INVENTIONS AND INVENTORS
Around 1750, the first glue or adhesive patent was issued in Britain. The glue was made from fish. Patents were then rapidly issued for adhesives using natural rubber, animal bones, fish, starch, milk protein or casein.
Scotch tape was invented in 1930 by banjo playing 3M engineer Richard Drew. Scotch tape was the world’s first transparent adhesive tape. Richard Drew also invented the first masking tape in 1925, a two-inch-wide tan paper tape with a pressure sensitive adhesive backing.
The baby carriage was invented in 1733 by English architect William Kent for the 3rd Duke of Devonshire’s children.
A Hungarian journalist named Laszlo Biro invented the first ballpoint pen in 1938. Biro had noticed that the type of ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper dry and smudge-free. He decided to create a pen using the same type of ink. The thicker ink would not flow from a regular pen nib and Biro had to devise a new type of point. He did so by fitting his pen with a tiny ball bearing in its tip. As the pen moved along the paper, the ball rotated picking up ink from the ink cartridge and leaving it on the paper.
Earle Dickson was employed as a cotton buyer for the Johnson & Johnson when he invented the band-aid in 1921. His wife Josephine Dickson was always cutting her fingers in the kitchen while preparing food.
What is bar code? It is method of automatic identification and data collection. The first patent for a bar code type product was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver on October 7, 1952. The Woodland and Silver bar code can be described as a “bull’s eye” symbol, made up of a series of concentric circles.
A barometer is an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. Two common types are the aneroid barometer and the mercurial barometer (invented first). Evangelista Torricelli invented the first barometer, known as the “Torricelli’s tube”.
In 1800 Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile and discovered the first practical method of generating electricity. Constructed of alternating discs of zinc and copper with pieces of cardboard soaked in brine between the metals, the voltic pile produced electrical current. The metallic conducting arc was used to carry the electricity over a greater distance. Alessandro Volta’s voltaic pile was the first “wet cell battery” that produced a reliable, steady current of electricity.
Some history books will state that Pierre and Ernest Michaux, the French father and son team of carriage-makers, invented the first bicycle during the 1860s. Historians now disagree and there is evidence that the bicycle is older than that. However, historians do agree that Ernest Michaux did invent the modern bicycle pedal and cranks in 1861.
In 1853 Levi Strauss, a 24-year-old German immigrant, had the canvas made into waist overalls. Miners liked the pants, but complained that they tended to chafe. Levi Strauss substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called “serge de Nimes.” The fabric later became known as denim and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans.
The first modern brassiere to receive a patent was the one invented in 1913 by a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob.
In 1577, Jost Burgi invented the minute hand. Burgi’s invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe, an astronomer who needed an accurate clock for his stargazing. In 1656, the pendulum was invented by Christian Huygens, making clocks more accurate.
In 1885, Burroughs filed his first patent for a calculating machine. However, his 1892 patent was for an improved calculating machine with an added printer. William Seward Burroughs invented the first practical adding and listing machine.
Canadian John Hopps invented the first cardiac pacemaker. Hopps was trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Manitoba and joined the National Research Council in 1941, where he conducted research on hypothermia. While experimenting with radio frequency heating to restore body temperature, Hopps made an unexpected discovery: if a heart stopped beating due to cooling, it could be started again by artificial stimulation using mechanical or electric means.
Karl Benz, the German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built the world’s first practical automobile, and Henry Ford, who improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing and invented a car transmission mechanism, can be considered the inventors of cars.
April 3, 2003 marked the 30th anniversary of the first public telephone call placed on a portable cellular phone. Martin Cooper placed that call on April 3, 1973, while general manager of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division.
Invented around 1690, the clarinet is a single-reed woodwind instrument with a cylindrical tube. The clarinet evolved from an earlier instrument called the chalumeau, the first true single reed instrument. Johann Christoph Denner of Nuremburg with the help of his son Jacob improved the chalumeau, creating a new instrument called the clarinet.
In May, 1886, Coca Cola was invented by Doctor John Pemberton a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. John Pemberton concocted the Coca Cola formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard. The name was a suggestion given by John Pemberton’s bookkeeper Frank Robinson.
James Russell invented the compact disk in 1965. James Russell was granted a total of 22 patents for various elements of his compact disk system. However, the compact disk did not become popular until it was mass manufactured by Philips in 1980.
Adolph Fick first thought of making glass contact lenses in 1888, but it took until 1948 when Kevin Tuohy invented the soft plastic lens for contacts to become a reality.
Nitroglycerin was first invented by Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1846. In its natural liquid state, nitroglycerin is very volatile. Albert Nobel understood this and in 1866 he discovered that mixing nitroglycerine with silica would turn the liquid into a malleable paste, called dynamite. One advantage of dynamite over nitroglycerin was that it could be cylinder-shaped for insertion into the drilling holes used for mining.
Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower for the Paris World’s Fair of 1889, which honored the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The World’s Fair or Universal Exposition of 1889 (Exposition Universelle de 1889) was a highly successful international exhibition and one of the few world’s fairs to make a profit. Its central attraction was the Eiffel Tower, a 300-meter high marvel of iron by Gustave Eiffel.
Electricity: Beginning with Benjamin Franklin’s experiment with a kite one stormy night in Philadelphia, the principles of electricity gradually became understood. In the mid-1800s, everyone’s life changed with the invention of the electric light bulb. Prior to 1879, electricity had been used in arc lights for outdoor lighting. The lightbulb’s invention used electricity to bring indoor lighting to our homes.
Computer engineer, Ray Tomlinson invented internet based in email late 1971. Under ARPAnet several major innovations occurred: email (or electronic mail), the ability to send simple messages to another person across the network (1971).
The guitar is considered a European-invented instrument that first appeared during the medievel period. The form of the modern classical guitar is credited to Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres circa 1850. Torres increased the size of the guitar body, altered its proportions, and invented the “fan” top bracing pattern. Antonio Torres’ design greatly improved the volume, tone, and projection of the instrument, and has remained essentially unchanged.
During the mid 1500’s, Italian inventor Leonardo Da Vinci made drawings of an ornithopter flying machine that some experts say inspired the modern day helicopter. In 1784, French inventor, Launoy and Bienvenue created a toy with a rotary-wing that could lift and fly and proved the principle of helicopter flight.
Forms of intravenous injection and infusion began as early as 1670. However, Charles Gabriel Pravaz and Alexander Wood were the first to develop a syringe with a needle fine enough to pierce the skin in 1853.
On June 6, 1882, Henry W. Seely of NYC patented the electric iron, at the time it was called the electric flatiron. Early electric irons used a carbon arc to create heat, however, this was not a safe method. In 1892, hand irons using electrical resistance were introduced by Crompton and Co. and the General Electric Company. During the early 1950s electric steam irons were introduced.
Incandescent lightbulbs work in this way: electricity flows through the filament that is inside the bulb; the filament has resistance to the electricity; the resistance makes the filament heat to a high temperature; the heated filament then radiates light. All incandescent lamps work by using a physical filament. Thomas A. Edison’s lamp became the first commercially successful incandescent lamp (circa 1879). Incandescent lamps are still in regularly use in our homes, today.
In 1827, John Walker, English chemist and apothecary, discovered that if he coated the end of a stick with certain chemicals and let them dry, he could start a fire by striking the stick anywhere. These were the first friction matches.
About 1590, two Dutch spectacle makers, Zaccharias Janssen and his son Hans, while experimenting with several lenses in a tube, discovered that nearby objects appeared greatly enlarged. That was the forerunner of the compound microscope and of the telescope. In 1609, Galileo, father of modern physics and astronomy, heard of these early experiments, worked out the principles of lenses, and made a much better instrument with a focusing device.
While a professor of arts and design at New York University in 1835, Samuel Morse proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper – the invention of Morse Code. The following year, the device was modified to emboss the paper with dots and dashes. He gave a public demonstration in 1838, but it was not until five years later that Congress (reflecting public apathy) funded $30,000 to construct an experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore, a distance of 40 miles.
The Pasteur Institute was opened in 1888. During Louis Pasteur’s lifetime it was not easy for him to convince others of his ideas, controversial in their time but considered absolutely correct today. Pasteur fought to convince surgeons that germs existed and carried diseases, and dirty instruments and hands spread germs and therefore disease. Pasteur’s pasteurization process killed germs and prevented the spread of disease.
In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming observed that colonies of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus could be destroyed by the mold Penicillium notatum, proving that there was an antibacterial agent there in principle. This principle later lead to medicines that could kill certain types of disease-causing bacteria inside the body. At the time, however, the importance of Alexander Fleming’s discovery was not known. Use of penicillin did not begin until the 1940s when Howard Florey and Ernst Chain isolated the active ingredient and developed a powdery form of the medicine.
The piano first known as the pianoforte evolved from the harpsichord around 1700 to 1720, by Italian inventor Bartolomeo Cristofor. Harpsichord manufacturers had been determined to produce an instrument with a better dynamic response than the harpsichord. Bartolomeo Cristofali, the keeper of instruments in the court of Prince Ferdinand de Medici of Florence, was the first to solve the problem.
Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter “S”, telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.
The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor on June 19, 1885. The monument was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, intended to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence, some ten years earlier. Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty enlightening the world stands more than 300 feet high. French historian Edouard Laboulaye suggested the presentation of this statue to the United States, commemorating the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution. The copper colossus was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and erected according to plans by Gustave Eiffel.
In the 1870s, two inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically (the telephone). Both men rushed their respective designs to the patent office within hours of each other, Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone first. Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell entered into a famous legal battle over the invention of the telephone, which Bell won.
In the 1920’s, John Logie Baird patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television. Baird’s 30 line images were the first demonstrations of television by reflected light rather than back-lit silhouettes.
The first thermometers were called thermoscopes and while several inventors invented a version of the thermoscope at the same time, Italian inventor Santorio Santorio was the first inventor to put a numerical scale on the instrument. Galileo Galilei invented a rudimentary water thermometer in 1593 which, for the first time, allowed temperature variations to be measured. In 1714, Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the first mercury thermometer, the modern thermometer.
On 8 Nov, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (accidentally) discovered an image cast from his cathode ray generator, projected far beyond the possible range of the cathode rays (now known as an electron beam). Further investigation showed that the rays were generated at the point of contact of the cathode ray beam on the interior of the vacuum tube, that they were not deflected by magnetic fields, and they penetrated many kinds of matter. A week after his discovery, Rontgen took an X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones. The photograph electrified the general public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Röntgen named the new form of radiation X-radiation (X standing for “Unknown”). Hence the term X-rays (also referred as Röntgen rays, though this term is unusual outside of Germany).
-Finally, enjoy these videos about famous inventors!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO3S9lwJDgg (Louis Braille)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5JF3iehVrQ (The greatest American Inventions)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQM0bfBQvDA (Leonardo Da Vinci)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzzTetJWx4E (Thomas A. Edison)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Sc9N8CuzM (Galileo Galilei)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo0hSZ9R_Xk (Samuel Morse)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEePs5nc-fY (Alexander Fleming)