Vesta Stoudt, who had the idea for duct tape, couldnt get her bosses at a military ordnance plant to take her seriously. So she sent a letter to FDR who recommended it to the War Production Board where it was approved for use on ammo boxes.
In 1898, Nikola Tesla tricked an entire crowd into believing they could control a boat by shouting commands – in fact he invented Radio Control and piloted the boat himself.
In the late 18th century, Jacques Barbeu Du Bourg, Benjamin Franklin’s French translator, invented le parapluie-paratonnerre, the lightning rod umbrella, which is said to have become fashionable among Parisian gentlemen.
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.
Caroline Shawk, the inventor of modern butter sculpture, couldn’t afford marble, so she started making butter sculptures to raise money at local fairs. Her butter sculpture became a runaway hit at Centennial exhibition, which allowed her to open her own studio and work with marble.
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.
One evening, while rushing for dinner after a long day at the lab, Constantin Fahlberg, a chemist at Johns Hopkins, forgot to wash his hands that had traces of benzoic sulfimide. This compound made his dinner taste sweet, and that’s how he discovered the artificial sweetener Saccharin.