When we think of historical figures, we often think of great leaders, philosophers, and artists, but did you know that many of these figures were also inventors? In fact, many of the world’s most important inventions were created by people you might not expect. Here are 10 historical figures you probably didn’t know were also inventors.
- Leonardo da Vinci – Besides his famous paintings, da Vinci was also an inventor. He created designs for flying machines, an early version of a helicopter, and a diving suit.
- Benjamin Franklin – Franklin is best known for his work as a statesman and founding father, but he was also an inventor. He invented bifocal glasses, the lightning rod, and the Franklin stove.
- Ada Lovelace – Lovelace is often considered to be the world’s first computer programmer. She wrote the first algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in the 1800s.
- Alexander Graham Bell – Bell is famous for inventing the telephone, but he also worked on a variety of other inventions. He created a device to help people with speech impairments, an early version of the metal detector, and a photophone that transmitted sound on a beam of light.
- George Washington Carver – Carver is best known for his work with peanuts, but he was also an inventor. He developed over 100 uses for peanuts, including peanut butter, and also created uses for other crops like sweet potatoes and soybeans.
- Marie Curie – Curie is famous for her work in science and for discovering radium and polonium, but she also invented a mobile X-ray unit during World War I that could be used to diagnose injuries on the battlefield.
- Galileo Galilei – Galileo is famous for his work as an astronomer, but he also made important contributions to the field of physics. He invented the thermoscope, a device that could measure temperature changes.
- Hedy Lamarr – Lamarr was a Hollywood actress in the 1930s and 1940s, but she was also an inventor. She created a frequency-hopping system for radio communication during World War II that would later be used in cell phones and Wi-Fi.
- Michael Faraday – Faraday is known for his work in electricity and magnetism, but he also made important contributions to the field of chemistry. He discovered benzene and invented the Bunsen burner.
- Thomas Edison – Edison is famous for inventing the light bulb and the phonograph, but he also worked on a variety of other inventions. He created an early version of the motion picture camera, the storage battery, and the electric pen.
These historical figures are just a few examples of how some of the world’s greatest minds have also been inventors. Their inventions have changed the world and continue to shape our lives today.