The first great invention developed by Thomas Edison was the tin foil phonograph. A prolific producer, Edison is also known for his work with light bulbs, electricity, film and audio devices, and much more.
In 1876, at the age of 29, Alexander Graham Bell invented his telephone. Among one of his first innovations after the telephone was the "photophone," a device that enabled sound to be transmitted on a beam of light.
Alexander Graham Bell
George Washington Carver was an agricultural chemist who invented three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds of more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. His contributions changed the history of agriculture in the south.
George Washington Carver
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794. The cotton gin is a machine that separates seeds, hulls and other unwanted materials from cotton after it has been picked.
Johannes Gutenberg was a German goldsmith and inventor best known for the Gutenberg press, an innovative printing machine that used movable type.
John Logie Baird is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television (an earlier version of television). Baird also patented inventions related to radar and fiber optics.
John Logie Baird
Benjamin Franklin was known for being a iconic statesman and a founding father. But among his many other accomplishments was the invention of the lightning rod, the iron furnace stove or 'Franklin Stove', bifocal glasses and the odometer.
Henry Ford did not invent the automobile as many people mistakenly assume. But he did improved the "assembly line" for automobile manufacturing, received a patent for a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered car with the Model-T.
James Naismith was a Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891.
Herman Hollerith invented a punch-card tabulation machine system for statistical computation. Herman Hollerith's great breakthrough was his use of electricity to read, count, and sort punched cards whose holes represented data gathered by the census-takers. His machines were used for the 1890 census and accomplished in one year what would have taken nearly ten years of hand tabulating.
Due to overwhelming public demand, we had to add Nikola Tesla to this list. Tesla was a genius and much of his work was stolen by other inventors. Tesla invented fluorescent lighting, the Tesla induction motor, the Tesla coil, and developed the alternating current (AC) electrical supply system that included a motor and transformer, and 3-phase electricity.
Steve Jobs was best remembered as the charismatic co-founder of Apple Inc. Working with co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jobs introduced the Apple II, a popular mass market personal computer that helped usher in a new era of personal computing. After being forced out of the company that he founded, Jobs returned in 1997 and assembled the team of designers, programmers and engineers responsible for the groundbreaking iPhone, iPad and many other innovations.
Tim Berners-Lee is an English engineer and computer scientist that's often credited with inventing the World Wide Web, a network that most now people use to access the internet. He first described a proposal for such a system in 1989, but it wasn't until August of 1991 that the first web site was published and online. The World Wide Web that Berners-Lee developed was comprised of the first web browser, server and hypertexting.
Sir James Dyson is a British inventor and industrial designer who revolutionized vacuum cleaning with the invention of the Dual Cyclone, the first bagless vacuum cleaner. He later found the Dyson company to develop improved and technologically advanced household appliances. So far, his company has debuted a bladeless fan, a hair dryer, robotic vacuum cleaner and many other products. He also established the James Dyson Foundation to support young people to pursue careers in technology. The James Dyson award is given to students who come up with promising new designs.
Hedy Lamarr is often recognized as an early Hollywood starlet with film credits such as Algiers and Boom Town. As an inventor, Lamarr made significant contributions to radio and technology and systems. During World War II, she invented radio-guidance system for torpedoes. The frequency-hopping technology has been used to develop of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.