Last Update: May 22nd, 2022
Right at the front row seats, the world has borne witness to the finest minds to ever grace existence. These minds have changed the very way humanity views the essence of life, the universe, and all things that exist within it.
From the great minds of Aristotle, the proponent and revolutionary thinker that built the bedrock of knowledge in many fields of sciences at the cradle of human society thousands of years ago, to the genius of Stephen Hawking who shaped the way society views the origins of the universe and the forces that exist in its thresholds, humanity has come far in discovering and exploring the God-given world it lives in.
Among the visionaries that have molded people’s perceptions of existence are innovators and trailblazers who have made the world a more comfortable place to live in. Such fine minds have produced inventions and technology that allow society to function more efficiently and more conveniently.
Inventions and technologies, like the development of electricity, the discovery of alternative energies, light, and many other things have helped humanity leap forward into the future. The pioneers who made all these things possible can serve as inspiration to your growing kids who have found themselves exploring the world. Driven by their insatiable curiosities, the stories behind the greatest discoveries and creations in mankind can surely become teachable and learning moments for your developing and growing kids.
To help you make storytime more scientific, explorative, and fun, parents can use the world’s best inventors’ stories as compelling and entertaining tales. In this article are 25 of history’s greatest minds and their stories of discovery and contribution to humanity’s leap forward.
Thomas Edison was the golden standard of inventors and geniuses that represented the very essence of the era of Yankee ingenuity. Edison, regarded as the ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’ because of the sheer volume of inventions he produced in his laboratory located in the city of California with the same name, was a prolific inventor, first inventing and developing the tin foil phonograph, Edison then takes part in creating a total of over 1,093 patents. His other inventions include work on light bulbs, electricity, film, and other auditory machinations.
Edison is also widely credited for creating the first industrial laboratory – a design that optimized a setting for maximum inventive production. His impact and contribution to the field of science and technology, while immeasurable, can be painted and explained through his own life. As he began his pursuit of science in 1863, in the blossoming yet still infantile telegraph industry, the only sources of power were things like ancient batteries that were only capable of handling low-voltage currents. Before he died in 1931, however, the world had radically changed through the introduction of modern age electricity which he had played an essential role in introducing to the world.
If you have yet to recognize it, the name Ford is imprinted on many luxurious, vintage, and top-of-the-line cars in this generation. That’s because it originates from a name that has etched itself onto automobile and transportation history.
Henry Ford, born July 30, 1863, was an engineering maestro and American industrialist turned business magnate who is best known for creating the Model T and founding the Ford Motor Company. He is also known for promoting the development of the mass production mechanism called the assembly line.
Throughout his lifetime, Ford has been known as an adept inventor and crafty businessman. Aside from the Model T, he also invented the Model A automobile, the widely popular Fordson farm tractor, the V8 engine, a submarine chaser, and the Ford Tri-Motor Passenger Airplane (also known as the Tin Goose).
Ford’s creations revolutionized the world’s automobile culture, transforming the exclusive and luxurious reputation of automobiles into an everyday necessity for every person. The Model T, especially, changed American society as you know it as it changed the very look of every street by empowering every American to own their own cars that they can maintain themselves. This led to the altering of the very fabric of urbanization patterns in cities and highways.
The creations Ford inspired sparked the growth of suburbia, the creation of the national highway system, and charmed an American population with the idea of possibly traveling to wherever they wanted to.
Despite clear Anti-Semitic tendencies, Ford and his company are known for being the first company to hire African-American, handicapped, and female workers and were never accused of treating employees of Jewish descent poorly.
Alexander Graham Bell
The name Alexander Graham Bell is often synonymous with the man who created the first-ever telephone. Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who has been widely accepted to be the creator of the first practical telephone and, in 1885, was co-founder of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company or the entity US consumers now know as AT&T.
Bell’s pursuit of this revolutionary discovery was not without its share of adventures. After several dead ends and obstacles and just a few amounts of success, Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson made a breakthrough on June 2, 1875. As Watson chanced upon an accident with the invention’s paraphernalia, Bell, who was at the receiving end of the wire, heard the first overtones from the invention.
These overtones would ultimately become the foundation of the “gallows” sound-powered telephone that was capable of transmitting sounds similar to voices but not clear speech. A year and a patent race after, at the age of 29 in 1876, Bell officially became the inventor of the telephone.
Many young minds who have had the chance to learn about their fair share of American history will know the man behind the name Benjamin Franklin. A revered statesman, politician, philosopher, and founding father, Benjamin Franklin was a great inventor as well, creating the lightning rod, the iron furnace stove or the Franklin Stove, bifocal glasses, and the odometer.
Franklin was known as a polymath, able to use his intellect and expertise that span many disciplines, arts, and sciences to solve problems and innovate technology. Aside from drafting the United States Declaration of Independence, he was one of the premier intellectuals of his era as he was also the first US postmaster general, and the hands that crafted many revolutionary inventions.
Benjamin, as one of the finest minds of his time, was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his studies and contributions to learning about electricity and its properties.
John Logie Baird
This inventor from Helensburgh, Dunbarton, Scotland is responsible for one of the greatest inventions in history. Born on August 13th, 1888, John Logie Baird is widely recognized as the inventor of mechanical television – the prototype that became the foundation of the television. Aside from this important contribution to science, information, and entertainment, Baird also patented inventions that contributed to radars and fiber optics.
Through his contributions, the world was introduced to the first televised pictures of objects in motion a few years later in 1924. A year later, in 1925, the first human face was televised. The first moving image of an object in motion was televised a year after, 1926, at the Royal Institution in London.
Baird was also at the helm of the 1928 trans-Atlantic transmission of the image of a human face – an event that is considered to be a broadcasting milestone for the ages. Color television, stereoscopic television, and television with the use of infrared light were also among the big innovations that were demonstrated by Baird before 1930 even rolled in.
Baird eventually lobbied for a broadcast time successfully with the British Broadcasting Company or BBC and changed the world forever using the Baird 30-line system in 1929.
The man who revolutionized and changed the literary front is Johannes Gutenberg; the German pioneer and inventor famous for his game-changing design of the printing machine capable of using movable type.
Born in the 1400s, Johannes Gutenburg was a talented blacksmith who developed the first-ever mechanical moveable type printing press. With the introduction of this invention to the world, humanity found a way to spark the progress of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Age of Enlightenment, all of which were heavily influenced by Gutenberg’s invention.
The printing press with movable type empowered humanity in preserving the body of knowledge by making the creation of books possible, affordable, and accessible for the common man for the very first time. The same invention was used to publish the world’s oldest books and works of literature, the Gutenberg Bible, also known as the 42-Line Bible.
George Washington Carver
An agricultural chemist and inventor, George Washington Carver was a visionary who found and cultivated over 300 uses for peanuts. Adding to his already historic repertoire, he also found hundreds of uses for soybeans, pecan, and sweet potatoes. Carver’s work on agriculture provided the people of the South with a purpose and livelihood and changed the history of the field in the region forever.
Born in the first few hours of 1864, New Year’s Day, the genius from Diamond Grove, Missouri’s agricultural discoveries and research allowed southern farmers to empower themselves economically through the recipes he developed to enhance existing products such as adhesives, axles, grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, ink, instant coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder, and wood stain.
Carver, throughout his childhood, was impoverished and lived in difficult and changing times as the Civil War reached its end. As a child, Carver and his own mother were kidnapped by Confederate night raiders to be sent away to unknown and far-flung places.
The mechanical engineer behind the first-ever cotton gin was Eli Whitney, born in December 1765, and was an inventor and a genius manufacturer. Whitney’s creation, the cotton gin, was a significant part of the American Industrial Revolution as it transformed a once low-income cotton industry into a highly profitable crop. In fact, the cotton gin single-handedly rejuvenated the Antebellum South economy. Unfortunately, it sustained enslavement as an important part of economic and social aspects in the Southern States, but it was also for this reason that the American Civil War reached a boiling point.
The cotton gin itself is an industrial marvel. When Whitney built the first working model, removing the seeds from the raw cotton fiber was a laboriously intense process. Thanks to the cotton gin, manufacturers were able to produce 60 pounds of clean and ready to weave cotton. The same process, through hand cleaning, used to only produce a few pounds for a day’s work.
Have you ever played basketball? If you have, have you ever thought about whoever invented the game millions of people now love and watch every day? The answer to this question is James Naismith, a Canadian sports coach put together a soccer ball and a basket for peaches to create an eventual multi-billion sport beloved across the globe.
In December 1891 at Springfield Massachusetts YMCA, James Naismith introduced his game to a group of people. Over the next ten years, Naismith worked on enhancing the game, its rules, and its popularity. It wasn’t until 1936 that the game officially appeared in the Olympic Games in Berlin for the first time.
Naismith reviewed and integrated the ball materials and rules of play for many popular sports at the time like rugby, lacrosse, football, and soccer. With the principles of these sports in mind, Naismith was able to develop a basic game that had players throwing a soccer ball into a pair of peach baskets to outscore one another. However, he had two concerns: 1) he felt like a soccer ball was too big and 2) he wanted to reduce the amount of rough play under the basket.
After countless experiments, he realized that rough play near the basket was simply unavoidable. Players, in their determination to get the ball would be tackled constantly. To protect the players from rough play, he established the first 13 rules of the game and called the new sport: basketball.
Herman Hollerith is the inventor of the punch-card tabulation machine system for statistical computation, an invention that would help people organize and tabulate data more efficiently. Built in 1881, the tabulation machine was first designed to help tabulate census data in lieu of the traditional hand or analog methods.
To complete the 1880 census, it took the US Census Bureau to gather and analyze their data. But with Hollerith’s innovation, it would be substantially more efficient through the use of electricity to read, count, and arrange punched cards that contain holes that represent data gathered by the census takers. Through this invention, the 1890 census that was projected to take about a decade to complete was achieved in just one full year.
Hollerith’s invention is considered to be the ignition to what would become automated computation. The device was made to automatically read the information that has been punched into a card.
The idea from the punch card tabulation was inspired by Hollerith’s observation of a train conductor punching tickets. With the help of silk weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard, they were able to innovate a way of automatically controlling the form of the threads on a silk loom through the recording of patterns and holes in a string of cards.
Nikola Tesla is one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever seen. Born on July 10, 1856, the Serbian-American was a highly acclaimed inventor, electrical engineer, and futurist. While he never sought patents for many of his great inventions, he’s still known to possess nearly 300 patents.
Tesla is best known for his role in revolutionizing the modern three-phase alternating current electric power supply system. He also invented the tesla coil, one of the early milestones in the field of radio transmission.
Many of his patents remain unaccounted for or archived as his career had run into many impediments. Tragically, many of his important projects were stolen. Despite this, however, he holds patents in 26 different countries like the United States, Britain, and Canada.
Tesla’s legacy, however, outlived him. His story has inspired millions and he has become an icon in modern pop culture, often referred to in books, video games, TV series, and movies. He was awarded the Edison Medal in 1917, recognized to be the most coveted electrical prize in the United States.
Best remembered for his contributions in releasing one of the first lines of working computers in existence that fundamentally sparked the digital age, Steve Jobs is a generational inventor and entrepreneur who embodies the meaning of persistence and ingenuity.
Born on February 24, 1955, Jobs teamed up with fellow visionary Steve Wozniak to forge some of the first PCs to ever exist as co-founders of Apple Computers. Aside from his excellence in inventing modern marvels, Jobs was also a talented businessman and entrepreneur, establishing and investing in several notable companies and businesses that still exist and thrive today.
A multimillionaire by the age of 30, Jobs was the founder of NeXT Computers, he purchased the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd. and co-founded Pixar, a name recognizable till this very day for their work as an animation studio.
As the tail end of the 70s approached, Jobs and Wozniak had accumulated all the knowledge and expertise that they needed to build the first design of personal computers. All they had at the time was Jobs’ family garage as their base of operation. With a team to support the geniuses who led at the helm, they were able to produce 50 functioning computers that were purchased by a local Mountain View electronics shop called Byte Shop. On April 1, 1979, on the heels of their first success, they started Apple Computers Inc.
Jobs is a pioneer through and through, whose impact is embraced and felt in many aspects of today’s business, communication, and design. His obsession for perfection has shaped the very technological landscape that exists today. It was their design of Apple PCs that molded the way in which humanity thinks, creates, and interacts; opening a new world of endless possibilities for the human race.
Tim Berners – Lee
Regarded as the Father of the Internet, Tim Berners – Lee was the mind that lead the development of the World Wide Web, defining the hypertext markup language or HTML (used in web page creation), the HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP, and the URLs or Universal Resource Locators. Within only the span of three years, from 1989 to 1991, Lee and his team developed these complex concepts and introduced the internet to the world.
An Oxford University alumnus and a native of London, England, Lee still shares his brilliance with the world as the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, a group that oversees the setting of the technical standards for the web.
He does, however, share the honor of creating the internet with Vinton Cerf, a man who, just 10 years out of high school, co-designed and co-developed the protocols that would eventually become the structure of what evolved to become the internet you know today.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Arguably, there would be no other person in history that could embody the very essence of the renaissance other than Leonardo Da Vinci. The term Renaissance Man originates from 15th century Italy; a term that was coined to address a person who possesses a wide set of expertise in several areas of study. A Renaissance Man himself, Leonardo Da Vince was not only a gifted artist – but was also a scientist, an architect, an engineer, and an inventor.
Given that his work as an artist far precedes his reputation as a man of science, studies reveal that he actually spent more time working on his inventions and technology than honing his skills as an artist. Records show that he used his talents to construct detailed sketches of his inventions. In fact, it was later discovered that the inventions that Da Vinci had envisioned were ahead of his own time, his sketchbook detailing ideas that possessed ideas that technology of their time could not support.
Da Vinci, despite the limitations of their technology, designed weapons of war, machines for flight, water systems, and tools. Much like his artistic alter ego, the inventor within Da Vinci was daring and creative.
Robert Fulton was a pioneer in subaquatic voyages and seafaring, having invented two revolutionary transport vessels that would change the world in many ways. Fulton is the creator of the Nautilus, widely recognized as the first-ever submarine, and the steamboat that makes use of a steam engine to power vessels at sea.
Fulton created the Nautilus when he moved to Paris, France in 1797. As the first vessel that was ever designed and tested to move underwater, it is strongly considered that Fulton, through the Nautilus, created the first-ever submarine. Subjecting its constitution to many tests, the submarine has worked well in navigating and moving through underwater conditions through its hand-cranked screw propeller. The initial tests yielded astonishing results; the Nautilus was able to stay submerged in water to depths of about 25 feet, lasting for an hour before it needed to reappear on the surface.
Fulton, being a perfectionist, wanted to push his creation further. However, he needed more resources to create better designs and more submarines. After a meeting with Napoleon set up by some trusted friends, Fulton was met with skepticism. The French conqueror promised to pay the inventor only after the submarine had sunk a British ship. However, after a meeting with the British forces, Fulton was given an offer to join forces with them instead.
After finding success with the designs for the first submarine, Fulton moved on to his next project: powering sea vessels with the power of steam engines. After some trial and error with new partners, Fulton was able to run a successful test of the first steamboat in England. Despite the British’s attempts at monopolizing steam power and their reluctance in allowing Fulton to introduce the newfound innovation to the United States, steamboats found their way to the Newfound land after two years of hard work.
Louis Daguerre, born November 18, 1787, was a pioneer and the inventor of the daguerreotype who paved the way for the prevalence of what is known as modern-day photography. The daguerreotype, a process Daguerre created to capture still images, is broadly accepted as the first form of modern photography. This is the reason why Daguerre is invariably considered to be one of the Fathers of Photography,
Daguerre was a professional painter who catered to changing scenes of an opera. He was particularly interested in lighting effects so he began experimenting with the effect of light when used on translucent paintings throughout the 1820s. Due to his work with light, paintings, and the resulting images, he has become one of the primary proponents of photography in general.
The daguerreotype is a direct-positive process that results in the creation of an intricately elaborate image embedded on a sheet of copper, plated by a small amount of silver coating, making the use of a negative unnecessary. The process is delicate as the silver surface of the copper plate required cleaning until it was as clean as a mirror. The plate goes through a sensitive process that ultimately allows it to capture images.
Due to his contributions to contemporary practices and culture, Daguerre is often viewed as the actual father of modern photography. His invention was seen as a democratic medium that allowed and provided the middle classes to acquire portraits that are affordable and accessible. The fame of the daguerreotype, however, did spiral upon the discovery of a more efficient and less expensive photographic innovation.
The Lumiere Brothers
After Antoine Lumiere attended an Edison exhibition of the Kinetoscope in Paris, he showed his sons, Auguste and Louis, a part of the mechanism which he retrieved from the concessionaires. From there, Auguste and Louis would create an invention that would innovate entertainment forever through the creation of the Cinematographe, later paving the way for a whole new art form, cinema.
Auguste started working on their invention in the winter of 1894. Louis drew inspiration from a sewing machine to create a mechanism in the Cinematographe that would allow the film to be transported through the camera. The result of their innovation would be a versatile device that would allow users to record, develop, and project motion pictures.
The novelty that the Lumiere Brothers created has come down in history as the world’s first film camera. Auguste and Louis wasted no time and used their new invention to capture the activity of the workers in their factory. The footage from this maiden shoot ended up becoming the “La Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine Lumière” (“Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”), the film that was unveiled at an industrial meeting in Paris that is now considered to be the first motion picture in history in March 1895.
The Lumiere Brothers implemented several private screenings before they shared the Cinematographe through a public show held on December 28, 1895. They held the public show at the Grand Cafe in Paris’ Boulevard de Capuchines where an astonished audience laid their eyes on the earliest cinematic materials.
Just a few months later, in early 1896, the Lumiere Brothers would open theaters specifically for the Cinematographe in various countries like London, Brussels, Belgium, and New York. That same year, the Cinematographe reached many milestones as 40 films about daily French life were shown in that year alone, the first newsreel was exhibited to the public, and the first documentaries were released for viewing as well. The newsreel was footage of the French Photographic Society Conference while the first documentary followed the Lyon Fire Department.
After these milestones, the Lumiere Brothers shared their technology with the world, sending other cameramen-projectionists out all over the world to capture content from all sorts of places and record the lives that go on in different communities to demonstrate their amazing creation.
Madam C.J Walker
The first Black woman millionaire of America, Madam C. J. Walker was a visionary that uncovered and shared the secret systems for beauty that her fellow African-American people were long denied.
Born Sarah Breedlove to enslaved parents in 1867, Walker became a millionaire through a homebrewed brand of hair care products that specifically cater to the special locks of African American women. Her inspiration in brewing a product for hair is rooted in her own experience with hair loss. Drawing on her desire for the availability of products for Black women’s hair, Walker created and introduced the Walker System for hair care.
With the help of her entrepreneurial suave and business acumen, Walker was able to establish a business empire. Her knack for self-promotion forged a market conquest that sold products directly to Black women. Later, with the help of beauty culturalists, she was able to sell her product by hand.
Walker, with a love for her own people, was also a philanthropist of great kindness. She shared her fortune with women by providing scholarships to the female students of the Tuskegee Institute and was generous in donating huge sums of her wealth to the NAACP, the Black YMCA, and various other charities.
The Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers, Orville, and Wilbur have always been interested in all things related to flight ever since they were young. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, the Wrights’ favorite toy was a
rubber band-powered helicopter-looking vehicle.
With its blades and airborne capabilities, the toy had captured Orville and Wilbur’s fascination/ This led to the formation of the Wright Brothers’ dreams of one day giving humanity its own wings by creating a machine capable of flight big enough to be manned by them both.
Orville and Wilbur, in 1900, moved their ventures from Ohio to North Carolina where they began their tests in creating machines capable of flight. Kitty Hawk, in particular, seemed like a perfect spot for testing the first airplanes because of its strong breezes and sandy geography where they can land softly in emergency cases.
The brothers first conducted tests with kites before experimenting with gliders. Both Orville and Wilbur separately piloted the gliders during their testing process. Three years into their experimentation, in 1903, the Wright Brothers made a breakthrough in building an airplane called the Wright Flyer I. The model was equipped with wooden propellers Orville and Wilbur crafted themselves and a gasoline engine to power its flight.
After weeks of trial and error, their unsuccessful attempts finally bore fruit when the craft, with adjustments in form, flew for 12 seconds. On December 17, 1903, with an additional layer of fabric attached to the wings for a stronger constitution, the plane flew for 120 feet before successfully landing. These events and the few more times the Wright brothers flew the craft that day were the first successful flight documentation of an engine-powered plane in history.
Italian physicist and inventor Guglielmo Marconi created a successful wireless telegraph system in 1896. Born in Bologna, Italy on April 25, 1874, Marconi won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909 for his contribution to the study that led to his discoveries with German Physicist Ferdinan Braun, with whom he shared the award as well. Afterward, Marconi also developed a working shortwave wireless communication mechanism that eventually became the very foundation and basis of almost all modern long-distance radio systems.
Aside from the Nobel Prize for Physics that he received in 1909, Marconi also received several accolades, honorary degrees, and decorations for his work in science and technology. In addition to the recognition he received for the development of wireless telegraphy, he was also sent as a plenipotentiary delegate to the peace conference in Paris in 1919. He was a signatory of peace treaties with Austria and Bulgaria. Marconi, 1929, also created marchese and was nominated to the Italian senate. A year later, in 1930, he was chosen to become the president of the Royal Italian Academy in 1930.
Charles R. Drew
The popularity and efficacy of bloodmobiles in modern times can be attributed to the creativity and innovation of an African-American surgeon named Dr. Charles Drew. Dr. Drew, at some point, managed two of the largest blood banks at the height of World War II as he personally invented a way to process and store blood plasma.
Born in 1904, the African-American surgeon was dubbed the father of the blood bank for his impact in developing its very existence. Dr. Drew conceptualized, organized, and directed the very first American large-scale block banking program as World War II reared its head.
Despite being best known for his work on the blood bank, Dr. Drew also devoted his life and career to advocating for and raising the standards of African American medical education at the prestigious Howard University. Using his expertise, he trained an entire generation of excellent medical practitioners and surgeons to push the boundaries of his fellow African-American people to break through the chains of segregation that the US society has imposed on his people.
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
Belonging to an exclusive class of her own as one of the first three modern programmers to ever walk the Earth, Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was a pioneer in programming as a computer specialist and naval officer. Hopper is prominently known for igniting the development of computer languages. Boasting a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mathematics that she received in 1930 and 1934 respectively, Hopper is known to be sharp-tongued, irreverent, and brilliant throughout her long and illustrious career in the US Navy and many other private sectors.
Fortunately, Hopper was able to benefit from an unusual yet opportune time for women where an increased number of women were receiving doctorates with ease from the 1920s to the 1930s. The rates at which women were receiving doctorates in this span of time remained unmatched until the turn of the 1980s. During World War II, Hopper displayed exceptional success in male-dominated organizations, including the US Navy.
World War II also created opportunities for women to enter the workforce in greater numbers. Nonetheless, Hopper’s success in a male-dominated field and in male-dominated organizations, including the U.S. Navy, was exceptional. When she joined the US Naval Reserve, under the Women’s Reserve, in 1943, Hopper was assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University where she directly worked with Howard Aiken, a prodigy who developed the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or known to the world as Mark I and one of the first electromechanical computers. Hopper contributed to the programming of the Mark I and punched machine instructions onto tape. She also wrote the 561-paged Mark I user manual.
Thomas David Petite
A member of the Native American Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribe and American inventor, Thomas David Petite, born May 30, 1956, is the founder of the Native American Intellectual Property Enterprise Council. This organization, led by Petite himself, was a non-profit organization that provided aid to Native American communities and encouraged their people’s inventors as well.
Petite is a prolific inventor, having registered over 100 US patents pending ever since 1995 on ad hoc networks. In fact, a listing on a number of his inventions is still visible at Patent Genius or through a search at the US Patent Office. Due to his great intellect and business acumen, Petite is often regarded as a trailblazing scientist and engineer whose early inventions prove that he possesses a mind ahead of his time. Observation of his creation led experts to believe that Petite exhibited a foresight that accurately predicts the technology progression with business values.
His contributions to innovating the Smart Grid had earned him honors across the country renown all over the globe. He is an award-winning inventor decorated and honored by prestigious award-giving bodies and entities like the Georgia State Senate and Legal Zoom.
Ralph H. Baer
Dubbed the “Father of the Video Game,” Ralph Henry Baer, born Rudolf Heinrich Baer, is an ingenious American engineer who was born in Germany and grew up as Hitler rose to power. Persecuted for being Jew in Southwestern Germany, his family sought refuge in the US in 1938 where he pursued to become a naturalized citizen.
Baer pursued his passion for electronics by enrolling in a radio technician course at the National Radio Institute. After completing the advanced course in 1940, he put his knowledge to work, providing his service to all types of home and auto radios. Baer conceptualized the Brown Box Console and spent about 50 years developing the foundation of an invention that would spark major military technology advancements that will help the US and the world.
His work on the BAE Systems’ legacy had made him an integral proponent of the birth of the video game industry, data visualization, and interactive technology that still help and play important roles and have military applications to this day.
Philo Taylor Farnsworth
As early as the age of 14, Philo Taylor Farnsworth had already conceptualized the idea of modern television. It was a dream of his that would eventually reshape the life ahead of him.
Farnsworth already knew he wanted to be an inventor as soon as he was six years old. During his lifetime, he had filed and held more than 300 patents that are related to a great deal of many things – but primarily, the television. One of his greatest works is the original fully electronic television system, which patent he would receive on August 26, 1930. This comes after about a decade of first visualizing an idea that became the foundation of the invention that humanity will come to embrace and love.
Admittedly, Farnsworth wasn’t necessarily the first person to conceptualize the television as an invention. He is, however, the first inventor to find a way to make it work solely electronically that eliminated the mechanical aspect. Farnsworth found a way to circumvent other inventors’ biggest problem in transmitting image data. The biggest innovation Farnsworth made to navigate problems other inventors were facing was to find a way to transmit image data through electronic technology. This way, the transmission wouldn’t be delayed by the limits of a mechanical image-transmitting system that has been widely used in early television prototypes.
Before Farnsworth secured the coveted television patent, he and his family faced a number of impediments. With his wife, Elma Gardner Farnsworth, he moved to California from Utah to be in close proximity to the motion-picture circles of the country and continue working on their invention. In 1927, the couple was able to achieve a breakthrough as they saw firsthand how their innovation exhibited its first transmission: a horizontal line that was transmitted to a receiver in the adjacent room. Two years later, they made a leap from just a single line to an image of Elma and her brother. This event made Elma, officially, the first woman ever on TV.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
The New York native, Marie Van Brittan Brown is the inventor of two major discoveries: the first home security system and the closed-circuit television. Born in Queens on October 22, 1922, Brown filed for the patent of the home security system in 1966. The design was so effective that it inspired the schemes for the security systems that are used to this day. Brown, while working as a nurse, noticed that her neighborhood wasn’t exactly the safest place to be in, so she understood the importance of vigilance and security for the people of her community,
Living in an area where the crime rate soars, Brown noticed that even when residents contact police authorities in cases of emergencies, the response times are observably slow. Taking matters into her own hands, she searched for ways to augment personal security. She created a system that would enable her to keep track of who was at home and allow her to contact authorities as fast as possible.
With the use of peepholes, cameras, monitors, and a two-way microphone, Brown’s invention became the foundation for the two-way communication and surveillance functions that exist in modern security. Perhaps the most important part of her invention was a button that was designed to call the authorities with just one push.