National Inventor’s Day honors inventors of the past, the creators of the present, and encourages the architects of the future. On February 11th, the day celebrates the genius behind invention while digging into the history behind some of our most unusual designs.
What do Ermal Fraze, Thomas Adams, Melitta Bentz, and Stephen Perry all have in common? They are recognized annually on February 11th, along with the likes of the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, and Elisha Otis.
Some inventions may be happy accidents by an observant person; the microwave oven, penicillin, sticky notes, and bubble wrap may never have made their way into their current use if it were not for sharp or persistent inventors.
- “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” says a lot about how inventors look at life. They are a progressive, forward-thinking bunch. Where would we be without pacemakers, traffic signals, rubber bands, or coffee filters?
- Edison electrocuted an elephant in 1903 to prove Tesla’s AC current was dangerous
- Edison invented the tattoo pen.
- The inventor of Vaseline used to eat a spoonful of it every day. Source
- Nikola Tesla once “shook the poop out” of a constipated Mark Twain with an experiment. Sources
- Leo Fender, inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster, could not play the guitar
- Charles Richter, who invented the Richter Scale, was a nudist. SOURCE
- Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, all of them had no college degree. ♦ SOURCE
- The inventor of intermittent windshield wipers tried to sell his idea to the auto industry and was turned away. When they began showing up on new cars, he sued, and won. ♦ SOURCE
- Harvey R. Ball, the strongest claimant to having invented the smiley face, was paid just $45 for the design. ♦ SOURCE
- When Benjamin Franklin invented his own harmonica, it became so popular in Europe that Mozart and Beethoven composed music for it. ♦ SOURCE
- The invention of Glow sticks was based on the work of scientist Edwin Chandross. He didn’t know his work was being used for parties until 2013. ♦ SOURCE
- Alfred Nobel, of the Nobel Prize, lost his brother to an accident at his lab. They were working with liquid nitrogen and attempting to create a more stable explosive. Nobel was able to complete his research after the accident and invented dynamite. ♦ SOURCE
- The 1999 Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to the inventors of cars with flamethrowers, used to prevent carjacking. ♦ SOURCE
- The inventor of roller skates first demonstrated them by hurtling into a party while playing the violin and crashing into a huge mirror. ♦ SOURCE
- Heartbroken that, for days, he was unaware of his wife’s death, Samuel Morse decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication and ended up inventing the single-wire telegraph and the Morse Code. ♦ SOURCE
- Thomas Edison invented the tattoo pen. ♦ SOURCE
- Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. da Vinci never built the inventions he designed.
- The household wrench was invented by boxing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in 1922
- Venetian blinds were invented in Japan.
- Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son
- The first vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria in the first century. When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of holy water.
- The can opener was invented 48 years after the can.
- The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
- Galileo invented the thermometer in 1593
- it was melting ice cream that inspired the invention of the outboard motor. It was a lovely August day and Ole Evinrude was rowing his boat to his favorite island picnic spot. As he rowed, he watched his ice cream melt and wished he had a faster way to get to the island. At that moment the idea for the outboard motor was born!
- the telescope was accidentally discovered in 1698 when Dutch eye glass maker Hans Lippershey looked through two lenses – one held in front of the other – and realized that the image was magnified