We all know about the great inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Alexander Fleming, Charles Goodyear, etc. Have you ever wondered how these people got the idea for their invention? Did they out of the blue discovered these era-defining inventions? Or was there any other method by which they invented their products. In reality, all of these were not the only individuals behind their inventions and this was not a one day out of the blue invention. They followed many methods, researched others work and with hard work, were finally recognized as the inventors of their work.
Take the case of Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone. You must have studied that he invented the telephone in 1876 when he made the first call to his assistant Thomas Watson. But did you know that Philip Reis already invented a sound transmitter in 1860 and Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz invented a receiver before? Bell was successful in combining these inventions into a final product. Even then he had competition. Elisha Gray also invented the telephone on the same day and filed a patent merely hours after Graham Bell, but lost the claim in court as Bell had filed the patent earlier.
Thomas Edison is known as one of the biggest, if not the biggest inventor of all time. He has filed around 2332 patents in his lifetime. He is most famous for inventing the light bulb. But he was not the first to invent electric lighting. He just made a tweak to the earlier design by using a special species of bamboo which had a higher resistance than carbon paper which made his product superior. He also marketed his product better and earned himself the title of inventor of the light bulb.
Samuel Morse is credited with the invention of the telegraph. But he was not the only one who was doing the work at that time, Charles Wheatstone, Sir William Fothergill Cooke, Edward Davy, and Carl August von Steinhiel also invented the machine that could transfer data via electromagnetism. All of these happened so close to one another that the British Supreme court didn’t give the patent to anybody.
Cars have become very commonplace nowadays. Carl Benz is the guy who is widely regarded as the inventor of cars. But the truth is that Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach who designed the first four-wheel car with a four-stroke engine and Henry Ford who perfected the assembly line, although Carl Benz Made the first proper car. The car is such an invention that is far too complicated to be awarded to just one person.
Airplanes also have a very similar story. Wright brothers invented airplanes by collecting information from DaVinci’s Drawing to Otto Lilienthal’s gliders. They were able to solve the one problem that nagged people who tried it before them, stability. They had a single cable warp the wing and turn the rudder at the same time and were given the title of inventor of airplanes.
These examples illustrate that invention is not a sudden idea. All these inventors improved upon their predecessors to create these era-defining inventions. All they did was to put their time into the project and the developed the new product. This is a story that will inspire a million people that even they can be an inventor if they put their heart into it. I hope it will inspire you to put your time and effort to change this world.
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Edited by Akshay Girijan