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Inventors who didn’t really ‘invent’ the invention they got credited for!

Author: Abhishek Kumar
by Abhishek Kumar
Posted: Nov 22, 2019
henry ford

Innovation has been the key to human evolution since time immemorial. Ever since the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, and now with humanity entering into the digital age, millions of inventions have helped shape our lives for the better.

However, just like success doesn’t strike overnight, breakthroughs and inventions are rarely the contributions of one sole person! History is full of examples of famous inventors who got credited for something they just improved upon but didn’t invent from scratch! They simply made something better and helped their creation gain mass appeal!

Here is a list of world-famous inventors who got wrongly credited for their ‘invention’ which they didn’t invent while the real inventor languishes in oblivion. It is only after a deep research of testimonials and documentary evidence that the world found out who the ‘actual’ inventor of these inventions actually was!

1. The automobile – Alleged Inventor: Henry Ford | Actual Inventor: Karl Benz

We all have been in an automobile of sorts! However, did you know that although many engineers like Wilhelm Maybach, Gottlieb Daimler, Siegfried Marcus, etc., were working on prototypes of the world’s first-ever car, it was Henry Ford who stole the cake!

None of them is the actual ‘inventor’ of the automobile since Karl Benz had made his own four-stroke cycle gasoline engine by 1885 in Mannheim, Germany and also got a patent for it in January 1886 under his company Benz & Cie., (originally founded in 1883)! He was selling the production vehicles by 1888, whereas Ford was still improving upon his Ford Quadricycle until then. Henry Ford had not created a self-propelled automobile until the end of 1896 – that is more than ten years after Benz’s creation was already public!

2. X-Ray Photography – Alleged Inventor: Thomas Edison | Actual Inventor: Wilhelm Röntgen

Edison is credited for this invention perhaps because he had created the Fluoroscope – a prototype of present-day X-ray machines by the late 1890s in which X-ray imaging techniques are used to obtain real-time moving images of the interior of an object. However, it wasn’t the world’s first demonstration of x-ray photography.

In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen (a German physics professor) was experimenting with invisible cathode rays that apparently caused a fluorescent effect on a small cardboard screen painted with barium platinocyanide when placed close to an aluminium window.

Two weeks later, he covered a Crookes–Hittorf tube with the cardboard and attached electrodes to a Ruhmkorff coil to generate an electrostatic charge and took a photograph which is believed to be the world’s first X-ray image! It was a picture of his wife’s hand on a photographic plate formed due to X-rays! His discovery was later known as the Röntgen rays. He was awarded the first-ever Nobel Prize in Physics in recognition of his discovery of new rays (or x-rays)!

3. The world’s the first-ever manned aeroplane – Alleged Inventor: The Wright Brothers | Actual Inventor: Richard Pearse

Our history books say that The Wright Brothers were the first to achieve a powered and sustained human flight on 17 December 1903, but it was actually New Zealand’s Richard Pearse who did the exact same thing 9 months ago on 31 March 1903! Though, this is a highly debated topic.

Richard’s design was very similar to the current aircraft designs of today – a monoplane. The Wright brothers’ machine Wright Flyer 1 was a biplane. However, it is to be noted that Pearse himself never made such claims and he claimed to have not attempted "anything practical … until 1904?. On the contrary, many investigations, excavations and documentary evidence has been put to scrutiny over the years and many scientists believe that Pearse did achieve sustained controlled flight earlier than the Wright Brothers, but the matter is still under research.

Another quick fact: Shivkar B?puji Talpade (1864 – 1916) of India is said to have constructed the world’s first unmanned aeroplane in 1895!

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Author: Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

Member since: Nov 15, 2019
Published articles: 1

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