyszów. The angels he sculpted are described to 'have wings of exceptional beauty.' He also possessed an instinctive talent for mechanics and improved some contemporary agricultural machinery. He also acted in some village plays.
Jan Wnęk is remembered in Poland to have been an early aviation pioneer. He was self-taught and could only count on his knowledge about nature based on the observation of bird flight and on his own builder and carver skills. He noted that some soaring birds made use of rising air currents in facilitating climb and identified the optimal weather conditions for his flights. He also spent considerable time (years) studying a dead duck's wing and observing how live birds manage their wings and tail for controlled flight.
Morris Abrams (1908-1981) was the founder of Arrow Fastener Co., Inc., a manufacturer of fastening tools that since 1999 has been a subsidiary of Masco Corporation.
Abrams was the first generation of his family to be born in the United States. In 1929, Morris Abrams founded Arrow. At first he sold staples for staplers currently on the market, but by 1940 he had received his first stapler patent, and by 1943 was assigning his patents to Arrow Fastener, a process he continued into the 1950s as he patented the hammer tacker and the staple gun. One model of his staple gun, the T50, was introduced in the early 1950s, became a registered trademark of the company in 1989, and by 1994 had resulted in over 40 million sales. It continues to be in production into the 21st century.
In the 1960s after Morris Abrams became ill, his son Allan Abrams took over the family business which continued to grow and now also includes glue guns, rivet tools, and brad nailers. Morris died in 1981.
In September 1999, Arrow was one of five home improvement companies purchased by Masco Corporation.
Raúl Pateras Pescara de Castelluccio (1890 – 1966), marquis of Pateras-Pescara, was an engineer and inventor from Argentina who specialized in automobiles, helicopters and free-piston engines.
Pescara is credited for being one of the first people to successfully utilize cyclic pitch, as well as pioneering the use of autorotation for the safe landing of a damaged helicopter. Pescara also set a world record (at the time) in 1924 for achieving a speed of 8 miles (13 km) per hour in a helicopter.
Pescara was born in Buenos Aires and at the beginning of the 20th century, his family left Argentina to return to Europe.
In 1911, using a workshop that Pescara was involved with, Gustave Eiffel tested a scale model (1:20) of a seaplane (monoplane design) named the Pateras Pescara, designed by Pescara and Italian engineer Alessandro Guidoni, in a wind tunnel. In 1912, the Italian Ministry of the Navy commissioned Guidoni to build a torpedo bomber based on the Pescara model; but following tests in 1914, Guidoni was unable to create a successful design.
From 1919, Pescara built several coaxial helicopters and submitted numerous patents across several countries. He first tested his machine
Zénobe Théophile Gramme (4 April 1826, Amay - 20 January 1901) was a Belgian electrical engineer. He invented the Gramme machine, a type of direct current dynamo capable of generating smoother (less AC) and much higher voltages than the dynamos known to that point.
In 1873 he and Hippolyte Fontaine accidentally discovered that the device was reversible and would spin when connected to any DC power supply. The Gramme machine was the first usefully powerful electrical motor that was successful industrially. Before Gramme's inventions, electric motors attained only low power and were mainly used as toys or laboratory curiosities.
Gramme died at Bois-Colombes, France and was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
In the city of Liège there is a High School, L'Institut Gramme, named after him.
In 2005 he ended at 23rd place in the election of Le plus grand Belge (The Greatest Belgian), the television show broadcast by the French-speaking RTBF and based on the BBC show 100 Greatest Britons.
Alberto Santos-Dumont (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɐ̃tuz duˈmõw̃]; (July 20, 1873 – July 23, 1932) was a Brazilian aviation pioneer. The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos Dumont dedicated himself to aeronautical study and experimentation in Paris, France, where he spent most of his adult life.
Santos-Dumont designed, built, and flew the first practical dirigible, demonstrating that routine, controlled flight was possible. This "conquest of the air", in particular his winning the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on October 19, 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower, made him one of the most famous people in the world during the early 20th century.
In addition to his pioneering work in airships, on 23 October 1906 Santos-Dumont, flew the 14-bis or Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"), the first flight of an airplane to be witnessed by the European press and certified by the Aéro Club de France and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).
In his homeland, Brazil, Santos-Dumont is considered a national hero and the father of aviation, having his name written in Brazilian Hero Panthéon.
He occupied the 38th chair of the Brazilian Academy of
Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (Greek: Ἥρων ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς) (c. 10–70 AD) was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt. He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenistic scientific tradition.
Hero published a well recognized description of a steam-powered device called an aeolipile (hence sometimes called a "Hero engine"). Among his most famous inventions was a windwheel, constituting the earliest instance of wind harnessing on land. He is said to have been a follower of the Atomists. Some of his ideas were derived from the works of Ctesibius.
Much of Hero's original writings and designs have been lost, but some of his works were preserved in Arab manuscripts.
A number of references mention dates around 150 BC, but these are inconsistent with the dates of his publications and inventions. This may be due to a misinterpretation of the phrase "first century" or because Hero was a common name.
It is almost certain that Hero taught at the Musaeum which included the famous Library of Alexandria, because most of his writings appear as lecture notes for courses in
Selig Percy Amoils, FRCS, born 1933, is a South African ophthalmologist and biomedical engineering inventor. In 1965, Amoils refined the cryoextraction method of cataract surgery by developing a cryoprobe that was cooled through the Joule-Thomson effect of gas expansion. His system is still widely used in the fields of ophthalmology and gynaecology.
Amoils was also awarded a patent for his "rotary epithelial scrubber", an improvement on the brush first developed by Ioannis Pallikaris that removes corneal epithelial cells in preparation for photorefractive keratectomy. Another development of his in 1970, was the diamond vitrectomy cutter, various instruments enabling micro-control of blade depth in radial keratotomy, as well as the oval comparator, or astigmometer, to control astigmatism after cataract surgery.
Born, raised, and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa, Amoils briefly studied mechanical engineering prior to attending medical school at the University of Witwatersrand where he earned his MB and BCh in 1956. His specialist training was with Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as a Clinical Fellow and
Alfred Carlton Gilbert (February 13, 1884 – January 24, 1961) was an American inventor, athlete, toy-maker and businessman. Born in Salem, Oregon and died in Boston, Massachusetts, Gilbert is best known as the inventor of the Erector Set.
Gilbert was educated at the Tualatin Academy and attended Pacific University in nearby Forest Grove, Oregon. While attending Pacific University, Gilbert was a brother of the Gamma Sigma Fraternity. He left Pacific after 1902 and transferred to Yale University. Gilbert financed his education at Yale University by working as a magician, earning a degree in sports medicine. An accomplished athlete, he broke the world record for consecutive chin-ups (39) in 1900 and distance record for running long dive in 1902. He invented the pole vault box and set two world records in the pole vault including a record for 12' 3" (3.66 meters) at the Spring meet of the Irish American Athletic Club, held at Celtic Park, Queens, New York, in 1906. He tied for gold with fellow American Edward Cook at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London for pole vaulting. That same year he married Mary Thompson, whom he had met at Pacific University. They had three children: two girls
Charles Joseph Van Depoele (Lichtervelde, 27 April 1846 – 18 March 1892) was an electrical engineer, inventor, and pioneer in electric railway technology, including the first trolley pole. Van Depoele was born in Lichtervelde, Belgium. At a tender age he dabbled in electricity, and became so thoroughly infatuated with the subject that he entered upon a course of study and experiment at Poperinghe. In 1861, while at college, he produced his first light with a battery of forty Bunsen cells. Later, he moved to Lille, France, where he attended regularly the lectures and experiments of the Imperial Lyceum, from 1864 to 1869.
In 1869 he moved to the United States and took up his residence in Detroit, where he made a living by manufacturing furniture. He did not abandon his electrical pursuits, experimenting with electric lighting, electric generators and electric motors, and eventually forming the Van Depoele Electric Manufacturing Company.
As early as 1874, Van Depoele began investigations into the field of electric locomotion. Van Depoele's first electric railway was laid in Chicago early in 1883, and he exhibited another at an exposition in that city later in the same year. In 1885,
Dr. An Wang (Chinese: 王安; pinyin: Wáng Ān; February 7, 1920 – March 24, 1990) was a Chinese American computer engineer and inventor, and co-founder of computer company Wang Laboratories, which was known primarily for its dedicated word processing machines. An Wang was an important contributor to the development of magnetic core memory.
A native of Kunshan County in Suzhou Prefecture, he was born in Shanghai, China, and graduated from Chiao Tung University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1940. He emigrated to the United States in June 1945 to attend Harvard University for graduate school, earning a PhD in applied physics in 1948. After graduation, he worked at Harvard with Dr Howard Aiken on the design of the Mark IV, Aiken's first fully electronic computer. Wang co-invented the pulse transfer controlling device with Way-Dong Woo, a schoolmate from China who fell ill before their patent was issued. The new device implemented write-after-read which made magnetic core memory possible. Harvard reduced its commitment to computer research in 1951, prompting Wang's departure.
Wang founded Wang Laboratories in June 1951 as a sole proprietorship. The first years were lean and
Gail Borden, Jr. (November 9, 1801 – January 11, 1874), was a 19th century U.S. inventor, surveyor, and publisher, and was the inventor of condensed milk in 1853.
Gail Borden, Jr. was born in Norwich, New York on 9 November 1801 to Gail Borden, a pioneer and landowner, and Philadelphia Wheeler. The details of his childhood are unclear but he did move twice with his family while growing up, first to Kennedy’s Ferry, Kentucky, which became Covington in 1814, and then, in 1816, to New London, Indiana. It was in Indiana where Borden received his only formal schooling, attending school during 1816 and 1817 learning the art of surveying. In 1822 Borden set out with his brother, Thomas. They originally intended to move to New Orleans but instead, somehow ended up in Amite County, Mississippi. Borden stayed in Mississippi for seven years, working as the county surveyor and as a schoolteacher in Bates and Zion Hill. He was well known around town for running rather than walking to school every morning. While living in Mississippi, Borden met his first wife, Penelope Mercer, whom he married in 1828. The couple had five children during their sixteen-year marriage. Borden left Mississippi in
James Henry Atkinson (1849 – 1942) was a British ironmonger from Leeds, Yorkshire who, thanks to lax enforcement of international patent law, claimed to have invented the mousetrap. He still gets credit in many sources, even though the same invention had been patented three years earlier in the United States by William Chauncey Hooker in 1894 and by 1897 his "Out O' Sight" trap was advertised and sold widely in that country. (The Patent Offices of the two countries would not begin comparing patent applications until 1905.) Writes British author Stephen Dulken, "It is quite likely that Atkinson had seen the Hooker trap in the shops or in advertisements."
Atkinson also invented a number of items, but the mousetrap, known as the Little Nipper which he patented in 1897, remains his best-known claimed invention.
Atkinson in 1897 patented the prototype mousetrap called the "Little Nipper," the classic snapping mousetrap with a small flat wooden base, spring trap, wire fastening, and metal triggering device. It slams shut in 38/1000s of a second, killing the mouse by breaking its spine and causing shock and internal bleeding. The spring-on-board mousetrap design has captured a sixty
Leland C. Clark Jr. (1918–2005) was an American biochemist born in Rochester, New York. He is most well known as the inventor of the Clark electrode, a device used for measuring oxygen in blood, water and other liquids. Clark is considered the "Father of Biosensors", and the modern-day glucose sensor used daily by millions of diabetics is based on his research. He conducted pioneering research on heart-lung machines in the 1940s and '50s and was holder of more than 25 patents. Although he developed a fluorocarbon-based liquid that could be breathed successfully by mice in place of air, his lifelong goal of developing artificial blood remained unfulfilled at the time of his death. He is the inventor of Oxycyte, a third-generation perfluorocarbon (PFC) therapeutic oxygen carrier designed to enhance oxygen delivery to damaged tissues.
Clark received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Antioch College in 1941 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Rochester in 1944. Clark began his professional career as an Assistant Professor of biochemistry at his alma mater, Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. When he left Antioch in 1958, he was head of the
Louis Braille (/ˈbreɪl/, French: [lwi bʁɑj]; 4 January 1809 – 6 January 1852) was the inventor of braille, a system of reading and writing used by people who are blind or visually impaired. As a small child, Braille was blinded in an accident; as a boy he developed a mastery over that blindness; and as a young man – still a student at school – he created a revolutionary form of communication that transcended blindness and transformed the lives of millions. After two centuries, the braille system remains an invaluable tool of learning and communication for the blind, and it has been adapted for languages worldwide.
Braille was born in Coupvray, France, a small town located east of Paris. He and his three elder siblings – Monique Catherine Josephine Braille (b.1793), Louis-Simon Braille (b.1795), and Marie Celine Braille (b.1797) – lived with their mother, Monique, and father, Simon-René, on three hectares of land and vineyards in the countryside. Simon-René maintained a successful enterprise as a leatherer and maker of horse tack.
As soon as he could walk, Louis spent time playing in his father's workshop. At the age of three, the child was toying with some of the tools, trying to
Luis W. Alvarez (June 13, 1911 – September 1, 1988) was an American experimental physicist and inventor, who spent nearly all of his long professional career on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. The American Journal of Physics commented, "Luis Alvarez (1911–1988) was one of the most brilliant and productive experimental physicists of the twentieth century." He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968, and took out over 40 patents, some of which led to commercial products.
Alvarez was of Spanish descent from his paternal grandfather. Alvarez was the son of Walter C. Alvarez, a doctor who for a time was a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, and of Harriet Smythe, and a grandson of Luis F. Alvarez, a doctor living in Hawaii who found a better method for diagnosing macular leprosy. His aunt, Mabel Alvarez, was a California artist specializing in oil painting. Alvarez married Geraldine Smithwick in 1936 and had two children, Walter and Jean. In 1958, he married Janet L. Landis and had two more children, Donald and Helen.
Alvarez was educated at the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1932, his master's degree in 1934, and his PhD in
Wallace Hume Carothers (April 27, 1896 – April 29, 1937) was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, credited with the invention of nylon.
Carothers was a group leader at the DuPont Experimental Station laboratory, near Wilmington, Delaware, where most polymer research was done. Carothers was an organic chemist who, in addition to first developing nylon, also helped lay the groundwork for Neoprene. After receiving his Ph.D., he taught at several universities before he was hired by DuPont to work on fundamental research.
He married Helen Sweetman on February 21, 1936. Carothers had been troubled by periods of mental depression since his youth. Despite his success with nylon, he felt that he had not accomplished much and had run out of ideas. His unhappiness was compounded by the death of his sister, Isobel, and on the evening of April 28, 1937 he checked into a Philadelphia hotel room and committed suicide by drinking a cocktail of lemon juice laced with potassium cyanide. His daughter, Jane, was born seven months later on November 27, 1937.
Carothers was born on April 27, 1896 in Burlington, Iowa, to Ira and Mary Evalina Carothers. He was the
William Bradford Shockley Jr. (February 13, 1910 – August 12, 1989) was an American physicist and inventor. Along with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, Shockley co-invented the transistor, for which all three were awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Shockley's attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s and 1960s led to California's "Silicon Valley" becoming a hotbed of electronics innovation. In his later life, Shockley was a professor at Stanford and became a staunch advocate of eugenics.
Shockley was born in London, England to American parents, and raised in his family's hometown of Palo Alto, California, from age three. His father, William senior, was a mining engineer who speculated in mines for a living, and spoke eight languages. His mother, Mary, grew up in the American West, graduated from Stanford University, and became the first female US Deputy mining surveyor.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1932. While still a student, Shockley married Iowan Jean Bailey in August 1933. In March 1934 Jean had a baby girl, Alison; she also had a son, Richard (Dick) who also became a physicist.
Emery Molyneux ( /ˈɛməri ˈmɒlɨnoʊ/ EM-ə-ree MOL-ə-noh; died June 1598) was an English Elizabethan maker of globes, mathematical instruments and ordnance. His terrestrial and celestial globes, first published in 1592, were the first to be made in England and the first to be made by an Englishman.
Molyneux was known as a mathematician and maker of mathematical instruments such as compasses and hourglasses. He became acquainted with many prominent men of the day, including the writer Richard Hakluyt and the mathematicians Robert Hues and Edward Wright. He also knew the explorers Thomas Cavendish, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and John Davis. Davis probably introduced Molyneux to his own patron, the London merchant William Sanderson, who largely financed the construction of the globes. When completed, the globes were presented to Elizabeth I. Larger globes were acquired by royalty, noblemen and academic institutions, while smaller ones were purchased as practical navigation aids for sailors and students. The globes were the first to be made in such a way that they were unaffected by the humidity at sea, and they came into general use on ships.
Molyneux emigrated to Amsterdam with his
Everard Richard Calthrop (3 March 1857 – 30 March 1927) was a British railway engineer and inventor. Calthrop was a notable promoter and builder of narrow gauge railways, especially of 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge, and was especially prominent in India. His most notable achievement was the Barsi Light Railway; however he is best known in his home country for the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway. Later in life he took an interest in aviation, patenting some early designs for parachutes.
Calthrop was born on 3 March 1857, the eldest son of farmer Everard Calthrop. He had 6 brothers, one of whom was Sir Guy Calthrop, general manager of the London & North Western Railway. The family lived at Deeping Fen, Lincolnshire, where Calthrop was born, and later at Sutton in the Isle of Ely. Calthrop was educated at Uppingham School.
Calthrop started work with Robert Stephenson & Co and then was apprenticed to the London & North Western Railway at Crewe in 1874. In 1879 he joined the Great Western Railway, where he rose to assistant manager of the Carriage and Wagon Works. In 1882 he went to India to join the Great Indian Peninsula Railway as a locomotive inspector.
Once in India, Calthrop
George A. Stephen, Sr. (c. 1922 – February 11, 1993) was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and the founder of Weber-Stephen Products Co., the company best known for the manufacturing of charcoal and gas grills. Stephen is credited with the invention of the Weber Kettle grill by cutting a metal buoy in half and fashioning a dome shaped grill with a rounded lid, which he began selling in 1952.
Patents:Systems and method for resolving ambiguity
Mr. Thione brings to
Powerset years of research experience in computational linguistics and
search from Research Scientist positions at the CommerceNet consortium
and the Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Laboratory. His main research focus has
been discourse parsing and document analysis, automatic summarization,
question answering and natural language search, and information
retrieval. He has co-authored publications in the field of
computational linguistics and is a named inventor on 13 worldwide
patent applications spanning the fields of computational linguistics,
mobile user interfaces, search and information retrieval, speech
technology, security and distributed computing. A native of Milan,
Italy, Mr. Thione holds a Masters in Software Engineering from the
University of Texas at Austin.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel ([äl'fred bern'härd nōbel'] listen (help·info)) (21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. He was the inventor of dynamite. Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments. Nobel held 350 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. He used his fortune to posthumously institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him. His name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and Akzo Nobel, which are descendants of the companies Nobel himself established.
Born in Stockholm, Alfred Nobel was the fourth son of Immanuel Nobel (1801–1872), an inventor and engineer, and Andriette Ahlsell Nobel (1805–1889). The couple married in 1827 and had eight children. The family was impoverished, and only Alfred and his three brothers survived past childhood. Through his father, Alfred Nobel was a descendant of the Swedish scientist Olaus Rudbeck (1630–1702), and in his turn the boy was interested in engineering, particularly explosives, learning the
Charles Babbage, FRS (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered a "father of the computer", Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.
Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer Babbage had designed for the difference engine.
Babbage's birthplace is disputed, but he was most likely born at 44 Crosby Row, Walworth Road, London, England. A blue plaque on the junction of Larcom Street and Walworth Road commemorates the event.
His date of birth was given in his obituary in The Times as 26 December 1792. However after the obituary appeared, a nephew wrote to say that Charles Babbage was born one year earlier, in 1791. The parish register of St. Mary's
Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825) was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney's invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States (regardless of whether Whitney intended that or not). Despite the social and economic impact of his invention, Whitney lost many profits in legal battles over patent infringement for the cotton gin. Thereafter, he turned his attention into securing contracts with the government in the manufacture of muskets for the newly formed continental army. He continued making arms and inventing until his death in 1825.
Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1765, the eldest child of Eli Whitney Sr., a prosperous farmer, and his wife Elizabeth Fay of Westborough.
Although the younger Eli, born in 1765, could technically be called a "Junior", history has never known him as such. He was famous during his lifetime and afterward by the name "Eli Whitney". His son, born in 1820, also named Eli, was well known
Elisha Gray (August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois and is considered by some writers to be the true inventor of the variable resistance telephone, despite losing out to Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone patent.
Gray is also considered to be the father of the modern music synthesizer, and was granted over 70 patents for his inventions.
Born into a Quaker family in Barnesville, Ohio, Gray was brought up on a farm. He spent several years at Oberlin College where he experimented with electrical devices. Although Gray was not a graduate of Oberlin College, he taught electricity and science at Oberlin and built laboratory equipment for Oberlin science departments.
In 1862 while at Oberlin, Gray met and married Delia Minerva Shepard.
In 1865 Gray invented a self-adjusting telegraph relay that automatically adapted to varying insulation of the telegraph line.
In 1867 Gray received a patent for the self-adjusting telegraph relay and in later years he received patents for more than 70 other
Henry John Heinz (October 11, 1844 – May 14, 1919) was an American businessman of German descent who founded the H. J. Heinz Company.
Heinz was one of eight children born to John Henry Heinz and Anna Margaretha Heinz (surviving siblings were Elizabeth Heinz Mueller, Henrietta D. Heinz, John Heinz, Mary A. Heinz and P. J. Heinz). Both parents had emigrated from Kallstadt, Germany and settled in the Birmingham section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—today known as the South Side.
When Henry was six, the family moved several miles up the Allegheny River to the little town of Sharpsburg. There, at age six, young Henry (called Harry by his family) started helping his mother tend a small backyard garden behind the family home. At age eight Henry was canvassing the neighborhood with a basket under each arm selling vegetables from the family garden door to door. By age nine he was growing, grinding, bottling and selling his own brand of horseradish sauce, based on his mother's recipe. At ten he was given a ¾-acre (3,000 m²) garden of his own and had graduated to a wheelbarrow to deliver his vegetables. At twelve he was working 3½ acres (14,000 m²) of garden using a horse and cart for his
Mikhail Semyonovich Tsvet (Михаи́л Семёнович Цвет, also spelled Tsvett, Tswett, Tswet, Zwet, and Cvet) (1872–1919) was a Russian botanist who invented adsorption chromatography. His last name is Russian for both "colour" and "flowering."
Mikhail Tsvet was born 14 May 1872 in Asti, Italy. His mother was Italian, and his father was a Russian official. His mother died soon after his birth, and he was raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his B.S. degree from the Department of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Geneva in 1893. However, he decided to dedicate himself to botany and received his Ph.D. degree in 1896 for his work on cell physiology. He moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1896 because his father was recalled from the foreign service. There he started to work at the Biological Laboratory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His Geneva degrees were not recognized in Russia, and he had to earn Russian degrees. In 1897 he became a teacher of botany courses for women. In 1902 he became a laboratory assistant at the Institute of Plant Physiology of the Warsaw University in Poland. In 1903 he became an assistant professor and taught also at other Warsaw
Moritz Hermann (Boris Semyonovich) von Jacobi (Russian: Борис Семёнович (Морис-Герман) Якоби) (September 21, 1801 – March 10, 1874) was a Jewish German engineer and physicist born in Potsdam. Jacobi worked mainly in Russia. He furthered progress in galvanoplastics, electric motors, and wire telegraphy.
In 1834 he began to study magnetic motors. In 1835 moved to Dorpat (now Tartu, Estonia) to lecture at Dorpat University. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1837 to research usage of electromagnetic forces for moving machines for Russian Academy of Sciences. He investigated the power of an electromagnet in motors and generators. While studying the transfer of power from a battery to an electric motor, he deduced the maximum power theorem. Jacobi tested motors output by determining the amount of zinc consumed by the battery. With financial assistance of Czar Nicholas, Jacobi constructed in 1839 a 28 foot electric motor boat powered by battery cells. The boat carried 14 passengers on Neva river against the current. The boat fared at the speed of three miles for hour.
The law known as the maximum power theorem states:
The transfer of maximum power from a source with a fixed internal
Percy Sinclair Pilcher (16 January 1866 – 2 October 1899) was a British inventor and pioneer aviator who was his country's foremost experimenter in unpowered flight at the end of the 19th Century. He was planning a flight with a motor-driven hang glider, but died in the crash of another glider before he could make the attempt.
Percy Pilcher was born in Bath in 1866, and served in the Royal Navy for seven years from 1880. Thereafter he became an apprentice with the shipbuilders, Randolph, Elder and Company, of Govan in Glasgow.
In 1891 Pilcher began work as assistant lecturer at Glasgow University and took a growing interest in aviation. He built a hang glider called The Bat which he flew for the first time in 1895;
Later that year Pilcher met Otto Lilienthal, who was the leading expert in gliding in Germany. These discussions led to Pilcher building two more gliders, The Beetle and The Gull. Based on the work of his mentor Otto Lilienthal, in 1897 Pilcher built a glider called The Hawk with which he broke the world distance record when he flew 250 m (820 ft) at the grounds of Stanford Hall near Lutterworth in Leicestershire, England.
Pilcher set his sights upon powered flight: he
Seth Boyden (November 17, 1788 – March 31, 1870) was an American inventor.
He was born in Foxboro, Massachusetts on November 17, 1788. He had a brother, Uriah A. Boyden.
He worked as a watchmaker and moved to Newark, New Jersey.
Boyden perfected the process for making patent leather, created malleable iron, invented a nail-making machine, and built his own steamboat. He is also credited with having invented a cut off switch for steam engines and a method for producing zinc from ore. At the time of his death, he told friends that he had, even at that time, enough experiments on hand to last two whole lifetimes.
In 1818, Boyden received a piece of German manufactured patent leather (said to be a German military cap front) from a local carriage manufacturer and used that to investigate the possibility of creating a version of leather in the United States that was treated in such a way that the material would be decidedly more dressy than work boots and similar leather goods, but retained its desirable qualities of protection and durability. To reverse engineer the European patent leather, Boyden set up a shed at the Malleable Cast Iron Foundry of Condit & Bowles at 25 Orange in
Sherman Mills Fairchild (April 7, 1896 – March 28, 1971) was an inventor and serial entrepreneur who founded over 70 companies, including Fairchild Aircraft, Fairchild Industries, Fairchild Aviation Corporation and Fairchild Camera and Instrument. Fairchild made significant contributions to the aviation industry and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1979. His Fairchild Semiconductor company played a defining role in the development of Silicon Valley. He held over 30 patents for products ranging from the silicon semiconductor to the 8-mm. home sound motion-picture camera. Fairchild is also responsible for inventing the first synchronized camera shutter and flash as well as developing new technologies for aerial cameras that were later used on the Apollo Missions.
Born in Oneonta, New York, Sherman Fairchild was the only child of George Winthrop Fairchild (1854–1924) and Josephine Mills Sherman (1859–1924). His father was a Republican Congressman as well as a co-founder and the first Chairman of IBM. His mother was the daughter of William Sherman, of Davenport, Iowa.
His father died on December 31, 1924, and as an only child he inherited his father's
Trevor Blackwell (born 4 November 1969 in Canada) is a computer programmer, engineer and entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley.
Blackwell is a developer of humanoid robots. He is also the inventor of the Eunicycle, essentially a one-wheeled Segway. Dr. Blackwell is the founder and CEO of Anybots and a partner at Y Combinator.
Blackwell grew up in Saskatoon, Canada. Blackwell studied engineering at Carleton University and received a BEng in 1992, then studied Computer Science at Harvard University and received a PhD in 1998. His dissertation applied randomized methods to analyzing the performance of networks and compilers.
During graduate school Blackwell joined Viaweb for which he wrote the image rendering, order processing and statistics software. The company was acquired by Yahoo in 1998, and Blackwell moved to Silicon Valley to lead the Yahoo Store development group.
He founded Anybots in 2001 to build teleoperated humanoid robots. In 2006 Anybots announced a humanoid robot that walks and balances like people do, without depending on large feet for stability.
As side projects, he has built two other balancing vehicles: a two-wheeled balancing scooter similar to the Segway but
Birdsill Holly (November 8, 1820 - April 27, 1894) was an inventor. Holly was born in Auburn, New York. He spent his early years in Seneca Falls, New York, a major center of water powered industries. His first patented invention was a rotary water pump.
He left Seneca Falls in 1851 for Lockport, New York, where he established Holly Manufacturing. Birdsill's factory employed over 500 men, and was one of the largest manufacturing plants in the Northeast at the time. He is known for inventing the rotary pump and district heating. Birdsill Holly had over a 150 patents when he died, placing him second only to Thomas Edison in the U.S. for most patents held by one person. He was also a key person in the invention of the Sybill steam engine, which became the first non-man-powered fire engine.
Birdsill Holly died on April 27, 1894 at 7pm. He had suffered from a long illness and the cause of death was listed as heart failure.
A rumor purports that on the day he died, the nearby town of Gasport, New York burned to the ground. There were only two cities that did not incorporate his fire hydrant system in those days: one was Gasport and the other was Chicago, Illinois, both of which
Sir Kazimierz Stanislaus Gzowski, KCMG (March 5, 1813 – August 24, 1898), was an engineer who served as acting Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1896 to 1897.
Gzowski was born in Saint Petersburg to a noble Polish father who served with the Russian military.
He emigrated with his family to the United States after the Polish revolt against Russia in 1830. He knew no English, but began to study law and was admitted to practice. His father was an engineer, and as this became his primary interest, Kazimierz became involved in railway construction in the United States. Eventually he was hired as an engineer to help in the construction of the New York and Erie Railway.
In 1841 he moved to Canada to work on the Welland Canal, and also helped finish the building of Yonge Street and other projects, for the Department of Public Works in southern Ontario. He settled in London.
In 1849 Gzowski was hired as a railway contractor by the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad. The new president of this reorganized company, Alexander Tilloch Galt, and other directors were dissatisfied with the work of the Montreal contractors. Accepting Galt's offer as Chief Engineer, in charge of construction,
Sir Henry Bessemer (19 January 1813 – 15 March 1898) was an English engineer, inventor, and businessman. Bessemer's name is chiefly known in connection with the Bessemer process for the manufacture of steel.
Bessemer's father, Anthony, was born in London, but moved to Paris when he was 21 years old. He was an inventor who, while he was engaged by the Paris Mint, made a machine for making medallions that could produce steel dies from a larger model. He became a member of the French Academy of Science, for his improvements to the optical microscope, when he was only 26. He was forced to leave Paris by the French Revolution, and returned to Britain. There he invented a process for making gold chains, which was successful, and enabled him to buy a small estate in the village of Charlton, near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, where Henry was born in 1813.
The invention from which Henry Bessemer made his first fortune was a series of six steam-powered machines for making bronze powder. As he relates in his autobiography, he examined the bronze powder made in Nuremberg which was the only place where it was made at the time. He then copied and improved the product and made it capable of being
James Harrison (April 1816 - 3 September 1893) was an Australian newspaper printer, journalist, politician, and pioneer in the field of mechanical refrigeration.
James Harrison was born at St Johns (near Renton), Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the son of a fisherman. He trained as a printing apprentice in Glasgow and worked in London before emigrating to Sydney, Australia in 1837 to set up a printing press for the English company Tegg & Co. Moving to Melbourne in 1839 he found employment with John Pascoe Fawkner as a compositor and later editor on Fawkner's Port Phillip Patriot. When Fawkner acquired a new press, Harrison offered him 30 pounds for the original old press to start Geelong's first newspaper. The first weekly edition of the Geelong Advertiser appeared November 1840: edited by 'James Harrison and printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner (sole proprietor) by William Watkins...'. By November 1842, Harrison became sole owner.....
Harrison was a member of Geelong's first town council in 1850 and represented Geelong and Geelong West in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1859-60. As an editor he was an early advocate for tariff protection which later he brought to
Milton Bradley (November 8, 1836 – May 30, 1911) was an American game pioneer, credited by many with launching the board game industry in North America with Milton Bradley Company.
A native of Vienna, Maine, Bradley grew up in a working-class household in Lowell, Massachusetts. After completing high school he found work as a draftsman before enrolling at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1856, he secured employment at the Watson Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. After the company was shuttered during the recession of 1858, he entered business for himself as a mechanical draftsman and patent agent. Later, Bradley pursued lithography and in 1860, he set up the first color lithography shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. Eventually, Bradley moved forward with an idea he had for a board game which he called The Checkered Game of Life, an early version of what later became The Game of Life.
In 2004, he was posthumously inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame along with George Ditomassi of Milton Bradley Company. Through the 20th century the company he founded in 1860, Milton Bradley Company dominated the production of American games, with titles like
Ole Kirk Christiansen (7 April 1891 – 11 March 1958) was the founder of Danish toy company the Lego Group. He was the 10th son of an impoverished family in Jutland in western Denmark. Born in Filskov, Denmark, he trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Soon after Ole's wife passed on and left Ole to raise his four sons. Ole eventually found inspiration enough to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. He soon found that his sons loved the new toy and decided to put them into production, using all the left over wood from his old business. In 1942 a fire broke out at the factory forcing them to rebuild. Initially, he made miniature versions of the houses and furniture as he worked on as a carpenter, but in 1947 moved onto using plastics, which were originally small plastic bears and rattles unlike the bricks we are accustomed to today. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys.
He came up with the name Lego from the Danish leg godt ("play well") and the company grew to become the Lego Group ("lego" coincidentally means "I put together" in Latin). On March 11, 1958,
Raymond Scott (born Harry Warnow, September 10, 1908 – February 8, 1994) was an American composer, band leader, pianist, engineer, recording studio maverick, and electronic instrument inventor.
Although Scott never scored cartoon soundtracks, his music is familiar to millions because of its adaptation by Carl Stalling in over 120 classic Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and other Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated shorts. Scott's melodies have also been heard in twelve Ren & Stimpy episodes (that used the original Scott recordings), while making cameos in The Simpsons, Duckman, Animaniacs, The Oblongs, and Batfink. (The only music Scott actually composed to accompany animation were three 20-second electronic commercial jingles for County Fair Bread in 1962.)
He was born in Brooklyn, New York to Russian Jewish immigrants, Joseph and Sarah Warnow. His older brother, Mark Warnow, a conductor, violinist, and musical director for the CBS radio program Your Hit Parade, encouraged his musical career.
A 1931 graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied piano, theory and composition, Scott, under his birth name, began his professional career as a pianist
Theodore von Kármán (original Hungarian name: Szőllőskislaki Kármán Tódor) (May 11, 1881 – May 7, 1963) was a Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization. He is regarded as the outstanding aerodynamic theoretician of the twentieth century.
Von Kármán was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, Austria-Hungary as Kármán Tódor. One of his ancestors was Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel. He studied engineering at the city's Royal Joseph Technical University, known today as Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After graduating in 1902 he moved to Germany and joined Ludwig Prandtl at the University of Göttingen, and received his doctorate in 1908. He taught at Göttingen for four years. In 1912 accepted a position as director of the Aeronautical Institute at RWTH Aachen, one of the country's leading universities. His time at RWTH Aachen was interrupted by service in the Austro-Hungarian Army 1915–1918, where he designed an early helicopter. He is believed to have
Vasily Nazarovych Karazin (Russian: Василий Назарович Каразин, Vasily Nazarovych Karazin; Ukrainian: Василь Назарович Каразін, Vasyl Nazarovych Karazin; January 30, 1773 – November 4, 1842) was a Russian and Ukrainian enlightenment figure, intellectual, inventor, founder of The Ministry of National Education in Russian Empire and scientific publisher in Ukraine. He is the founder of Kharkiv University, which now bears his name. He is also known for opposing to what he saw as colonial exploitation of Ukraine by the Russian Empire, even though he himself was ethnically Serbian.
He was born in Kruchyk village (Sloboda Ukraine Governorate (Slobidsko-Ukrainska Guberniya), now Bohodukhivskyi Raion of Kharkiv Oblast), Ukraine, in the family of Nazary Alexandrovych Karazin, a Russian Imperial Army officer (noted for his involvement in Pârvu Cantacuzino's 1769 rebellion in Wallachia). Vasily Karazin considered himself to be ethnic Serb, though his family originally known as Karadji was of Greek origin.
Vasily Karazin was educated in nobility schools in Kharkiv and Kremenchuk. At the age of eighteen, he left for Saint Petersburg, and underwent military training in the prestigious Semyonovsky
Boris Zubry (born 1951 in Leningrad, USSR, presently St. Petersburg, Russia), is an inventor, author (novelist, short stories and political satire), poet and an educator. In 1968 Zubry entered Leningrad Institute for Military Mechanics and in 1973 Leningrad Technological Institute for Refrigiration Industry graduating with Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Zubry immigrated to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in 1978. After living and working in the states of Washington, California and Texas, Zubry has resided, traveling extensively, in Princeton, New Jersey since 1993. Over the years Zubry associated with a number of cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies as an engineer and a project manager working in many countries around the world. Currently, Zubry is a lecturer in mathematics at Rutgers University.
Zubry is best known for his books Chess Master, Miles of Experience, Arrogance of Truth, "Puska" and the numerous short stories published by various publications.
Zubry is an inventor of the Magnetic Plungerless Injection System (MPIS) - Patent # 7,255,684; the Abrasive Resistant Package of Wound Asphaltic Material of Construction - Patent Publication
Frank Piasecki (/piːəˈsɛki/pee-ə-SEK-ee; Polish: [pjaˈsɛtski]; October 24, 1919 – February 11, 2008) was an American engineer and helicopter aviation pioneer. Piasecki pioneered tandem rotor helicopter designs and created the compound helicopter concept of vectored thrust using a ducted propeller.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to an immigrant Polish tailor, Piasecki worked for autogyro manufacturers while still attending Overbrook High School, then studied mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania before graduating with a bachelor's degree from New York University. In 1940, he formed PV Engineering Forum with former Pennsylvania classmate Harold Venzie. He built a single-person, single-rotor helicopter designated the PV-2 and flew it on April 11, 1943. This helicopter impressed the United States Navy sufficiently to win Piasecki a development contract.
The name PV Engineering was changed to Piasecki Helicopter Corporation in 1946. After a boardroom dispute, Piasecki left Piasecki Helicopter in 1955 and formed the Piasecki Aircraft Company.
At Piasecki Aircraft, he participated in the development of the Piasecki 16H-1 the world's first shaft driven compound
Joseph Farwell Glidden (January 18, 1813 – October 9, 1906) was an American farmer who patented barbed wire, a product that forever altered the development of the American West.
Glidden was born in Charlestown, New Hampshire of English descent. His family later moved to Clarendon, New York. In 1843, he moved to Illinois with his wife Clarissa Foster. She and her two sons died after the move, and Glidden married Lucinda Warne in 1851.
He created barbed wire by using a coffee mill to create the barbs. Glidden placed the barbs along a wire and then twisted another wire around it to keep the barbs in place. He received the patent for barbed wire in 1874 and was quickly embroiled in a legal battle over whether he actually invented it. He eventually won and created the Barb Fence Company in DeKalb, Illinois. His invention made him extremely rich. By the time of his death in 1906, he was one of the richest men in America. The Dun & Bradstreet Collection, 1840-1895, MSS 791, LXIII, 130, Baker Library, Harvard, recorded his assets at one million dollars. This included the Glidden House Hotel; the DeKalb Chronicle; 3,000 acres (12 km²) of farm land in Illinois; 335,000 acres (1,360 km²) in
Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf (/ˈsɜrf/; born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn. His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
In the early days, Cerf was a program manager for the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding various groups to develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity during the late 1980s, Cerf moved to MCI where he was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet.
Vinton Cerf was instrumental in the funding and formation of ICANN from the start. Cerf waited in the wings for a year before he stepped forward to join the ICANN Board. Eventually he became the Chairman of ICANN. Cerf was elected as the president of the Association for Computing Machinery in May 2012.
Cerf also went to Van
Alfred Lewis Vail (September 25, 1807 – January 18, 1859) was a machinist and inventor. Vail was central, with Samuel F. B. Morse, in developing and commercializing the telegraph between 1837 and 1844. Vail and Morse were the first two telegraph operators on Morse's first experimental line between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, and Vail took charge of building and managing several early telegraph lines between 1845 and 1848. He was also responsible for several technical innovations of Morse's system, particularly the sending key and improved recording registers and relay magnets. Vail left the telegraph industry in 1848 because he believed that the managers of Morse's lines did not fully value his contributions. His last assignment, superintendent of the Washington and New Orleans Telegraph Company, paid him only $900 a year, leading Vail to write to Morse, "I have made up my mind to leave the Telegraph to take care of itself, since it cannot take care of me. I shall, in a few months, leave Washington for New Jersey, ... and bid adieu to the subject of the Telegraph for some more profitable business."
Vail's parents were Bethiah Youngs (1778–1847) and Stephen Vail (1780–1864). Vail
Charles Sumner Tainter (April 25, 1854 – April 20, 1940) was an American scientific instrument maker, engineer and inventor, best known for his collaborations with Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, Alexander's father-in-law Gardiner Hubbard, and for his significant improvements to Thomas Edison's phonograph, resulting in the Graphophone, one version of which was the first Dictaphone.
Later in his career Tainter was associated with the International Graphopone Company of West Virginia, and also managed his own research and development laboratory, earning him the title: 'Father Of The Talking Machine' (i.e.: father of the phonograph).
Tainter was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he attended public school. His education was modest, acquiring his knowledge mostly through self-education. In 1873, he took a job with the Alvan Clark and Sons Company producing telescopes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which then came under contract with the U.S. Navy to conduct observations of the transit of Venus on December 8, 1874, resulting in Tainter being sent with one of its observation expeditions to New Zealand. In 1878 he opened his own shop for the production of scientific instruments
Enea Bossi, Sr. (29 March 1888 – 1963) was an Italian-American aerospace engineer and aviation pioneer. He is best known for designing the Budd BB-1 Pioneer, the first stainless steel aircraft; and also the Pedaliante airplane, disputably credited with the first fully human-powered flight.
Enea Bossi was born in Milan, Italy. He emigrated to the United States on the RMS Oceanic from Cherbourg, France, on 20 July 1914, subsequently residing at 264 Riverside Drive in Great Neck, New York. Bossi declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States on 30 July 1914 and petitioned for naturalization on 9 December 1925. He became a naturalized United States citizen on 16 March 1926, though his two sons retained their inherited Italian citizenship, jus sanguines, as well their American citizenship, jus soli. He spoke fluent Italian, French, and English.
Bossi married Flora Kehrer, a Swiss German from Lausanne who had migrated to the United States immediately prior to the outbreak of World War I and was living with her aunt and uncle in Connecticut. The two met through Enea Bossi’s professional relationship with her uncle, and the two eloped against the wishes of Flora's
James Bicheno Francis (May 18, 1815 – September 18, 1892) was a British-American engineer, who invented the Francis turbine.
James Francis was born in South Leigh, near Witney, Oxfordshire in England, United Kingdom. He started his engineering career at the early age of 14 as he worked as his father's apprentice at the Port Craw Railway and Harbor Works in South Wales. When he turned 18, he decided to emigrate to the United States, in 1833. His first job was in Stonington, Connecticut as an assistant to the railway engineer George Washington Whistler Jr., working on the New York and New Haven Railroad. A year later, James and his boss, Whistler, travelled north to Lowell, MA, where at the age of 19, he got a draftsman job with the Locks and Canal Company, and Whistler became chief engineer.
A few short years later, in 1837, G.W. Whistler resigned, and went to work on Russia's major railroads. Before departing, Whistler appointed Francis to Chief Engineer, and sold him his house on Worthen street. That same year, James married Sarah W. Brownell in Lowell on July 12, 1837. Their first son, James Jr. was born March 30, 1840, and then they had five more children.
In 1841 came his first
Bíró László József (surname placed first per Hungarian convention) (Spanish: Ladislao José Biro) (29 September 1899 – 24 November 1985) was the inventor of the modern ballpoint pen.
Bíró (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbiːroː]) was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1899. He presented the first production of the ball pen at the Budapest International Fair in 1931. While working as a journalist in Hungary, he noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper dry and smudge-free. He tried using the same ink in a fountain pen but found that it would not flow into the tip, as it was too viscous. Working with his brother György, a chemist, he developed a new tip consisting of a ball that was free to turn in a socket, and as it turned it would pick up ink from a cartridge and then roll to deposit it on the paper. Bíró patented the invention in Paris in 1938.
In 1943 the brothers moved to Argentina and on 10 June filed another patent, and formed Biro Pens of Argentina (in fact, in Argentina the ball pen is known as birome). This new design was licensed by the British, who produced ballpoint pens for Royal Air Force aircrew, who found they worked much better than
Lewis Miller (July 24, 1829 – February 17, 1899) was an Ohio businessman and philanthropist who made a fortune in the late 19th century as inventor of the first combine (harvester-reaper machine) with the blade mounted efficiently in front of the driver, to the side of the horse(s), rather than pulled behind. His daughter Mina (1865–1947) married fellow Ohio inventor Thomas Alva Edison on Christmas Day 1886.
Miller was born in Greentown, Ohio. He devoted much of his wealth to public service and to charitable causes associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was the inventor of the "Akron Plan" for Sunday schools, a building layout with a central assembly hall surrounded by small classrooms, a configuration Miller conceived with Methodist minister John Heyl Vincent and architect Jacob Snyder. The arrangement accommodated 1) a collective opening exercise for all the children; 2) small radiating classrooms for graded instruction in the uniform lesson of the day; and 3) a general closing exercise in the central assembly area.
John Heyl Vincent collaborating was baptist layman B.F. Jacobs devised a system to encourage Sunday school work, and a committee was established to
Otto Lilienthal (May 23, 1848 – August 10, 1896) was a German pioneer of aviation who became known as the Glider King. He was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. He followed an experimental approach established previously by Sir George Cayley. Newspapers and magazines published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical. For his contributions to the field of aviation at such a crucial time he is often referred to as "The Father of Flight."
Lilienthal was born in Anklam, Pomerania Province, Prussia. He attended grammar school in Anklam, and also studied the flight of birds with his brother Gustav (1849–1933). Fascinated by the idea of manned flight, Lilienthal and his brother made strap-on wings, but failed in their attempts to fly. He then attended the regional technical school in Potsdam for two years and trained at the Schwarzkopf Company before becoming a professional design engineer. He would later attend the Royal Technical Academy in Berlin.
In 1867 he began his experiments on the force of air in earnest, interrupted when he
Games Slayter (9 December 1896 – 15 October 1964) was a prolific U.S. engineer and inventor. He is best known for developing Fiberglass.
Slayter was born in Argos, Indiana as Russell Games Slayter. He dropped Russell early in his life. He graduated from Argos High School in 1914, and from Western Military Academy (Alton, Illinois) in 1915. At age 20 he married Maude Marie Foor (1917). He graduated from Purdue University in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.
Slayter was a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio.
Slayter joined Owens-Illinois Glass Co. (Toledo, Ohio) in 1931, and began working on a commercial process for producing glass fibers. In 1938 he was named Vice-President, Research and Development, of the newly formed Owens Corning Fiberglass Corporation. He held that position until his retirement in December 1963.
Slayter served on the Materials Advisory Board of the United States National Research Council, and consulted on industrial applications for NASA. He was also a member of the Board of Distinguished Consultants for the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers and the Advisory Counsel of the Patent, Trade Mark, and Copyright
Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876. In retrospect, Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.
Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. He has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.
Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. The family home was at 16 South Charlotte Street, and has a stone inscription, marking it as Alexander Graham Bell's birthplace. He had two
Charles H. Henry was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on May 6, 1937. He received an MS. degree in physics in 1959 from the University of Chicago, and a PhD degree in physics in 1965 from the University of Illinois, under the direction of Charlie Slichter. In March, 2008, he was featured in an article in the Physics Illinois News, a publication of the Physics Department of the University of Illinois.
Henry's entire professional career was spent in the research area of Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1965 as a member of technical staff. From 1971 to 1975, he was head of the Semiconductor Electronics Research Department. He retired from Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories in 1997 as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. He has published 133 technical papers and holds 28 patents, including a 1976 patent covering what is now called the quantum well laser.
Throughout his career, Henry worked at the forefront of semiconductor-based optical technologies and science: light-emitting diodes, semiconductor lasers, and photonic integrated circuits. He was an inventor as well as an experimenter, with a particular interest in understanding the
Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin (Russian: Владимир Павлович Бармин, March 4 [O.S. March 17, 1909] 1909, Moscow – July 17, 1993, Moscow) was the Soviet scientist, designer of the rocket launch complexes.
An asteroid 22254 Vladbarmin was named in his honor.
Cai Lun (simplified Chinese: 蔡伦; traditional Chinese: 蔡倫; pinyin: Cài Lún; Wade–Giles: Ts'ai Lun) (ca. 50 AD – 121), courtesy name Jingzhong (敬仲), was a Chinese eunuch. He is traditionally regarded as the inventor of paper and the papermaking process, in forms recognizable in modern times as paper (as opposed to Egyptian papyrus). Although paper existed in China before Cai Lun (since the 2nd century BC), he was responsible for the first significant improvement and standardization of paper-making by adding essential new materials into its composition.
Cai Lun (蔡伦) was born in Guiyang (modern day Leiyang, Hunan) during the Eastern Han Dynasty. After serving as a court eunuch from AD 75, he was given several promotions under the rule of Emperor He of Han. In AD 89 he was promoted with the title of Shang Fang Si, an office in charge of manufacturing instruments and weapons; he also became a Regular Palace Attendant (中常侍). He was involved in palace intrigue as a supporter of Empress Dou, and in the death of her romantic rival, Consort Song. After the death of Empress Dou in AD 97, he became an associate of Consort Deng Sui.
In A.D. 105, Cai invented the composition for paper along with
Gerhard M. Sessler (Rosenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, February 15, 1931) is a German inventor and scientist. Sessler invented together with James E. West the foil electret microphone at Bell Laboratories 1962 and the silicon microphone (co-inventor: D. Hohm) in 1983.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen in 1959. After working in the United States at Bell Labs until 1975, he returned to academia in Germany. From 1975 up to 2000, he worked as a professor of electrical engineering at the Darmstadt University of Technology where he invented the silicon microphone. He is an IEEE fellow and holds over 100 international patents and 18 US; the first one, US3,118,022, with James E. West, was issued on January 14, 1964. Sessler is the author/editor of several books on electrets and acoustics. Furthermore, he is well known for his over 300 scientific papers in prestigious international magazines and journals. In the year 2000, he was awarded an honorary doctors degree from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
He is currently Professor emeritus at Darmstadt University of Technology and still active in research.
Gerhard Sessler is married to Renate Sessler and has
Herbert Franz Mataré (22 September 1912 – 2 September 2011) was a German physicist. The focus of his research was the field of semiconductor research. His best-known work is the first functional "European" transistor, which he developed and patented together with Heinrich Welker in the vicinity of Paris in 1948, at the same time and independently from the Bell Labs engineers. The final 20 years of his life Mataré split time between his homes in Hückelhoven, Germany and Malibu, California.. Born in Aachen, he is the nephew of the sculptor Ewald Mataré (1887–1965) and father of architect Vitus Mataré (1955.)
Mataré completed his studies in mathematics, chemistry, electrochemistry, nuclear physics and solid-state physics at the Technical University of Aachen with degree "Diplom-Ingenieur" in Applied Physics. In addition, he studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the University of Geneva.
In 1939 he joined the Telefunken research laboratory in Berlin. At that time it became obvious that the miniaturization of vacuum tubes had met a technical limit and that alternative solutions had to be sought using solid state circuits and principles of the previous transistor inventions of
Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof ( /ˈzɑːmɨnhɒf/; born Leyzer Leyvi Zamengov; December 15, 1859 – April 14, 1917) was a Polish doctor, linguist, and the creator of Esperanto, the most successful constructed language designed for international communication.
Zamenhof was born on December 15 (December 3 OS), 1859 in the town of Białystok in the Russian Empire (now part of Poland). He has stated that his mother tongue was Russian, but he also spoke Yiddish and Polish; and that became the native language of his children. His father was a teacher of German, and he also spoke that language fluently. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and English, and had an interest in Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian.
In addition to the Yiddish-speaking Jewish majority, the population of Białystok was made up of four other ethnic groups: Lithuanians, Poles, Germans, and Belarusians. Zamenhof was saddened and frustrated by the many quarrels among these groups. He supposed that the main reason for the hate and prejudice lay in the mutual misunderstanding caused by the lack of one common language. If such a language existed, Zamenhof postulated, it could play the role of a neutral communication tool
Solomon Andrews (1806-1872) was an aviator and dirigible airship inventor. The difference of specific gravity between the balloon and the surrounding atmosphere could be converted by a system of inclined planes to steer the craft, without a motor. He referred to his propulsion as "gravitation." The craft was not normally trimmed to be neutrally buoyant. Instead it would be cycled between positive and negative buoyancy. The resulting airflow across the body of the craft and attached airfoils would propel it. (Picture a glider alternately rising and falling through the air.) He claimed to sail it as one would a sailboat. Mention is made of the movement of pilot and passenger fore and aft in the basket to control attitude. He was a medical doctor and three times Mayor of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He constructed the city's first sewer system.
He was born in 1806 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
His first "Aereon" flew over Perth Amboy on June 1, 1863. This had three 80-foot cigar-shaped balloons, with a rudder and gondola. Buoyancy was controlled by jettisoning sand ballast or releasing hydrogen lift gas. Dr. Andrews wrote Abraham Lincoln later that summer offering the Aereon for use in the
Walter Hunt (July 29, 1796 – June 8, 1859) was an American mechanic. He was born in Martinsburg, New York. Through the course of his work he became renowned for being a prolific inventor, notably of the lockstitch sewing machine (1833), safety pin (1849), a forerunner of the Winchester repeating rifle, a successful flax spinner, knife sharpener, streetcar bell, hard-coal-burning stove, artificial stone, street sweeping machinery, the velocipede, and the ice plough.
Walter Hunt did not realize the significance of many of these when he invented them; today, many are widely-used products. He thought little of the safety pin, selling the patent for a paltry sum of $400 (roughly $10,000 in 2008 dollars) to the company W R Grace and Company, to pay a man to whom he owed $15. He failed to patent his sewing machine at all, because he feared that it would create unemployment among seamstresses. (This led to an 1854 court case when the machine was re-invented by Elias Howe; Hunt's machine shown to have design flaws limiting its practical use). In seeking patents for his inventions, Hunt used the services of Charles Grafton Page, a patent solicitor who had previously worked at the US Patent
Albert Fonó (b. 2 July 1881 in Budapest, d. 21 November 1972 in Budapest), born an Austro-Hungarian, who later became a successful Hungarian mechanical engineer who was one of the early pioneers of turbojet and ramjet propulsion and was first to patent a ramjet engine in 1928, (granted in 1932).
Fonó graduated from the József Technical University in Budapest in 1903 and travelled widely, gaining experience working for German, Belgian, French and Swiss manufacturers, before attaining his Ph.D.
His main specialty was energetics. He had 46 patents in 20 topics of research, including a steam boiler and an air compressor for mines. In 1915 he devised a solution for increasing the range of artillery, comprising a gun-launched projectile combined with a ramjet propulsion unit. This was to make it possible to obtain a long range with low initial muzzle velocities, allowing heavy shells to be fired from relatively lightweight guns. Fonó submitted his invention to the Austro-Hungarian Army but the proposal was rejected.
After World War I Fonó returned to the subject of jet propulsion, in May 1928 describing an "air-jet engine" (now called a ramjet) which he described as being suitable for
Aurel Vlaicu (Romanian pronunciation: [a.uˈrel ˈvlajku] ( listen); November 19, 1882 – September 13, 1913) was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot.
Aurel Vlaicu was born in the village of Binţinţi (now Aurel Vlaicu) near Geoagiu, Transylvania. He attended Calvinist High School in Orăştie (renamed "Liceul Aurel Vlaicu" in his honour in 1919) and took his Baccalaureate in Sibiu in 1902. He furthered his studies at Technical University of Budapest and Technische Hochschule München in Germany, earning his engineer's diploma in 1907.
After working at Opel car factory in Rüsselsheim, he returned to Binţinţi and built a glider he flew in the summer of 1909. Later that year he moved to Bucharest in the Kingdom of Romania, where he began the construction of Vlaicu Nr. I airplane that flew for the first time on June 17, 1910 over Cotroceni airfield.
With his Vlaicu Nr. II model, built in 1911, Aurel Vlaicu won several prizes summing 7,500 Austro-Hungarian krone (for precise landing, projectile throwing and tight flying around a pole) in 1912 at Aspern Air Show near Vienna, where he competed against 42 other aviators of the day, including Roland Garros.
Burrhus Frederic "B. F." Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.
Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called radical behaviorism, and founded his own school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. His analysis of human behavior culminated in his work Verbal Behavior, which has recently seen enormous increase in interest experimentally and in applied settings.
Skinner discovered and advanced the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He invented the cumulative recorder to measure rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement. In a June 2002 survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.
Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to William and Grace Skinner. His father was a lawyer. He became an atheist after a liberal
Claude Chappe (December 25, 1763 – January 23, 1805) was a French inventor who in 1792 demonstrated a practical semaphore system that eventually spanned all of France. This was the first practical telecommunications system of the industrial age, making Chappe the first telecom mogul with his "mechanical internet."
Chappe was born in Brûlon, Sarthe, France, the grandson of a French baron. He was raised for church service, but lost his sinecure during the French Revolution. He was educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen.
He and his four unemployed brothers decided to develop a practical system of semaphore relay stations, a task proposed in antiquity, yet never realized.
Claude's brother, Ignace Chappe (1760–1829) was a member of the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. With his help, the Assembly supported a proposal to build a relay line from Paris to Lille (fifteen stations, about 120 miles), to carry dispatches from the war.
The Chappe brothers determined by experiment that the angles of a rod were easier to see than the presence or absence of panels. Their final design had two arms connected by a cross-arm. Each arm had seven positions, and the cross-arm
Ernő Rubik (Hungarian: [ˈrubik ˈɛrnøː]; born July 13, 1944) is a Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture. He is best known for the invention of mechanical puzzles including Rubik's Cube (1974), Rubik's Magic, Rubik's Magic: Master Edition, Rubik's Snake and Rubik's 360.
Ernő Rubik was born in Budapest, Hungary, July 13, 1944, during World War II. His father, Ernő Rubik, was a flight engineer at the Esztergom airplane factory, and his mother, Magdolna Szántó, was a poet. He graduated from the Technical University, Budapest (Műszaki Egyetem) Faculty of Architecture in 1967 and began postgraduate studies in sculpting and interior architecture. From 1971 to 1975 he worked as an architect, then became a professor at the Budapest College of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Főiskola). He has spent all his life in Hungary.
In the early 1980s, he became editor of a game and puzzle journal called ...És játék (...And games), then became self-employed in 1983, founding the Rubik Stúdió, where he designed furniture and games. In 1987 he became professor with full tenure; in 1990 he became the president of the Hungarian Engineering Academy (Magyar Mérnöki Akadémia). At the
Ford Motor Company (also known as simply Ford; NYSE: F) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. In the past it has also produced heavy trucks, tractors and automotive components. Ford owns small stakes in Mazda of Japan and Aston Martin of the United Kingdom. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership.
Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914 these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States since
Franz Xaver Gabelsberger (February 9, 1789 – January 4, 1849, both in Munich) was a German inventor of a shorthand writing system, named Gabelsberger shorthand after him.
Gabelsberger, employed as typist by the Bavarian government, started to develop a new shorthand system at age of 28. His system was first fully described in the textbook Anleitung zur deutschen Redezeichenkunst oder Stenographie (1834) and became rapidly used. He is buried in the Alter Südfriedhof in Munich.
Georges Claude (September 24, 1870 – May 23, 1960) was a French engineer and inventor. He is noted for his early work on the industrial liquefaction of air, for the invention and commercialization of neon lighting, and for a large experiment on generating energy by pumping cold seawater up from the depths. Considered by some to be "the Edison of France", he was an active collaborator with the German occupiers of France during the Second World War, for which he was imprisoned in 1945 and stripped of his honors.
Georges Claude studied at the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI). He then held several positions. He was an electrical inspector in a cable factory and the laboratory manager in an electric works. He founded and edited a magazine, L'Étincelle Électrique (The Electric Spark); his important friendship with Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval apparently dates from this time. About 1896, Claude learned of the explosion risk for bottled acetylene, which was used at the time for lighting. Acetylene is explosive when stored under pressure. Claude showed that acetylene dissolved well in acetone, equivalent to storing it under 25 atmospheres of
Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (1793–1875) was a surgeon, chemist, lecturer, consultant, architect, builder and prototypical British gentleman scientist and inventor of the Victorian period.
Amongst many accomplishments, he developed the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, and later applied its principles to a novel form of illumination, the Bude light; developed a series of early steam-powered road vehicles; and laid claim—still discussed and disputed today—to the blastpipe, a key component in the success of steam locomotives, engines, and other coal-fired systems.
Events surrounding the failure of his steam vehicle enterprise gave rise to controversy in his time, with considerable polarisation of opinion. His daughter Anna Jane Gurney (1816-1895) was devoted to him. During her lifetime, she engaged in an extraordinary campaign to ensure the blastpipe was seen as his invention.
Gurney was born in the village of Treator near Padstow, Cornwall on 14 February 1793. His unusual Christian name was his grandmother's surname but taken from his godmother who was a Maid of Honour to Queen Charlotte. The Gurney family was long-established, and could trace its lineage back to the Counts de Gourney, who arrived
Harold Burroughs Rhodes (December 28, 1910 - December 17, 2000) was the inventor of the Army Air Corps Piano, the Pre-piano and the Rhodes piano. Rhodes started his career by running piano schools around the United States.
Henri Marie Coandă (Romanian pronunciation: [ɑ̃ˈri maˈri ˈko̯andə]; 7 June 1886 – 25 November 1972) was a Romanian inventor, aerodynamics pioneer and builder of an experimental aircraft, the Coandă-1910 described by Coandă in the mid-1950s as the world's first jet, a controversial claim disputed by some and supported by others. He invented a great number of devices, designed a "flying saucer" and discovered the Coandă effect of fluid dynamics.
Born in Bucharest, Coandă was the second child of a large family. His father was General Constantin Coandă, a mathematics professor at the National School of Bridges and Roads. His mother, Aida Danet, was the daughter of French physician Gustave Danet, and was born in Brittany. He was later to recall that even as a child he was fascinated by the miracle of wind.
Coandă attended Elementary school at the Petrache Poenaru Communal School in Bucharest, then (1896) Began his secondary school career at the Liceu Sf. Sava (Saint Sava National College). After three years (1899), his father, who desired a military career for him, had him transferred to the Military High School in Iaşi where he required four additional years to complete high-school. He
Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim (February 5, 1840 – November 24, 1916) was an American-born inventor who emigrated to the United Kingdom at the age of forty-one, although he remained an American citizen until he became a naturalized British subject in 1900. He was the inventor of the Maxim Gun – the first portable, fully automatic machine gun – and an elaborate mousetrap. He laid a claim to inventing the lightbulb, and even experimented with powered flight, but his large aircraft designs were never successful. However, his "Captive Flying Machine" amusement ride, designed as a means by which to fund his research while generating public interest in flight, was highly successful.
Maxim was born in Sangerville, Maine in the United States in 1840. He became an apprentice coachbuilder at the age of 14 and ten years later took up a job at the machine works of his uncle, Levi Stephens, at Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He subsequently worked as an instrument maker and as a draughtsman. (His early jobs in these arenas led him to often be disappointed with workers when he ran his own companies later on in life.)
His brother, Hudson Maxim, was also a military inventor, specializing in explosives. They
James Paris Lee (August 9, 1831 – February 24, 1904) was a Scottish-Canadian and later American inventor and arms designer, best known for inventing the bolt action that led to the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield series of rifles.
Born in Hawick, Scotland Lee emigrated with his family to Galt, Ontario in Canada in 1836 at age 5. He built his first gun at the age of 12, using an old horse-pistol barrel, a newly carved walnut stock, and a priming pan made from a halfpenny. The gun failed to function effectively when first fired, but started Lee's interest in gunsmithing and invention.
In 1858, James Lee and his wife Caroline Lee (née Chrysler, of the later automotive family) moved to Wisconsin, where they had two sons- William (born in 1859) and George (1860).
In 1861, Lee successfully developed a breechloading cartridge conversion for the Springfield Model 1861 Rifled Musket, managing to acquire a contract for 1,000 rifles from the US Army during the American Civil War. The Lee civil War carbine was manufactured in Milwaukee, WI. 200 were delivered, but due to a bore diameter error, these were rejected by the army and the weapon did not see use in the Civil War. These guns are rare and
John Boyd Dunlop (5 February 1840 – 23 October 1921) was a Scottish inventor. He was one of the founders of the rubber company that bore his name, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.
He was born on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and studied to be a veterinary surgeon at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh, a profession he pursued for nearly ten years at home, moving to Downpatrick, Ireland, in 1867. He established Downe Veterinary Clinic in Downpatrick with his brother James Dunlop before moving to a practice in 38-42 May Street, Belfast. He was a good friend of Queen Victoria.
In 1887, he developed the first practical pneumatic or inflatable tyre for his son's tricycle, tested it in Cherryvale sports ground, South Belfast and patented it on 7 December 1888.
Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's newly invented pneumatic tyres in 1889, winning the tyre's first ever races in Ireland and then England. The captain of the 'Belfast Cruisers Cycling Club', he became the first member of the public to purchase a bicycle fitted with pneumatic tyres, so Dunlop suggested he should use them in a race. On 18 May 1889 Hume won all four cycling events at the Queen's College Sports
Joshua Lionel Cowen (August 25, 1877-September 8, 1965), born Joshua Lionel Cohen, was an American inventor and the cofounder of Lionel Corporation, a manufacturer of model railroads and toy trains.
Cowen invented the flash-lamp in 1899, an early photographer's flash light source. He did not invent the flashlight as many sources say. David Misell, a British subject, did patent it - in turn immediately selling it to Conrad Hubert, the person that introduced it to the world through his novelty shop that eventually became Ever Ready Company.
The eighth of nine children of Jewish immigrants and a college dropout (he enrolled both at Columbia University and the City College of New York), Cowen received his first patent in 1899, for a device that ignited a photographer's flash. The same year, Cowen received a defense contract from the United States Navy to produce mine fuses that netted him $12,000. The following year, Cowen and one of his partners founded Lionel Corporation in New York City.
Cowen had built his first toy train at age 7, attaching a small motor under a model of a railroad flatcar. Cowen sold his first electric train in 1901 to a store owner in Manhattan, intending to use
Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848 – December 11, 1928) was an African American inventor and draftsman.
Lewis Howard Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts on September 4, 1848, and was the youngest of five children of Rebecca Latimer (1826–1910) and George Latimer (July 4, 1818 - May 29, 1896). George Latimer had been the slave of James B. Gray of Virginia. George Latimer ran away to freedom in Trenton, New Jersey in October,1842, along with his wife Rebecca, who had been the slave of another man. When Gray, the owner, appeared in Boston to take them back to Virginia, it became a noted case in the movement for abolition of slavery, gaining the involvement of such abolitionists as William Lloyd Garrison. Eventually funds were raised to pay Gray $400 for the freedom of George Latimer. Lewis Latimer joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 15 on September 16, 1863, and served as a Landsman on the USS Massasoit. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy on July 3, 1865, he gained employment as an office boy with a patent law firm, Crosby Halstead and Gould, with a $3.00 per week salary. He learned how to use a set square, ruler, and other tools. Later, after his boss
Theodor Bergmann (May 21, 1850 in Sailauf - March 23, 1931 in Gaggenau) was a German businessman and industrialist best remembered for the various revolutionary firearms his companies released. Like many entrepreneurs of the era, his activity was centered on bicycles and the nascent automobile. Armament was not Bergmann's primary focus, but the one he had more attraction to, which was the reason most of his pistols were manufactured under license once they were created, creating pistols and their ammunition.
Theodor Bergmann sold his automobile activity to Carl Benz in 1910.
The first automatic pistol was made by the Clair brothers working in Saint-Étienne, France using the newly appeared smokeless powder, created by Paul Vieille in 1884 and used in the 1886 Lebel rifle, built a pistol in 1888 using a 8mm round derived from the Swiss 7.5mm 1882 round, but it was rejected by the French Army.
The first pistol to be really manufactured with a significant number was designed by an Austrian, Joseph Laumann, and made by Osterreichische Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft, Steyr in 1892. It was called the Schönberger-Laumann and drew an immediate success. OWG later manufactured the Mannlicher
Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.
His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories