The 20th century was an amazing time for innovations and inventions. It took us from the first 12 second wobbly powered flight to supersonic jets and travel to the moon. It took is from the creation of the first electric Telvision set to the Microprocessor to everything on and about the internet itself. But who were the most influential inventors of the 20th century. Whose creations live long past them and change the world at large?
♦ Jonas Salk ♦
Jonas Salk created the first safe and effective polio Vaccine. Today Polio is all but an unknown disease to the masses. Once it was a horror that scared people to death. The “public reaction was to a plague”, said historian William O’Neill. “Citizens of urban areas were to be terrified every summer when this frightful visitor returned.”
♦ Tim Berner-Lee ♦
Tim Berner-Lee lead a team at Cern that created the ideas of the World Wide Web(WWW), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and URLs(Universal Resource Locators). These creations all took place in 1990-1991. He was incredibly influential because what he created has really been the basis for the modern internet of today. Everything from Google to Facebook to Twitter have all grown out of his decisions only 20 years ago. That is some influence.
♦ Albert Einstein ♦
Not a true, “inventor” but what Einstein did for physics was simply amazing and helped create thousands of inventions including the Atomic Bomb. This theoretical physicist is likely one of the best know scientists of all time. His work helped photoelectrics, electromagnetics, gravitational field theory, quantum theory and much more. His ideas continue to influence people to this very day.
♦ Wright Brothers ♦
December 17th 1903, Orville Wright took off on the first powered aircraft flight. The flight lasted a grand total of 12 seconds. A hair less than 1 year later his brother Wilbur had the first powered aircraft flight that lasted more than five minutes. The age of the airplane was born. We have come a long way fast with airplanes; if not for the work of the Wright Brothers we could well be flying in Zeppelin’s these days.
♦ Philo T. Farnsworth ♦
His name sounds like he should be a carnival barker. But instead Farnseworth was the inventor of the Electric Television. In a fair bit less than 100 years the Electric television has gone from a concept to something that nearly everyone has in their homes. Huge media and Cable and appliance empire have been built upon the concept of the Television
♦ Leo Baekeland ♦
“I have one word for you: Plastics” With the invention of Bakelite in 1903 this chemist entered the workd into a new era. Wide use of plastics defines life today. Love them or hate them, plastics are everywhere and very versatile. This certainly makes Baekeland one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century
♦ Bill Gates ♦
Bill Gates made his Billions upon Billions of dollars from Microsoft. That reason is that, love it or hate it, Windows was very important to the growth of the computer industry. Do to this and everything that Microsoft has subsequently created or tweaked, there is no doubt about the influence of Bill Gates on our society.