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There is a folklore story that in the early 1900s people were ready to close the US Patent Office because some people believed that all the good ideas had already been thought of.

Things could not possibly get better.

True or not — I really don’t know. But if it is true I think we can all see the fallacy of that thinking.

So here are some fun facts about those amazing minds that change our lives.

Fun Facts About Inventors

  • Edison didn’t think much of Tesla’s alternating current idea. How did he prove it was dangerous — why he electrocuted an elephant of course.
  • There is smart and then there is smart. The inventor of Vaseline ate a spoonful every day. Makes sense to me — ???
  • Smart, but no talent. Leo Fender invented the world famous Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars (I owned a Strat). However Fender did not know how to play a guitar. Thankfully all the great guitar players like Jimi Hendrix who used his guitars did.
  • I hate when that happens. The fire hydrant inventor remains a mystery because his or her patent was burned up in a fire.
  • Martin Cooper, a former Motorola inventor, made the first mobile phone call in 1973. No texting though.
  • In 2012 a 10-year-old accidentally created a new Molecule in Science Class — Tetranitratoxycarbon. I’m guessing the kid didn’t name it.
  • The first Credit Card was created because of the embarrassment of a man who had to pay for dinner but forgot his wallet. Wouldn’t the credit card be in his wallet too?
  • Charles Richter invented the “Richter Scale” a scale used to measure earthquakes. Richter was also a nudist. You can see a fully clothed picture of him at the link above. Must have been interesting working with him.
  • No college degree needed for Abraham Lincoln (the only president with a patent), Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs. You can always hang money on the wall.
  • Henry Ford was an inspiration to many people including Hitler who had a portrait of Ford hanging behind his desk.
  • Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine committed suicide in 1913 because he didn’t think his invention would be successful. Success is not always immediate.

Some Final Thoughts

Great minds think alike. Even greater minds think in another dimension. It took Thomas Edison over 1,000 attempts to make the first light bulb. They are almost all outlawed now.

He said, “I now know 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.”

Do you have the next great idea? The next generation of super computers? Some sort of amazing time saving device?

I promise I won’t steal your idea. Just leave a detailed description and the blue prints in the comments below.

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