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.
The man who invented the first beer tap also invented the modern toilet.
Nikola Tesla planned to secretly experiment on children, lining the walls of schoolrooms with high-voltage lines, believing that exposing them to the energy would make them healthier and smarter, and he believed every home in the future would soon do likewise.
In 1936 a patent for a “flying saucer” called Aerodina Lenticulara was applied for. The same inventor is also credited by some with the world first jet in 1910. In 1905, he also built a missile-aeroplane for the Romanian Army.
After being mistaken for dead, dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel was shocked to read his obituaries, one of which dubbed him “The Merchant of Death”. He thought to redeem himself by donating his wealth in trust to celebrate life achievements. The Nobel Prize.