Are US inventors leading the way in the world? There is no doubt that technology has been the driver of a creative boom.
The last decade has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of new inventions that seek to make our lives easier. Plus, it seems, that US inventors are some of the most iconic, both in recent years and of all time!
Have you heard of any of these US inventors? Do you use their products and have them lying around at home? Perhaps you use their services on a daily basis, but you’d never heard of the brains behind it.
Here are 6 examples of US inventors that have changed the world.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
Of course, the first name anyone would think of in recent years for changing the world we know is Zuckerberg. Not only is he a real leader in the culture and society we know today. This social media mogul was just 20 years old when he launched Facebook back in 2004 with his fellow students at Harvard University.
By December 2004 it had 1 million active users. By September 2017, Facebook had 2.07 billion monthly active users worldwide. Zuckerberg arguably transformed the way we interact with the world, providing a microscope into each individual life.
The site has also evolved to become an advertising powerhouse with a reported $39.9 billion in ad revenue in 2017. Zuckerberg himself is now worth $58.7 billion, according to Forbes.
2. Steve Jobs
The second name you may immediately think of in terms of real-world change is Steve Jobs. This is one US inventors’ journey that is particularly interesting, because, Jobs started life as a college dropout. However, he used his spare time to build the Apple computer from his parents’ garage in California during the 1970s.
Together with his colleague Steve Wozniak, their aim was to build a personal, portable computer that everyone could use. They were successful and in 1980, Apple’s public market value was $1.2 billion by the end of its first day of trading.
Strangely enough, Jobs was forced out of the company within five years for poor products and sales. However, he fought back with a vengeance in the 2000s after the launch of the first Apple iPhone.
3. Henry Ford
Of course, Ford had to be on the list of US inventors that changed the world. During the 1900s, automobiles were simply toys for the very rich. But, Michigan-born Henry Ford wanted to change all of that. After two failed attempts, Ford eventually produced the Model T, which sold for $850 in 1908.
It was so successful, supply was difficult to keep up with demand. It led to Ford making automobile manufacturing more efficient and less costly. He introduced modifications to the factory process, such as adding an automated conveyor belt.
He also started training each worker to perform a single task.
4. Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Heard of these guys? If not, you may have heard of their online search engine, a little well-known service called Google. Page and Brin met as PhD students at Stanford Universtiy back in 1995. Shortly after they worked on a project that would later become Google.
Their workspace? A friend’s garage in California, where the two US inventors were temporarily living.
5. Matt Mullenweg
Page and Brin are not the only ones who are relatively unknown in the world of US inventors, despite having such a well-known product. Another is that of Mullenweg, who created the world’s first user-managed system in 2003, which we know as WordPress.
Aged 19, Mullenweg’s content management system opened up the floor to billions of people looking for a window to the outside world. Whilst other websites have made attempts at a similar format, WordPress remains unique and everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Republican Party uses it. The company values at over $1 billion.
6. Percy Spencer
Keeping up the theme of unknown names, Spencer is probably one of the least well-known. However, chances are you have used his invention and that every household has one!
The microwave oven was invented in 1945 by Percy Spencer and has since become an irreplaceable gadget for cooking, thawing and reheating food. However, the microwave was not originally for kitchen use. It may seem unbelievable, but it is true!
Percy Spencer, who was an engineer from Maine, was working on the magnetron for radar sets at Raytheon at the time. Whilst running a number of tests, he noticed that the microwaves had unintentionally melted the chocolate bar in his pocket. Thus, the concept of the microwave oven was born!
While others had noticed the effects of the magnetron, they had been too afraid to further investigate its powers. However, Spencer soon began using it to heat up his lunch, and, in 1946, Raytheon patented “high-frequency dielectric heating apparatus”—the first microwave.
These names are just a few samples of US inventors that have changed the world for good and made major contributions to the way we live. So, next time you log in to Facebook, heat up your lunch or type a search into Google, spare a thought for those US inventors who have helped make your life much easier!
By Becky L.