Fascinating facts and interesting stories

Famous inventors

Nils Alwall, (1904-1986), Sweden – the dialysis machine

Archimedes – (circa 287 BC-212 BC), Greece – various machines

Manfred von Ardenne, (1907-1997), Germany – elektron microscope and various technology inventions

William George Armstrong, (1810-1900), England – hydraulic crane

Joseph Aspdin, (1788-1855), England – artificial cement

John Vincent Atanasoff, (1903-1995), Bulgaria – modern computer

B

Charles Babbage, (1791-1871), England – Analytical engine

Leo Baekeland (1863-1944), Belgian-American – Velox photographic paper and Bakelite

Ralph Baer, (1922-), German born American – the home video game console

John Logie Baird, (1888-1946), Scotland – a working television

John Bardeen, (1908-1991), USA – co-inventor of the transistor

Trevor Baylis, (1937- ) – a wind-up radio

Arnold O. Beckman, (1900-2004), USA – pH meter

Karl Benz, (1844-1929), Germany – the petrol-powered automobile

Emile Berliner, (1851-1929), Germany and USA – the disc record gramophone

Tim Berners-Lee, (1955-), England – with Robert Cailliau, the World Wide Web

Bi Sheng, (?-1052), China – primitive movable printing types

Katherine Blodgett, (1898-1979), England – nonreflective glass

Claudio Artemio Blotta, b. 1936 Argentina, cutting circle device for pastry.

Nils Bohlin, (1920-2002), Sweden – the three-point seat belt

Joseph-Armand Bombardier, (1907-1964), Canada – snowmobile

Seth Boyden, (1788-1870), USA – invented a nail-making machine

Walter Houser Brattain, (1902-1987), USA – co-inventor of the transistor

Louis Braille, (1809-1852), France – the Braille writing system

Karl Ferdinand Braun, (1850-1918), Germany – cathode-ray tube oscilloscope

Edwin Beard Budding, (1795-1846) England – lawnmower

Roger Bacon, (1214-1292) England – magnifying glass

C

Ci Ln, (c. AD 50-121), China – paper

Marvin Camras, (1916 – 1995), USA – magnetic recording

Chester Carlson, (1906-1968) USA – electrophotography

Wallace Carothers, (1896-1937), USA – Nylon

Samuel Hunter Christie, (1784-1865), England – Wheatstone bridge

Christopher Cockerell, (1910-1999), England – Hovercraft

Jacques Cousteau, (1910-1997), France – co-inventor of the aqualung

Holger Crafoord, (1908-1982), Sweden – inventor of the artificial kidney

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, (1725-1804), France – automobile

Juan de la Cierva, (1895–1936), Spain – the autogyro

Richard Cinque, (1960-Current), USA – Sock Clip, Plate Caddy

William Cullen, (1710-1790), Scotland – first artificial refrigerator

D

Gustaf Daln, (1869-1937), Sweden – invented the AGA Lighthouse

Salvino D’Armate – credited for inventing eyeglasses in 1284

Lee DeForest, (1873-1961), USA – triode, amongst others

James Dewar, (1842-1923), Scotland – Thermos flask

William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, (1860-1935), Scotland – motion picture camera

Rudolf Diesel, (1858-1913), Germany – Diesel engine

Karl Drais (1785-1851), Germany – bicycle (Draisine)

Cornelius Drebbel, (1572-1633), The Netherlands – first navigable submarine

Richard Drew, USA – Scotch (or cellophane) tape

E

George Eastman, (1854-1932), USA – roll film

Thomas Edison, (1847-1931), USA – phonograph, commercially practical light bulb, amongst others

Willem Einthoven, (1860-1927), Netherlands – the electrocardiogram

Douglas Engelbart, (1925-), USA – the computer mouse

Rune Elmqvist (1857-1924), Sweden – implantable pacemaker

John Ericsson (1803-1889), Sweden – the two screw-propeller

Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846-1926), Sweden – the handheld micro telephone

F

Philo Farnsworth, (1906-1971), USA – vacuum tube television display

James Fergason, (1934-), USA – improved liquid crystal display

Reginald Fessenden, (1866-1932), Canada – two-way radio

Adolf Eugen Fick, (1829-1901), Germany – contact lens

Alexander Fleming (August 6, 1881 – March 11, 1955) England – penicillin

John Ambrose Fleming, (1848-1945), England – vacuum diode

Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), USA – the pointed lightning rod conductor, bifocals

William Friese-Greene, (1855-1921), England – cinematography

Buckminster Fuller, (1895-1983), USA – geodesic dome

G

Robert Goddard, (1882-1945), USA – liquid fuel rocket

Heinrich Gbel, (1818-1893), Germany – first functional incandescent lamp

Gordon Gould, (1920-2005), USA – laser

Richard Hall Gower, (1768-1833), United Kingdom – ship’s hull and rigging

Bette Nesmith Graham, (1924-1980), USA – Liquid Paper

Chester Greenwood, (1858-1937), USA – thermal earmuffs

James Gregory, (1638-1675), Scotland – reflecting telescope

William Robert Grove, (1811-1896), Wales – fuel cell

Otto von Guericke, (1602-1686), Germany – vacuum pump

Johann Gutenberg, (circa 1390s-1468), Germany – modern movable type printing press

H

John Hadley, (1682-1744) – the sextant

James Hargreaves, (1720-1778) England – invented the spinning jenny

John Harrison, (1693-1776) England – marine chronometer

Victor Hasselblad, (1906-1978), Sweden – invented the 6 x 6 cm single-lens reflex camera

Rudolf Hell, (1901-2002), Germany – the Hellschreiber

Jozef Karol Hell, (1713-1789) Slovakia -the water pillar

Joseph Henry, (1797-1898), USA – electromagnetic relay

Erna Schneider Hoover, USA – computerized telephone switching system

Frank Hornby, (1863-1936) England – invented Meccano

J

Jan Jansk, (1873-1921), Czechoslovakia – discoverer of blood types

Karl Jatho, (1873-1933), Germany – airplane inventor

Carl Edvard Johansson, (1864-1943), Sweden – gage block sets

Johan Petter Johansson, (1853-1943), Sweden – the pipe wrench and the modern adjustable spanner

Nancy Johnson – American version of the hand cranked ice cream machinein (1843)

K

Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) USA – invented automobile self-starter ignition, Freon ethyl gasoline and more

Jack Kilby, (1923-2005) USA – patented the first integrated circuit

Fritz Klatte, (1880-1934), Germany – vinyl chloride, forerunner to polyvinyl chloride

Margaret Knight, (1838-1914), USA – machine that completely constructs box-bottom brown paper bags

Ivan Knunyants – (1906-1990) Ukraine invented Nylon-6

Gleb Kotelnikov, (1872-1944), Russia – knapsack parachute

Stephanie Kwolek, (1923-), USA – Kevlar

L

Hedy Lamarr, (1913-2000), Austria and USA – Spread spectrum

Edwin H. Land, (1909-1991), USA – Polaroid polarizing filters and the Land Camera

Hkan Lans, (1942-), Sweden – STDMA datalink (Self organising Time Division Multiple Access), colour computer graphics

Irving Langmuir, (1851-1957), USA – gas filled incandescent lamp, hydrogen welding

Lewis Latimer – worked with Thomas Edison and patented an improved lightbulb manufacturing process

Gustav de Laval (1845-1913), Sweden – invented the milk separator and the milking machine

Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev, (1874-1934), Russia – synthetic rubber

Leonardo da Vinci, (1452-1519) – parachute, high heel shoes and many other inventions

Justus von Liebig, (1803-1873), Germany – nitrogen-based fertilizer

Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, (1862-1931), Sweden – Kerosene stove operated by compressed air

Ivan Lupis-Vukic’, (1813-1875), Croatia – self-propelled torpedo

M

Guglielmo Marconi, (1874-1937), Italy – radio

Elijah McCoy, (1844-1929), USA – automatic lubricator for oiling steam engines

Antonio Meucci, (1808-1896), Italy – telephone

Narcis Monturiol i Estarriol, (1819-1885), Spain – steam powered submarine

Robert Moog, (1934-2005), USA – the Moog synthesizer

Montgolfier brothers, (1740-1810) and (1745-1799), France – hot-air balloon

Samuel Morey, (1762-1843), USA – internal combustion engine

Garrett A. Morgan, (1877-1963), USA – inventor of the gas mask

Samuel Morse, (1791-1872), USA – telegraph

Jozef Murgas (1864-1929), Slovakia – inventor of the wireless telegraph (forerunner of the radio).

N

Alfred Nobel, (1833-1896), Sweden – dynamite

Isaac Newton,(1642-1727), England – reflecting telescope (which reduces chromatic aberration)

Carl Rickard Nyberg, (1858-1939), Sweden – the blowtorch

O

Theophil Wilgodt Odhner, (1845-1903), Sweden – the Odhner Arithmometer, a mechanical calculator

Elisha Otis, (1811-1861), USA – passenger elevator and concommitant safety device

P

Helge Palmcrantz, (1842-1880), Sweden – the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun

Spede Pasanen, (1930-2001), Finland – The ski jumping sling

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, (1871-1922), Croatia – ball point pen

Gustaf Erik Pasch, (1788-1862), Sweden – the safety match

Henry Perky, (1843-1906), USA – Shredded wheat

Peter Petroff, (1919-2004), Bulgaria – digital wrist watch, heart monitor, weather instruments

Christopher Polhem, (1661-1751), Sweden – the modern padlock

Olivia Poole, (1889-1975), USA, White Earth Indian Reserve – the Jolly Jumper baby harness

Baltzar von Platen (1898-1984) Sweden – refrigerator

Mihajlo Pupin (1858-1935) Serbia – pupinisation, tunable oscillator, Pupin coil

R

Wilhelm Conrad Rntgen, (1845-1923), Germany – the x-ray machine

Josef Ressel, (1793-1857) Czechoslovakia – ship propeller

S

Augustus Siebe,(1788-1872) Saxony & England – the standard diving dress

Alberto Santos-Dumont, (1873-1932), Brazil – non-rigid airship and airplane

Adolphe Sax, (1814-1894), Belgium – saxophone

August Schrader, USA – Schrader valve for Pneumatic tire

David Schwarz, (1852-1897), Croatia, – rigid ship, later called Zeppelin

William Bradford Shockley, (1910-1989), USA – co-inventor of transistor

Werner von Siemens, (1816-1892), Germany – an electromechanical “dynamic”

William Siemens (1823-1883), Germany – regenerative furnace

Igor Sikorsky, (1889-1972), Ukraine – helicopter

Aurel Stodola, (1859-1942), Slovakia – gas turbines

Elmer Ambrose Sperry (1860-1930), USA – gyroscope-guided automatic pilot

Levi Strauss, (1829-1902), USA – blue jeans

John Stringfellow, (1799-1883), England – airplane

Simon Sunatori, (1959-), Canada – inventor of Sunatori Pen

Joseph Swan, (1828-1914), England – inventor, physicist

T

Nikola Tesla, (1856-1943), Serbian-Croatian-American – inventor of the induction motor, alternating current polyphase power distribution system, wireless communication, robotics, logic gates, the bladeless turbine, radio and VTOL aircraft (among others).

Benjamin Chew Tilghman, (1821-), USA – sandblasting

Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, (1852-1936), Spain

Alfred Traeger, (1895-1980), Australia – the pedal radio

Franc Trkman, (1903-1978), Slovenia – electrical switches, accessories for opening windows

Alan Turing, (1912-1954), England – the Turing machine

U

Lewis Urry, (1927-2004), Canada – long-lasting alkaline battery

V

Alessandro Volta, (1745-1827), Italy – battery

Faust Vrancic (1551-1617), Croatia, parachute

W

Erik Wallenberg, (1915-1999), Sweden – invented the Tetra Pak

Barnes Wallis, (1887-1979), England – bouncing bomb

Ghulam Sediq Wardak, (1942-), Afghanistan – 341 unpatented inventions

Robert Watson-Watt, (1892-1973), Scotland – microwave radar

Jonas Wenstrm, (1855-93), Sweden – the three-phase electrical system

George Westinghouse, (1846-1914), USA – Air brake

Charles Wheatstone, (1802-1875), England – concertina, stereoscope, microphone, Playfair cipher

Eli Whitney, (1765-1825), USA – the cotton gin

Frank Whittle, (1907-1996) – co-inventor of the jet engine

Otto Wichterle, (1913-1989) Czechoslovakia – invented modern contact lenses

Paul Winchell, (1922-2005) – the artificial heart

Sven Wingquist, (1876-1953), Sweden – Self-aligning ball bearing

A. Baldwin Wood, (1879-1956), US inventor & engineer

Granville Woods, (1856-1910), USA – the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph

The Wright brothers, Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright, (1867-1912), USA – aeroplane

Arthur Wynne, (1862 – 1945), England – crossword puzzle

Y

Hidetsugu Yagi, (1886-1976), Japan – Yagi antenna

Asen Yordanoff (1886-1967) Bulgaria – Douglas DC-3

Arthur M. Young, (1905-1995), USA – the Bell Helicopter

Z

Ferdinand von Zeppelin, (1838-1917), Germany – rigid airship

Konrad Zuse, (1910-1995), Germany – first functional tape-stored-program-controlled computer

Vladimir Zworykin, (1889-1982), Russia – the iconoscope and the kinescope

Also see: Inventions Fast Facts or browse famous discoveries and inventions listed year-by-year

07/01/2010. Category: people. Tags: .

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