The invention: A complex electronic device that increases the intensity of the light in X-ray beams exiting patients, thereby making it possible to read finer details. The people behind the invention: Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923), a German physicist Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), an American inventor W. Edward Chamberlain, an American physician Thomson Electron Tubes, a […]

Yellow fever vaccine (Inventions)

The invention: The first safe vaccine agaisnt the virulent yellow fever virus, which caused some of the deadliest epidemics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The people behind the invention: Max Theiler (1899-1972), a South African microbiologist Wilbur Augustus Sawyer (1879-1951), an American physician Hugh Smith (1902-1995), an American physician A Yellow Flag Yellow […]

Time Line (Inventions)

Date Invention c. 1900 Electrocardiogram 1900 Brownie camera 1900 Dirigible 1901 Artificial insemination 1901 Vat dye 1901-1904 Silicones 1902 Ultramicroscope 1903 Airplane 1903 Disposable razor 1903-1909 Laminated glass 1904 Alkaline storage battery 1904 Photoelectric cell 1904 Vacuum tube 1905 Blood transfusion 1905-1907 Plastic 1906 Gyrocompass 1906 Radio 1906-1911 Tungsten filament 1907 Autochrome plate 1908 Ammonia […]

Weather satellite (Inventions)

The invention: A series of cloud-cover meteorological satellites that pioneered the reconnaissance of large-scale weather systems and led to vast improvements in weather forecasting. The person behind the invention: Harry Wexler (1911-1962), director of National Weather Bureau meteorological research Cameras in Space The first experimental weather satellite, Tiros 1, was launched from Cape Canaveral on […]

Xerography (Inventions)

The invention: Process that makes identical copies of documents with a system of lenses, mirrors, electricity, chemicals that conduct electricity in bright light, and dry inks (toners) that fuse to paper by means of heat. The people behind the invention: Chester F. Carlson (1906-1968), an American inventor Otto Kornei (1903- ), a German physicist and […]


The invention: Technique for using X rays to determine the crystal structures of many substances. The people behind the invention: Sir William Lawrence Bragg (1890-1971), the son of Sir William Henry Bragg and cowinner of the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics Sir William Henry Bragg (1862-1942), an English mathematician and physicist and cowinner of the […]

Washing machine (Inventions)

The invention: Electrical-powered machines that replaced hand-operated washing tubs and wringers, making the job of washing clothes much easier. The people behind the invention: O. B. Woodrow, a bank clerk who claimed to be the first to adapt electricity to a remodeled hand-operated washing machine Alva J. Fisher (1862-1947), the founder of the Hurley Machine […]

V-2 ROCKET (Inventions)

The invention: The first first long-range, liquid-fueled rocket, the V-2 was developed by Germany to carry bombs during World War II. The people behind the invention: Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), the chief engineer and prime motivator of rocket research in Germany during the 1930′s and 1940′s Walter Robert Dornberger (1895-1980), the former commander of the […]

Walkman cassette player (Inventions)

The invention: Inexpensive portable device for listening to stereo cassettes that was the most successful audio product of the 1980′s and the forerunner of other portable electronic devices. The people behind the invention: Masaru Ibuka (1908-1997), a Japanese engineer who cofounded Sony Akio Morita (1921-1999), a Japanese physicist and engineer, cofounder of Sony Norio Ohga […]

Virtual machine (Inventions)

The invention: The first computer to swap storage space between its random access memory (RAM) and hard disk to create a larger “virtual” memory that enabled it to increase its power. The people behind the invention: International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, an American data processing firm Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an American university Bell […]