- An invention is defined as a device, method or process developed from study and experimentation.
- When a invention is created it can be protected by a patent. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state or national government given to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention.
- Sometimes a device is invented before there is a need. For example, the can opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced, and traffic lights were used before the advent of the motorcar.
- Most of the time an invention is created because of a need. For example, before the invention of the thermometer, the brewers of beer used to check the temperature by dipping their thumb into the mixture to find whether the temperature was appropriate for adding yeast. If it was too hot, the yeast would die. This is where we get the phrase ” The Rule of the Thumb”.
- Many historians consider the wheel, the spear, the knife, and the arrow as the earliest inventions. They were created because of the need to hunt , provide protection and transportation.
- The earliest inventions were made out of what was available to the people. Wood was used for spears shafts. Rocks were used for the blade of a spear or a knife. Bones were used for needles.
- Some of the most important inventions are considered to be the cotton gin, the automobile, the telephone, the electric light, the printing press, the steam engine, the camera, the computer, the sewing machine and the television.
- Some of the most famous inventors are: Archimedes, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Johannes Gutenberg, Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, Eli Whitney, the Wright Brothers, John Baird,
Henry Ford, George Eastman, and Heinrich Hertz.
- There are also many women inventors, however they are not as famous as their male counterparts. Where would the world be if Mary Anderson had not invented the windshield wiper for the automobile, or Margaret Knight who invented a machine that created flat-bottom paper bags?
- Probably one of the most famous inventor we all take for granted is Levi Strauss. Mr. Strauss invented blue jeans.
Download the Inventors Study Pack
Included in this study pack:
- Study guide and fact file
- Fill in the blank quiz sheet
- Word search
- Crossword puzzle
A Science Odyssey
About.Com – Inventor’s Index
African-American Inventor Series
Alexander Graham Bell:Family Papers
All About Levi Strauss
Americas Inventors and Inventions
Archimedes of Syracuse
Ask the Inventors!
Benjamin Franklin and His Inventions
Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of a Man
Brain Spin: Alexander Graham Bell
Celebrating Invention and Innovation
Edison: National Historic Site
Enchanted Learning: Inventors and Inventions
Famous Inventions A to Z
Famous Why: 30 Inventors
Forgotten Inventors by PBS
Games and Trivia
George Eastman House
Girl Tech: Inventions
Historical Bios on Inventors
How Stuff Works
Invent Now Workshop Overview
Inventions and Discoveries
Inventions From A to Z
Inventions For Sale and License
Inventions Multi Service Specialists
Inventor Ed Presents
Inventor: Alexander Graham Bell
Learn What It Takes To Be An Inventor
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
National Geographic: Inventors
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Philo Farnsworth and Television
Smithsonian: Inventors and Innovation
Spotlight Biography: Inventors
Steam Engine Library
Time: Best Inventions 2002
Time: 50 Best Inventions of 2010
US Patent & Trademark Office: Kids
Who Invented the …
Wright Flyer Online