Happy National Inventors' Day!

posted Feb 11, 2014, 5:47 AM by Unknown user

Today officially marks National Inventors’ Day, in honor of Thomas Edison’s birthday, and thanks to President Ronald Reagan. To celebrate the day, here’s some of the most famous inventors from our own lovely state of Ohio.


Thomas Edison

The fact that the day was created for him AND he’s also from Milan, Ohio is pretty cool. Edison, as everyone knows, invented the incandescent electric lightbulb. But is that all he invented? Nope! He also invented the phonograph, which was a recording device on which he was able to play back “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and the Kinetoscope, a precursor which helped motion pictures or movies as we know them become a viable thing. Edison was issued an estimated 1,093 patents in his lifetime.


Wilbur and Orville Wright

Though North Carolina claimed for a long time they were “First in Flight” on their license plates, technically this dynamic duo was born in Dayton, Ohio. The two brothers initially began a bicycle shop business out of Dayton, but in August of 1900, took the fateful flight over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina that has lead to the major business of commercial flying we know today.

Wilbur and Orville Wright, courtesy of nps.gov


William Semple/Amos Tyler

Semple was a doctor from Mount Vernon and Tyler was a Toledo resident, and together these two are credited mutually with the first patent on chewing gum. Though today’s chewing gum has experienced a lot of changes since both the original, which was bark tar chewed by prehistoric peoples, and Semple’s version, which was believed to contain charcoal and chalk.  


James Ritty

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Ritty is credited with the invention of the first mechanical cash register. Ritty owned a bar called The Pony House and had become frustrated by the dishonesty of employees with money. The invention was inspired by a mechanism that counted propellers on a boat, which he then used the idea to create the cash register, which would count money and dispel the dishonesty.


Garrett Morgan

Morgan is known for two major inventions. The African-American inventor created a gas mask, which after a few tweaks, was used by soldiers in World War I. Also, after witnessing an automobile and buggy accident, Morgan was inspired to create the traffic light. He was born in Paris, Kentucky but moved when he was young to Cincinnati.

Garrett Morgan, courtesy of wikimedia.org


Murray Spangler

Spangler, a previous janitor at the Zollinger Dept. Store in Canton, Ohio is credited with the invention of the vacuum. He too was born outside of the state, in Plain Township, Pennsylvania, but moved with his family to Stark County, Ohio.


Though there are many more inventors from Ohio, these are some of the most notable ones. Ohio can be unfortunate with the bad weather we often get, but when it comes to putting our minds to work to improve the world, it seems we've got that area covered!  
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