A Brazilian invented caller ID technology more than 25 years ago. Today he is in 40 lawsuits claiming for his royalties that, in total, are more than 25 billion dollars.
The person who invented the stop sign, the pedestrian crosswalk, the traffic circle, the one-way street, the taxi stand, and pedestrian safety islands, William Phelps Eno, never learned how to drive.
Bette Nesmith was a typist in the 1950s. She invented white-out because she was fed up with having to scrap a whole page due to a typo. Later she sold her company for over 40 millions.
Louis Le Prince, who filmed the first ever motion pictures, disappeared without a trace in 1890. Thomas Edison soon took credit as the first and sole inventor of cinema, and even took Le Prince’s son to court to dispute it. Few years later, the son also died under mysterious circumstances.
James Buchanan Duke is credited as the inventor of the cigarette, made billions, and Duke University is named in his honor.
Leo Szilard conceived the nuclear chain reaction,the nuclear reactor, and wrote the letter suggesting the Manhattan Project, which Einstein signed. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer, he designed his own radiation therapy which led to a full recovery.
ATM PINs were originally intended to have six digits, but have four because the inventor’s wife said she could only remember that many.
In the early 20’s, inventor Thomas Midgley Jr. discovered that he could make car engines more efficient by adding Tetraethyllead to gasoline, and was awarded a Nichols Medal. Later, it was discovered that the chemicals had filled the atmosphere with lead, leading to worldwide lead poisoning.
In the late 20’s, the same inventor synthesized one the first Chloroflourocarbons, known as CFC, and received the Perkin Medal. It was later discovered that the immense amounts of CFC produced by hairspray and other everyday products had reduced the ozone layer by 4% every decade since the invention. The wound is not expected to heal fully within our lifetimes.
At the age of 51, Midgley contracted polio. Unable to get out of bed by himself, he constructed a machine which could pull him out and help him stand without his family having to help. He got entangled in the wires, and died of suffocation. It is now believed that Midgley has affected our planet’s atmosphere more than any other organism that has ever existed.
The inventor of the shopping cart had to pay people to push them around for 2 years before people would use them.
Popsicle was invented by an 11 year old in 1905 when he left flavored soda on the porch with a stirring stick in it. When they froze he had a Popsicle. He kept it secret until he was old enough to create a patent.