9 Misleading Facts You Were Made to Believe About Inventors And Their Inventions

As we hear the word inventions and scientists there a set of people who instantly strike our mind. Scientists like Einstein, Edison, Newton, Wright brothers and many others are quite often remembered. And this is how we have been thought from childhood too. But the reality is, it’s just not one person’s effort, instead it requires a lot of combined efforts of many people working together. It is always the last person who publishes gets the credit. This has happened with many of the famous inventions also.

Here are some of the most famous inventions for which the right person has not been credited

  • Galileo and Telescope

There was a period in late 50’s in which the glass business was booming. People started using these glass for various other products. And slowly implementing this glass as lens began. While working on glass and lenses a Dutch scientist Hans

Lipper shay realised that this lens makes objects look bigger. Galileo who came to know this wanted to buy those lenses. He then said that these lens can be used to observe solar system and other celestial body. He was the first person to scientifically implement it. Hence the credits for Telescope was given to Galileo.

galileo with a telescope

  • James Watt and the steam engine

We all know James Watt has done a great job by inventing the steam engine that lead to industrial revolution. But James Watt was not the first person to do it. In the year 1698 Thomas Savery designed a steam engine as a solution to a very big problem occurring in coal mines. The biggest challenge in those days was that the coal mines would fill up with water. And people used to remove that water manually using buckets. This was a tedious process. Thomas Savery then came up with a design of engine which used steam to remove all the water. Few years later English scientist Thomas Newcomen improvised on the existing system by making the system work in closed atmospheric pressure and was named Atmospheric engine. But this design remained inefficient. Later James watt worked on steam engine to make it more efficient. That is when he came up with an idea of making a separate condenser for steam. This made the engine much more efficient and led to industrial revolution. This is how the efforts of Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen’s was left unnoticed.

black and white image of steam engine

  • Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

Cotton was a most happening commercial crop and the people growing cotton faced tough time taking out the seeds from the cotton fibre. The cotton fibre created a mess or web kind of structure in which the seeds were enclosed. They had to manually pick out these seeds. This technique worked well with cotton having longer fibres but the challenge was with the cotton with smaller fibres. There were rollers which would enable separate the fibre and seeds. As I told it was not working well always. Whitney was given the task of creating a better roller gun. What he really did was, he replaced the solid rollers with Wire teeth. Then the total credit of making Cotton Gin was awarded to Eli Whitney.

cotton machine

  • Elisha Otis and the Elevator

Ancient Romans and Greeks were using man powered lifting devices in the earlier days only. So the mere credits of inventing elevator cannot be awarded to Elisha Otis. In 1853 elevators were used but manually pulled. As a result of industrial revolution many tall buildings started to rise. Manual pulling of elevators were not possible. After sourcing electricity to elevators the biggest fear was breaking of these wires. That is when Elisha Otis came up with safety breaking systems to overcome this. And this breaking systems are in use till date.

elisha otis and the elevator

  • Thomas Alva Edison and Electric bulb

Edison dint invent the bulb nor did he even design the filaments in bulb. Humphry Davy was the first person to invent bulb. He created arc bulb which was too bright and dint last long due to the filament in it. In 1850 Joseph Swan realised that carbonised paper can be used for filament and then started making bulbs using it. But again these bulbs too dint last long. And in 1880 Swan’s Company was merged with Edison’s company. Edison did all the marketing and eventually gained the credits of making electric bulbs.

thomas alava edisona abd the light bulb

  • Marconi and the Radio

Nichola Tesla came up with many electro mechanical devices and concepts to be used in radio and Marconi combine and collaborated all these parts to make it a commercial product. When it comes to transmitting and receiving the radio signals Heinrich Hertz was the first and successful person to it. But unfortunately he failed to give support of practical example for his discovery.

macroni and the radio

  • Henry Ford and the Automobile

Ford was not the first person to introduce an automobile which could run without horses. Karl Benz was the first person to invent a car which worked with power of internal combustion. Ford revolutionised car production and could make as many as cars for comparatively cheaper price. Ultimately he got the credits.

Henry Ford and the Automobile

  • Wright brothers and powered flight

Ornithopters were the early designed flying device with flapping wings just like birds. But the challenge was to build a light weight flying machine. It was George Cayle who did extensive research on the design of wings for aircrafts. Otto Lilienthal implemented Cayle’s designs practically by building gliders. And they also used the internal combustion engine of the automobiles. Controlling these flights up in air was a challenge. Wright brothers used all these inventions, collaborated and introduced the control system which made flying easy.

Wright brothers and powered flight

  • Philto T.Fransworth and the Television

Fransworth owns the credit of inventing Television. Making of TV involved use of many other products to make it work. Cathode Ray tube is one of the very important part of TV which was invented by Fernand Braun. Fransworth used this Cathod Ray tubes to capture the moving pictures and implemented it in making sophisticated television.

There is no invention happening just in a go. But involves lot of combined work and generally it is the genius who collaborates the existing technologies to create a new model that gets the rewards and credits.

Philto T.Fransworth and the Television

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One Response

  1. Rajesh Rao July 20, 2016

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