During this time of appreciation, we say thank you to inventors, so many of whom have made our lives better and richer. Inventors make modern society the abundance we increasingly experience. Mass communication inventions—e.g. printing presses, telegraphs, telephones, televisions, the Internet, wireless data and voice communications, social media, etc.—allow people to share knowledge and work collaboratively. Modern inventions of refrigeration and large scale transportation, as well as, the ability to farm extremely large areas productively are possible because of the machines, chemicals and processes developed by inventors. Since the invention of artificial light, humans have enjoyed extended hours of interaction and production beyond the time afforded by natural daylight alone.
Inventors have extended human life in many ways. Today, life expectancies are entering the 80s for a growing number of countries, thanks to medical science and improved nutrition. Technologies such as medical imaging, endoscopic surgery, functional monitoring, as well as a vast array of medicines and related materials have been developed and manufactured by Inventors. As inventors develop new technologies in these areas, life expectancies may well exceed 100 years for people born today.
The past two hundred years have been especially bettered because of the world’s inventors. Inventors have driven our economy by creating new jobs and companies. Inventors are the creators of global prosperity and their efforts bear fruits with each passing day.
Some of the greatest names Westinghouse (air brake), Ford (car), Gillette (razor), Hewlett-Packard (oscillation generator), Otis (elevator), Harley (motorcycle shock absorber), Colt (revolving gun), Goodrich (tires), Goodyear (synthetic rubber), Carrier (air treatment), Noyce (Intel), Carlson (Xerox), Eastman (laser printer camera), Land (Polaroid), Shockley (semiconductor), Kellogg (grain harvester), DuPont (gun powder), Nobel (explosives), the Wright brothers (aircraft), Owens (glass), Steinway (pianos), Bessemer (steel), Jacuzzi (hot tub), Smith & Wesson (firearm), Burroughs (calculator), Houdry (catalytic cracker), Marconi (wireless communication), Goodard (rocket), Diesel (internal combustion engine), Fermi (neutronic reactor), Disney (animation), Sperry (Gyroscope), Williams (helicopter), even Abraham Lincoln who was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,469.
Over the centuries, there have been a few who are especially recognized. Here we reference Da Vinci, Edison, Lamarr, and Jobs. Although others are of equal import, let’s take a minute and recognize these amazing individuals.
Leonardo da Vinci – The Original Renaissance Man
Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian Renaissance polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, he epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.
Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man”, an individual of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination,” and he is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.
During his lifetime, Leonardo was valued as an engineer. In 1502, Leonardo produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (220 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosporus known as the Golden Horn. Leonardo’s vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway. Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight for much of his life, producing many studies, including Codex on the Flight of Birds (c. 1505), as well as plans for several flying machines such as a flapping ornithopter and a machine with a helical rotor.
The following YouTube video highlights some of his greatest works:
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