These little-known inventors have left an indelible mark on our society. These little-known geniuses have shaped our world: zoom on their inventions.
Technologies today are an integral part of our daily lives to the point that it becomes almost natural to use them without wondering how they were created and who their inventor is.
In this article we will focus on some historical figures whose inventions have changed our way of life.
The world's greatest and least known inventors
1 / ADA Lovelace, The mother of IT
ADA Lovelance (born December 10, 1815 in London) was a pioneer in computer science. she realized the first computer program on the ancestor of the computer: the analytical engine of Charles Babbage.
At the end of 1842, she offered her services to Charles Babbage, her mentor, to continue the development and promotion of Babbage's analytical machine.
She writes a very detailed algorithm to calculate Bernoulie numbers with the machine.
This algorithm generates a program that will be considered the first real computer program in the world.
Lire aussi | ADA Lovelace - The Mother of Computing (1815 - 1852)
2 / Hedy Lamarr: The mother of GPS, wifi and bluetooth
She was an Austrian-born American actress and producer. Hedy Lamaar, well known in the eyes of the public for his films, is the co-author of a very clever technique which will be used until today in many scientific fields.
This is the so-called “frequency hopping” technique, which was used at the time to control torpedoes from a distance during the Second World War.
His system proposed in 1941 made it possible to control submarine torpedoes by radio while regularly changing frequencies so as not to be detected by enemy radars.
The operating principle of this communication system is today used for satellite or GPS positioning, military encrypted links, space shuttle communications with the ground, mobile telephony and in WIFI technology.
3 / Lewis Howard Latimer
In 1880, Latimer was hired as assistant manager and designer of the US Electric Lighting Company, of which Hiram Maxim was the founder and the main rival of Thomas Edison. The inventor of the first light bulb
Lewis Howard working at Thomas' main rival, Hiram Maxim, exploited the weak point of Edison's light bulb, its lifespan.
Indeed, Thomas Edison's light bulb lasted only 30 hours, i.e. one day. Latimer while working on the project found a way to extend the life of the bulb through the invention of the carbon filament.
It is the birth of the first industrialized light bulb in the history that we know until today.
Lewis will not stop innovating in the field of technology. Throughout his life, Latimer continued and tried to develop devices to improve the lives of the public.
He has also worked on initiatives to improve the civil rights of black citizens in the United States. He also painted portraits and wrote poetry and music for those close to him.
4 / George Alcorn
Few inventors have such a rich profile as George Edward Alcorn.
This Afro-American scientist has worked for several companies including IBM and NASA where he is the author of more than 20 different inventions, 8 of which are patented.
One of his greatest inventions is the X-ray Spectrometer.
The X-ray spectrometer commonly called XRS makes it possible to identify the chemical or atomic composition of a component.
XRS imaging makes it possible to visually map the chemical composition of a product or material.
This invention is appreciated as a major innovation by experts in the field when George Alcorn in 1984 showed the thermomigration of aluminum in his spectrometer.
The method allowed him to receive a patent and the title of the best inventor of the year by NASA.
The invention is widely used by NASA to remotely detect and identify the various atomic components of a star or other objects in space.
5 / Granville-woods
This inventor known by the nickname "Black Thomas Edison" is one of the most respected that the world has known in his time. Today his contributions are less and less known or I will say, forgotten.
After being refused any opportunity and promotion because of the color of his skin, he formed with his brother Lyates thecompany Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884.
It is from this company that he will sell and promote many of his inventions, most of which are still in use today.
One of the company's first inventions was an improved telephone transmitter that had better sound clarity and could transmit over many distances without losing quality.
The number of patents that Grandville Woods filed during his lifetime is estimated to be over 50. From automatic brake and egg incubator to improvements in many technologies such as circuit security, telegraph, telephone and phonograph.
Wood in his day became a highly respected inventor and admired for his genius. He sold many electronic devices to two giants of the time, General Electric and American Engineering.
6 / Valerie Thomas
One of the great hidden figures who greatly made NASA's conquest of space possible.
Valerie Thomas is an African American scientist who since childhood was fascinated with technology and read e-books aimed at teenage men. She went on to study at Morgan University after leaving Girls' High School.
She passed with distinction with a degree in physics where she was the only of two girls in her class.
She is accepted at NASA as a data analyst.
It was at this time that she had to manage an image processing system project that will allow satellites to transmit images from space.
This project will allow her to later invent a technology that will revolutionize the sectors of medicine and 3D entertainment.
In 1976 Thomas learned how concave mirrors could be configured to create the illusion of a 3 dimensional object.
She immediately understood the interest that this technology could have in the field of television, science and the image processing project for which she is in charge, if it were to exist.
A year later Valerie Thomas began the experiments and in 1980 she filed the patent for her invention there. This is the illusion transmitter.
The illusion transmitter invented by Thomas made it possible to observe a 3-dimensional image that appears real, like a hologram.
The detailed description of the patented invention is as follows: “Optical illusions can be produced by parabolic mirrors in which such produced images possess three-dimensional attributes.
The optical effect can be explained by the fact that human eyes see an object from two points of view laterally separated by about six centimeters.
The two views show slightly different spatial relationships between near objects and very distant objects and the visual process merges these stereoscopic views into a single three-dimensional impression.
The same parallax view of an object can be experienced when reflecting an object seen from a concave mirror”.
Valerie Thomas continued to work at NASA until her retirement in 1995.
In addition to the illusion transmitter, she designed research programs on Comet Halley and ozone holes. Valerie has received other NASA and GSFC awards for her work.
The common point of all these great characters is their passion for their work and the desire to always improve the lives of the people around them.
You don't need to be a great physicist or scientist to start cleaning your house. With what you know, try to improve the daily life of those around you.
Source: blackinventor.com, wikipedia
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