Inventors have been around for centuries. These are the people with vision and creativity. While some inventions can change or improve lives, others can change the world. Today huge research facilities are constantly trying to improve and create new ideas or improve on existing ones, but eventually the whole thing can be boiled down to one person with one idea. By nature the world’s greatest inventors make up a complicated list, as no matter who makes an appearance, there are always some great minds that are going to be left out. The interesting fact is that all inventors, from the guy tinkering in his garage to the university research center, are important not because of the product or item they are trying to create, but because they are challenging the norm and chasing a dream. Here are the top inventors that either helped change the world or make it a better place:
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell will forever be known as the man who invented the telephone. Born in 1847, he was granted the first ever US Patent for the telephone in 1876 at the age of 29. However, as many folks today can attest, what he really invented was long distance communication. The telephone allows for exchange of ideas over vast distances, and this communication is as important today as it was when it was invented. Bell would go on to make incredible headway in the world of aeronautics and optical telecommunications.
Thomas Edison lived from 1847 to 1931, and brought to life some gadgets that many folks enjoy to this day. Edison invented the phonograph and motion picture camera, but his most important invention was likely the light bulb. The light bulb was important because quite simply, life did not have stop when the sun went down. Business could stay open, and folks did not have to rely on dangerous lighting methods like gas, oil, or candles. Edison, in short, conquered the night. Edison worked long hours at his lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey, and the town has since been renamed, what else, Edison, NJ.
Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in a Serb village in Europe, and would later become an American citizen. Nikola Tesla is the reason many of us have power in our houses. The technology he helped pioneer was AC or alternating current electricity. Tesla’s research proved that AC power was much more efficient than DC power. Every time an appliance is plugged into an outlet in a house, Tesla should be thanked, as AC power makes it happen.
Benjamin Franklin pops up quite a bit in American History over the course of his life from 1706 to 1790. Of course, he invented the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and the Franklin stove. But his theories of electricity are what really help propel him onto this list. Without Ben Franklin, much of what is known about electricity would have been lost. And of course, there is little doubt as to how powerful an invention electricity has proved to be.
Born in 1906, Philo Farnsworth is a name many folks just do not know. However, there is a good chance they have seen the invention, which really marks his place on the map, the video camera tube, which used to the main unit of a television. Before his death in 1971, Farnsworth would also create a small nuclear fusion device, which would become an efficient way of creating neutrons; however, it is his electrical marvel that helped create the television that just about everyone knows and loves.
Inventions and innovators come from all walks of life. These five men helped improve the world in ways nobody really expected, or thought possible. By questioning certain ideals and challenging themselves, they created things that have inspired and enabled other great innovations. One idea turning into another, in essence that is what science and technology are all about: inspiration and the will to make dreams happen.