The top ten most popular inventors. The following popular inventors were determined by reader usage and research demand.
The first great invention developed by Thomas Edison was the tin foil phonograph. A prolific producer, Edison is also know for his work with lightbulbs, electricity, film and audio devices, and much more.
In 1876, at the age of 29, Alexander Graham Bell invented his telephone. Among one of his first innovations after the telephone was the "photophone," a device that enabled sound to be transmitted on a beam of light.
George Washington Carver was an agricultural chemist who invented three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes; and changed the history of agriculture in the south.
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794. The cotton gin is a machine that separates seeds, hulls and other unwanted materials from cotton after it has been picked.
Johannes Gutenberg was a German goldsmith and inventor best known for the Gutenberg press, an innovative printing machine that used movable type.
John Logie Baird is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television (an earlier version of television). Baird also patented inventions related to radar and fiber optics.
Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, the iron furnace stove or 'Franklin Stove', bifocal glasses, and the odometer.
Henry Ford improved the "assembly line" for automobile manufacturing, received a patent for a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered car with the Model-T.
James Naismith was a Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891.
Herman Hollerith invented a punch-card tabulation machine system for statistical computation. Herman Hollerith's great breakthrough was his use of electricity to read, count, and sort punched cards whose holes represented data gathered by the census-takers. His machines were used for the 1890 census and accomplished in one year what would have taken nearly ten years of hand tabulating.