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There are some inventors whose names are known by everyone: Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla. But there are many inventors whose names we don’t hear that have contributed amazing things. Check out these inventors you’ve never heard of.
1. Garrett Morgan
Morgan was a prolific inventor despite only having an elementary school education. He was born to former slave parents, but from humble beginnings he went on to invent gas masks, hair straighteners, and traffic signals. His work saved thousands of soldiers from gas poisoning.
2. Stephanie Kwolek
While many of the most well-known inventors are men, women have contributed significant amounts to the world of inventing. Stephanie Kwolek is one of the women whose inventions are used by thousands of people every day. She invented kevlar, which is supposedly five times stronger than steel and is used today to help ensure the safety of soldiers, police officer, and extreme sports enthusiasts, as well as in skis, boats, parachutes, space vehicles, and buildings.
3. Charles Richter
Richter was the inventor of the Richter Scale, which we use to measure the severity of earthquakes. On the side, he was also a nudist.
4. Margaret Knight
Another woman who wasn’t interested in staying home, Knight worked in a paper bag factory when she realized that having shapeless bags made packing them difficult. She invented a machine that would fold and glue the paper to create a flat bottom for the bag. Unfortunately, an employee at the shop she chose to produce her machine copied her idea and filed for a patent, but Knight wouldn’t let that stand. She sued him and despite his brilliant argumentation that as a woman she couldn’t be an inventor, Knight won the case thanks to her sketches and plans.
5. Leo Fender
Guitar aficionados will recognize this name as one of the premiere inventors of guitars and bass guitars. Leo Fender set the standard for guitars, but amazingly, he couldn’t play.
6. Norman Borlaug
One of the few inventors on this list to receive some recognition, Borlaug is the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his work helping to eradicate hunger. How did he do it? With a tiny budget and no help from his government, Borlaug was tasked with fixing the Mexican wheat shortage in World War II. He identified the fungus that was the problem and invented a hybrid wheat that was disease resistant. The wheat went on to help countries like Pakistan and India fight their food shortages as well.