19th-century inventor Charles Cros petitioned the French government to build a giant set of mirrors that could be used to communicate with aliens by scorching messages onto the surfaces of Venus and Mars. His request was declined.
The first patent for an electronic cigarette was already filed in 1963, but inventor Herbert Gilbert never found a company willing to mass-produce his invention. His device works the same way as modern e-cigarettes, “containing a liquid that was warmed by a battery-powered device, creating a vapor that a person inhaled”.
The jacuzzi was invented by Candido Jacuzzi to provide pain relief for his 15-month-old son, Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis.
The man who patented the ouija board has a ouija board headstone.
Willem Kolff created the first dialysis machine in the Netherlands during WWII. Lacking materials, he used sausage casings, tin cans, a washing machine, and salt water. He also saved more than 800 people from the Nazis by hiding them in his hospital. And he later invented the artificial heart.
In 1936 August Dvorak invented a ‘perfect keyboard’ which is way more efficient than regular keyboards as it requires less finger motion and reduces errors compared to the standard QWERTY keyboard arrangement.
Bertha Benz successfully marketed her husband’s invention, the motor car, when she took it for a 65 mile trip, overcoming mechanical problems and inventing brake shoes on the way, and proving that cars were suitable for long journeys. Her trip gained attention, resulting in Benz’s first sale.
The process of dry cleaning was invented in 1821 by an African American business owner named Thomas Jennings. He was one of the first African Americans to be granted a patent. He had to use the proceeds from his invention to buy his wife and children out of slavery.
Charles Darwin was one of the first people to come up with the idea of putting wheels on his office chair, so that he could work faster.
The name “Scotch Tape” was used as an insult to the inventor while he was inventing Masking Tape. ‘Scotch’ being derogatory slang for cheap or thrifty. He then went on to create Scotch Tape, and the name stuck.