The World of billions shaken & moved by a few hundred thousand. But, only a handful extraordinary came up with innovations that changed the fate of the world.
Influential thinkers have been around since the start of mankind, and great minds have emerged across different eras to give this world something never seen before. Though the innovators of the 21st century differ from those of the distant past in many ways, but they had one thing in common, a unique & innovative viewpoint.
From the start of coinage to the man behind high-tech innovations of today’s world, here is a list of some of the top innovators the world has ever had.
1. King Croesus: The last king of Lydia, Croesus has been known through centuries for his legendary wealth. However, he is known to innovate & create the lifeblood of businesses today, viz. liquidity and cash flow, by minting the first coinage of the world. Under his reign, Lydia became the first kingdom to mint and use gold & silver coins. His enormous wealth made his name synchronous with wealth through the simile ‘as rich as Croesus’.
2. Benjamin Franklin: Known as one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin is known as the inventor of electricity with his lightning rod or flying kite experiment. Though he never patented his inventions, some of his creations include glass harmonica, bifocal glass, flexible urinary catheter, and the Franklin stove. Like many entrepreneurs, Benjamin also had many feathers in his hat. A renowned polymath, a leading author, scientist, politician, printer, postmaster, and political theorist are a few to name.
3. Thomas Edison: After the man known for inventing electricity, comes the great mind who gave electric light to the world. From over 1300 patented inventions, Thomas Alva Edison is known for creating the world’s first practical electric light bulb. Also credited with the title of ‘The Creator of World’s First Industrial Research Laboratory’ and known as ‘The Wizard of the Menlo Park’, Edison was one of the inventors to apply large-scale teamwork & mass production principles to the invention process.
4. Stephen Hawking: Known for his pioneering work with relativity & black holes, Stephen William Hawking is a former Mathematics professor at Cambridge University and author of the international bestseller ‘A Brief History of Time’. Hawking is a brilliant researcher who lived through a motor neurone disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) that he contracted in 1963 and was given only 2 years to live. His works are spread over the areas of Universe and Black Holes, and basic laws that govern the universe, including gravitational singularity theorems, Hawking radiations, Hawking energy, Penerose-Hawking theorems, and many more.
5. Henry Ford: Next on the list is the great mind who changed the fundamentals of human lifestyle by developing and manufacturing the first affordable automobile for middle-class Americans. Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and introduced the Model T automobile that revolutionized conveyance, greatly impacting the 20th century landscape. Not only this, Ford is also accredited with the launch of the first moving assembly line that made mass production of automobiles possible in a lesser amount of time.
6. Steve Jobs: The list can’t be complete without mentioning the American entrepreneur, inventor, industrial designer, and business magnate, Steve Jobs. Apple’s co-founder, CEO, chairman, Jobs is known for his personal computer revolution along with Steve Wozniak. The Steve duo started with building their first Apple computer in Jobs’ family garage and revolutionizing the industry with smaller, cheaper, more intuitive, and accessible-to-everyone machines. Steve Jobs is more popularly known for the series of revolutionary iDevices, the iPhone and the iPad, which are seen as dictators of the modern technology.
7. Nikola Tesla: The inventor of the first AC motor and the developer of AC generation & transmission technology, Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American physicist and engineer. He is known for introducing dozens of breakthroughs in the field of electric power production, transmission, & application. Not only this, W. Bernard Carlson mentioned in an interview that Tesla envisioned the idea of smartphone and wireless internet but wasn’t good at putting his ideas into practice.
8. Bill Gates: The mention of the personal computer revolution seems incomplete without the mention of Bill Gates. The world’s richest man (recently crossed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos), Gates (or William Henry Gates III) co-founded the popularMicrosoft Corporation with Paul Allen.The American businessman and entrepreneur not only brought about a revolution in the use of personal computers but also displayed technological innovation, aggressive business tactics, and keen business strategy to build the world’s largest PC software company.
9. Sandford Fleming: All the clocks in the world tick together and allow people to match their timepieces, due to the invention of Worldwide Standard Time by the great mind, Sandford Fleming. A civil engineer by education and profession Sir Sandford Fleming was the foremost railway construction engineer & supervisor of Canada along with being a scientist and an inventor. Sandford also designed the first postage stamp of Canada, engineered the most part of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Intercontinental Railway, founded the Canadian Institute He also became one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Canada.
10. Marie Curie: The first woman Nobel Prize winner was a naturalized-French and Polish physicist & chemist. Known for her radical research on radioactivity, Marie Sklodowska Curie also became the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, that too in two different sciences. Along with the radioactivity theory, her achievements also include technique to isolate radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of radium and polonium elements. She headed world’s first studies for treating neoplasms with radioactive isotopes and offered X-ray services during the World War I to field hospitals by developing mobile radiography units.
11. Leonardo Da Vinci: The great mind behind Mona Lisa (one of the world’s most valuable paintings), Leonardo Da Vinci was a leading artist. Leonardo was an architect, inventor, painter, sculptor, draftsman, and a military engineer. He is also recognized for inventing helicopter, tank, and the parachute, and for epitomizing the Renaissance Humanist ideal (or as an intellectual of Italian Renaissance).
12. Alexander Graham Bell: Instant long distance communications would have not been possible if telephone was not invented. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the world’s first practical telephone. The Scottish-born inventor, engineer, innovator, and scientist also found the popular AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph Company) in 1885. Bell is also credited with the ground-breaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications in his later life. He also had a strong influence on the National Geographic society during his term as its second president.
The list doesn’t end here as there have been many more pioneers in the history of the world that changed its fate with their ground-breaking innovations.
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