5 inventors who made things we use all the time

Kids Think of Everything

by Rahul Mallapu

 

Introduction

Whenever you are enjoying your cartoons or playing games, you are most likely using your TV. As soon as you turn it on you are using the product of Philo T. Farnsworth’s imagination who created the world changing invention of the tv. He created all the parts needed for it single-handed. So the invention made by a kid has changed the lives for most humans on the planet. This was just the start.

 

In all man made buildings you will see all kinds of tech. Most of which were probably made by a child. These ingenious inventors have created things like: bacon, TV, and even water talking devices. These kids have made things we all use almost everyday.

 

These inventions were made for different reasons. Some make it for personal needs. Others to prove something to others. And some make it just for the sake of solving a problem or just to make something.. Because of their ability to “think outside the box” our lives have been enriched by kids. Sometimes they are better than adults.

  Television

 

Philo T. Farnsworth

For some reason, at birth, he was expected to be a violinist, but he grew a love

for electronics. At 12 years of age, he had created an amazingly well made electric motor and even the first electric washing machine his family owned.

For most people August 19,1906 would be a normal day, but

not for me. For me August 19,1906 is the birth of TV. It was the day

Philo T. Farnsworth was born, the inventor of the television.

Even back then he was setting himself up to create a life-altering invention. While he was going to Brigham University he researched television picture transmission. Soon, Philo had gone farther than any other high schooler because he had already thought of the idea of the television. Then, in 1926, he co-founded Crocker Research Labs which he later renamed Farnsworth Television Inc after making the tv.

While Philo was making his dream another was also being made when Georges Lematire thought of the Big Bang Theory.

In 1927, at 21 years of age, Farnsworth became the first inventor to transmit a tv image. This man was the first to take a step towards the making of the TV. The image he transmitted was made of 60 horizontal lines. That image was a dollar sign. Ironic that the symbol of the most needed thing in the US is the first to ever be on a tv screen. The key to this victory was a dissector tube of his own design. the dissector tube was able to transmit image into electrons that can be sent to a tv.

He filed for his first patent in 1927. He gained his patent at 21. Though he won early patent battles he lost later battles. He lost to RCA. He lost because RCA owned rights to many of Vladimir Zworykin's TV patents.

 

Philo created 165 other gadgets. “What did he make” you may ask. Well, he made equipment for converting an optical image into an electrical signal, amplifier cathode rays, vacuum tubes, electrical scanners, electron multipliers, and photoelectric  materials.He even made things you wouldn't suspect, like a process to sterilize milk using radio waves, the first electron microscope, and a baby incubator called “isolette”. Yes, you heard me right a baby incubator. By the end of his career Philo T. Farnsworth had a whopping 360 patents including a number of TV patents.

Though his discoveries are immensely important to us these days, he himself wasn’t a fan of his own discoveries. He stated “There’s nothing on it worthwhile, and we’re not going to watch it in this household, and I don’t want it in your intellectual diet.”

Philo’s last years were spent battling depression and alcohol. Soon he was gone. He died on March 11, 1971 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chester Greenwood

Earmuffs

 

You never suspect it but it just happens. One day you popped into the world a tiny baby like a bullet. That is what happened on December 4, 1858 in Farmington, Maine. This was the day Chester Greenwood was born. This was the start of the inventor of earmuffs.

At 15 years old, young Chester was used to the freezing cold weather. He had elephant-sized ears that didn’t handle the cold well. His ears were sensitive to wool so he wouldn’t wrap his head in a scarf like others. He could have stayed inside to avoid the ear numbingly cold weather, but his love of ice skating made him come to a frozen lake to enjoy some frozen fun. How would he solve this problem?

 

Thanks to Chester Greenwood's invention there have all kinds of rules involving earmuffs and even new types.

One day an idea descended upon Chester like an angel. He then molded wire from a coat hanger into 2 ear shaped loops. He then convinced his grandma to sew on a combination of velvet and beaver fur. To finish his invention he attached the 2 loops together with a wire loop. Yes, you heard me right, the first earmuffs were made of beaver fur, velvet and wire. He then ice skated with them on to test them. The earmuffs were great but they flapped around like a paper in a jet fan. He tried his best to fix this mistake. He replaced the wire for a flexible steel band.

 

Soon, many kids and even some adults wanted their own pair earmuffs. In 1817, 18 year old Chester Greenwood gained a patent for his amazing earmuffs. By the time Chester was old enough to drive he had already got his own invention and patent. He named his patent “Greenwood Champion Ear Protectors.”  He then, unfortunately, began to make them locally. Soon they grew in popularity. In 1936 Chester’s factory hit peak production. In this time he made 40,000 earmuffs. Yes, I said 40,000 earmuffs.

 

He then died in his birth area, Farmington, Maine, in 1937. But, just like my favorite saying, death isn’t the end. After he died he gained celebrity status in his home state. Then, in 1977, the Maine governor, James B. Longley, stated “the 1st Saturday of every December will be Chester Greenwood Day”. So, even death couldn’t take Chester Greenwood down.

 

Thanks to Jack Andraka's invention we have a chance to save the 48,960 people that are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year.

Jack Andraka

Pancreatic cancer identification test

 

In the spring of 2011, a 15 year old Jack Andraka was very unfocused. A close friend of his family had died recently of pancreatic cancer. He took this personally. Reading up the disease, he found some alarming news. He discovered that 85% of pancreatic cancer victims are diagnosed so late they only have a 2% chance of survival. He discovered the reason this is happening is because the best tools for detecting pancreatic cancer are expensive and inaccurate. It is incredible that even all our advanced tech we still have really bad tech. He said “There has to be a better way than this crappy test”. A typical teen might have left it there, but as we’ve seen Jack Andraka is as typical as a four-headed donkey. With the power of google, he discovered that a popular biomarker, called mesothelin, which is overexposed in patients with pancreatic cancer.

 

At the time, Jack was also thinking about carbon nanotubes. Then, in science class, while learning about antibodies an idea hit him like a rock to the face. His idea was “if I lace mesothelin specific antibodies into a network of carbon nanotubes, I would have a network that reacts only to mesothelin and would change its electrical properties based on the amount present.” It was definitely as complicated as it sounds.

 

Soon, Jack went to JHU every day, after he finished school, to work on his science experiment. You have no idea how hard it was for Jack. The days were long, hard and had loads of moments when Jack felt like crying. One of these tearful moments was when a month’s worth of cell samples exploded. But, there was a ray of hope in this cloud of darkness in front of Jack’s dream. In January 2012, Jack’s work started to (finally) pay off as the fact he created a prototype experiment. In a series of studies and tests he demonstrated his work. He showed that his dip-coated test stripes hooked up to a $50 ohmmeter had the absurdly awesome ability detect mesothelin in the blood of mice with human pancreatic cancer and even measure how much. Who knew mice were so helpful. “It’s important to note that this is still very much at a preliminary stage” states Maitra. Maitra says “We have to do a larger series of patient samples and we have to prove that it can find the disease in early stage patients with low mesothelin”.

 

JHU is a well known school. It is the best school in education and research. It was America's first research school.

Jack then wrote an incredibly detailed proposal letter and emailed it to JHU, the first reserach university in America. He received so many rejections it was crazy. He may have even got a rejection letter from Maitra, a scientist at JHU. Though he was very clear in his letter, after meeting Jack he allowed him to work to work in his office.

 

Soon, Jack’s work went above and beyond. It was not just used to diagnose pancreatic cancer. It was even used to diagnose breast and prostate cancer. This kid’s work is like a race car that never stops going. Maitra even states “It’s extremely impressive for a 15 year old kid with such a cogent idea and then work through it in the lab with such dedication. He’s a very bright kid,but he had to work hard and never give up”. His work even won him a prize. The prize was a $75,000 and he won it from the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. “It was a dream come true” Jack states.

 

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the largest science contest for pre-collage students in the world.

George Nissen

  Trampoline

 

Idea's can come from anyone and can happen at any time. This is exactly what happened in 1930 when 16 year old George Nissen had a gymnastic changing idea while watching trapeze artists.

 

Their stunts were as amazing as a flying pig, but what really caught George’s eye was when they dismounted at the end of their stunts. It forced him to think how cool it would be if they could keep jumping. Then, with a little innovation and a lot of imagination George was able to make a contraption… in his head. He called it: The Bouncing Rig.

 

He used his parents garage as a workshop. It may have been as small as a mouse hole, but it was good enough for him. With his workshop he attached some canvas to a steel frame. In 1934, Larry Griswold, George’s gymnastic coach, helped improve George’s Bouncing Rig. He helped George add more bounce. George was convinced into restrapping the canvas to the metal frame using tire inner tubes.

 

Then, in 1937, George, who was a swimmer created his first act. He called it the “rebound tumbling” act. It was as uncreative as walking. One day, in Mexico, George discovered that a diving board in Spanish in called “el trampolin”. Does that sound familiar to you? It should because George then added an “e’ to it and made it the name of his invention. That was the day the trampoline was really born. When he returned to the US he performed at school assemblies. He even allowed kids to try it because he was kind that way. He soon found out it was popular among kids. Like really popular. Uber-popular infact.

 

Then in 1924, the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling company was found. It was a good business, but soon Griswold left. It was very sad.

After a boring period of work the use of the trampoline extended. The awesomely fun trampoline was no longer used for just the amusement of circus tumblers and children. It soon was used to train American pilots and navigators. Yes, you heard me right, a kid indirectly trained the people who protect us. In this time Nissen replaced the canvas for nylon webbing that was as bouncy as the moon. Later even Soviet and American astronauts used it.

 

Thanks to Goegre Nissen creativity, nearly 1 million trampolines are sold yearly in the US alone. Almost 1.8 million are sold around the world yearly. 

But just like every day must end, every dream must stop. George soon sold his company. George Nissen, a gymnastic changing inventor, died in San Diego, California on April 7, 2010. That was the end of his tale.

Even this wasn’t the end of George Nissen. Nissen had more dreams then you can count with a super computer. He left his brother in charge of his company and left to fulfill his new dream… of being a navigator in a Navy destroyer. But soon he got bored so he quit and became a teacher at Pre-Flight Center in Oakland, California (this school already used his trampoline). Then one peaceful day he gained terrible news. He found he had competition. He then went back to the trampoline business. This guy has switched roles more than Mario. This began the “national rebound tumbling” contest. His first act was probably the coolest. He had a demonstration at New York with a kangaroo. Yes, a kangaroo was his partner. In his demonstration he discovered that if he jumps at one end and puts the kangaroo at the other the kangaroo jumps. That was probably as stupid too him as jumping into a volcano. During the 1950’s, he took his trampoline worldwide and even donated one to the Soviet Union.

 

He so successful that by the end of the 1950’s jump centers started to pop up everywhere. George was even making millions a year. More money then I make in 10 years. But there was a storm just over the horizon. People began to suspect the trampoline was dangerous. But no matter what this innovative inventor faced he always came up with a way to save himself and the trampoline's reputation. He created a new game on the trampoline. It was called Spaceball

Snowmobile

 

Joseph-Armand Bombardier

Every story has a beginning and every inventor has a start. This is the same for average people. But Joseph Bombardier is anything but average. He was born on April 18, 1907 in Valcourt, Quebec and from the start people could tell he was anything but ordinary.

Even back then, your destiny is written for you, sometimes even by you. As a child Joseph had a curiosity for mechanics as amazing as floating. At 13 years of age he made a locomotive toy that was so life like all the train lovers were jealous. He even built a steam engine and when he attached it to a wheel it worked. And the most amazing of all… he created a mini tank. He made it by convincing a local veterinarian to give him a broken 12-caliber gun. He fixed, modified it, attached it to a wheel, and did a demonstration a week later in front of a shocked veterinarian, the same one who gave him the 12-caliber gun in the first place! A freaking cannon out of junk is only possible to be made by Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

 

You may think that the parents of inventors are dunder heads, but Joseph’s father, Alfred Bombardier, was surprisingly smart. He “tried” to keep Joseph away from his car by giving Joseph a Model T Ford motor which he thought was unfixable. Even though the motor kept Jospeh away from Alfred’s car he was very wrong to think that Model T Ford motor was unfixable. Joseph “the breaker of the impossible” and his brother “the help” were able to both fix it and incorporate it into their own design of vehicle.

 

But every dream is always interrupted and this applies to Joseph. He was sent to a school so his project was delayed. He went to Sherbrooke Seminaire Saint Charles school. But no obstacle can stop Joseph-Armand Bombardier, even something as dreaded as school. He continued to create the device in his head. Soon he has the chance to return to his life. He went back home for break. While home he makes a little special surprise for his family. He unveils his surprise on New Year’s Eve. It seems that this is the start of a real New Year. So, on New Year’s Eve, Alfred Bombardier stared in absolute amazement as a strange contraption emerged from his workshop. It had Leopold steering in the front with big cotton ropes. This was cool but the back was the real show. It had Joseph operating a motor that gave power to a propeller of Joseph’s own design. This is unbelievable that a 15 year old had already made his own motorized vehicle. But Alfred “the dream ruiner” order it dismantled. Joseph obeys, but he can not help but be proud.

Most kids would be happy to go to Sherbrooke Seminaire Saint Charles school because it was a private educational school and it was the oldest in it's area of Sherbrooke , Quebec, Canada.

 

You may think he is unhappy to go back to school and you would be right. Joseph may have continued his studies but he was no longer really “continuing his studies” if you know what I mean. But at age 17 he has a new calling. After he became 17 he was able to convince his father to let him drop out of college to take an apprenticeship at Gosselin's Garage in South Stukely in the spring.

 

Even that wasn’t the end especially since he went to Montreal to work and he took night courses in engineering and mechanics. Then in 1926 Joseph returns to open his own garage. His family loved him so much that his father even gave him money. He then opened his garage. He was only 19 but already he had the capability to solve any mechanical problem. His business was booming so much that he could even pay back his dad. He could finally give back.

But then he had an idea. He remembered that a concern through his youth was that the snow in the winters of Quebec caused a halt for all motorized transportation. This was the birth of the snowmobile. The problem was that to make a snowmobile was that it had to be light enough to travel on snow. It also had to have a motor, traction, and suspension that can handle the changing amount of snow. For 10 years, Joseph labored under the weight of his invention, but luckily he never gave up. This is harder than you think. He had to deal with the mockery he gains from onlookers when he has a failure.

 

Joseph has worked so hard on the snowmobile it is hard to believe it is dangerous. But every year there are about 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries related to snowmobiles. 

But every year he created a new prototype. Each was a failure. But every problem has a solution. Joseph made his own motor since the one for cars were too heavy. But not all things are perfect at first try. This new motor tended to overheat. That was near the time Joseph gained terrible news that was as painful as being punched in the face. His son Yvon had died of peritonitis at the sad age of 2. He died because he was unable to get to a hospital since there was too much snow to drive to the hospital. This made Joseph more determined then ever to finish his invention. He began working so hard on his invention he could start working in the morning and when he looked up 3 weeks would already be over. The next year his hard work pays off. He creates the cogged wheel. He has just created the key to the snowmobile.

One chilly day, Joseph got great news. He had recently requested a patent for his cogged wheel which is his first major invention. So on that chilly day, six months after his request, he gains a very positive response from the Patent Office. He then has a tough choice: sell his patent or use it. He chooses to use his patent and turns his garage into a production plant. Finally, it was the moment of truth in 1936-1937. His first snowmobiles were introduced to the public. You may think this the end of his snowmobile making phase, but this is just the beginning. Joseph notices that snow builds up in the wheels of the B71 snowmobile. He fixes this by making a press that makes solid wheels. Joseph never stopped making snowmobiles or improving them just like he did with new B71 which he sold in 1940.

But Joseph’s tale is coming to an end. He continued work on his snowmobile until his death on February 18, 1964 at the ripe age of 56. This may be the end for him but his legacy lives on. No one will ever forget the name: Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

 

Glossary

velvet-a silk type fabric sometimes with a cotton backing and a soft, thick pile formed by loops of thread.

carbon nano tubes-carbon cylinders with amazing mechanical and electronic powers.

ohmmeter-a device that has the ability to measure the electrical resistance in ohms.

canvas-a type of cloth, silt, etc. that is woven very tight and is heavy.

traction-the friction of something on a solid plane of land.

dissector tube-a type of television camera tube that focuses an electron image made by a photoemitting surface in a aperture plane that deflects it past the aperture plane to scan.

patent-a right given by the goverment that lets and inventor use, sell, or manufacture his or her invention.

electron multipliers-a vacuum tube that contains dynodes that increases the flow of electrons from a cathode.

photoelectric-electronic or certain electrical effects made by light.

Birth place of all kid inventors in this book

-1905-11 year old Frank Epperson invented the popsicle. Born in 1894 and died in 1983.

 

-early1870's-15 year old Chester Greenwood invented the earmuffs. Born in 1858 and died on 1937

-1829-teen-aged Louis Braille invented a system of reading for the blind. Born in 1809 and died on 1858.

-1930-16 year old George Nissen invented the trampoline. Born in 1914 and died on 2010

-2002-17 year old Ryan Patterson invented a sign language translator. Born in 1971 and died on 2015.

Timeline

-2009-16 year old Janet Song and 15 year old Benjamin invented a cancer identification test. Janet Song was born in 1993 Benjamin was born in 1994.

-2010-17 year old Alissa Chavez invented the Hot Seat.

-2011-17 year old Param Jaggi invented a device that can make oxygen from carbon dioxide. Born in 1994.

-2011-17 year old Paul Hyman invented a fire prevention device. Born in 1994.

-http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/jack-andraka-the-teen-prodigy-of-pancreatic-cancer-135925809/?no-ist

-http://www.museebombardier.com/en/content/jab/biographie1907_1925.htm

-http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/us/13nissen.html?_r=0

-http://farmington.mainememory.net/page/1103/display.html

-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/teen-inventors/

-http://www.greatbusinessschools.org/10-great-inventions-dreamt-up-by-children/

-http://www.oddee.com/item_99064.aspx

-http://www.britannica.com/biography/Philo-Farnsworth

For more info

Video

Philo T Farnsworth-

this man made the tv and this video will tell you how.

More Video

Joseph Armand Bombardier-

this guy took alot of work to make the snowmobile and someone else turned his life into a video