Steve Jobs gets credit for inventing the iPad, but the idea goes back to 1987. The vision for this device occurred when Jobs was not a part of the company.
The iPad is the highest selling tablet computer on the market, holding nearly 70 percent of the market. This also translates into Apple holding most of the profits due to tablet sales. It is the first tablet to ever hit the market. Steve Jobs did not design the iPad with his own hands, but he is responsible for the ideas about how the device should perform and how it should look.
Thomas Edison is usually credited with the invention of the light bulb, but the famous American inventor wasn't the only one who contributed to the development of this revolutionary technology. Many notable figures are also remembered for their work with electric batteries, lamps and the creation of the first incandescent bulbs.
Early research & developments
The story of the light bulb begins long before Edison patented the first commercially successful bulb in 1879. In 1800, Italian inventor Alessandro Volta developed the first practical method of generating electricity, the voltaic pile. Made of alternating discs of zinc and copper — interspersed with layers of cardboards soaked in salt water — the pile conducted electricity when a copper wire was connected at either end. While actually a predecessor of the modern battery, Volta's glowing copper wire is also considered to be one of the earliest manifestations of incandescent lighting.
Not long after Volta presented his discovery of a continuous source of electricity to the Royal Society in London, an English inventor named Humphrey Davy produced the world's first electric lamp by connecting voltaic piles to charcoal electrodes. Davy's 1802 invention was known as an electric arc lamp, named for the bright arc of light emitted between its two carbon rods.
While Davy's arc lamp was certainly an improvement on Volta's stand-alone piles, it still wasn't a very practical source of lighting. This rudimentary lamp burned out quickly and was much too bright for use in a home or workspace. But the principles behind Davy's arc light were used throughout the 1800s in the development of many other electric lamps and bulbs.
In 1840, British scientist Warren de la Rue developed an efficiently designed light bulb using a coiled platinum filament in place of copper, but the high cost of platinum kept the bulb from becoming a commercial success. And in 1848, Englishman William Staite improved the longevity of conventional arc lamps by developing a clockwork mechanism that regulated the movement of the lamps' quick-to-erode carbon rods. But the cost of the batteries used to power Staite's lamps put a damper on the inventor's commercial ventures.
In 1850, English chemist Joseph Swan solved the cost-effectiveness problem of previous inventors by developing a light bulb that used carbonized paper filaments in place of ones made of platinum. Like earlier renditions of the light bulb, Swan's filaments were placed in a vacuum tube to minimize their exposure to oxygen, extending their lifespan. Unfortunately for Swan, the vacuum pumps of his day were not efficient as they are now, and his first prototype for a cost-effective bulb never went to market.
While Swan waited for the development of quality vacuum pumps, an American inventor, Charles Francis Brush, was busy developing an electric arc lighting system that would eventually be adopted throughout the United States and Europe during the 1880s. While not truly a light bulb, Brush's lighting systems could be used wherever bright lights were needed — such as in streetlights and inside commercial buildings. To power his systems, Brush developed dynamos — or electric generators — similar to those used that would one day be used to power Edison's electric lamps.
In 1874, Canadian inventors Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans filed a patent for an electric lamp with different-sized carbon rods held between electrodes in a glass cylinder filled with nitrogen. The pair tried, unsuccessfully, to commercialize their lamps but eventually sold their patent to Edison in 1879.
The first practical incandescent light bulb
Edison and his team of researchers in Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J., tested more than 3,000 designs for bulbs between 1878 and 1880. In November 1879, Edison filed a patent for an electric lamp with a carbon filament. The patent listed several materials that might be used for the filament, including cotton, linen and wood. Edison spent the next year finding the perfect filament for his new bulb, testing more than 6,000 plants to determine which material would burn the longest.
Several months after the 1879 patent was granted, Edison and his team discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could burn for more than 1,200 hours. Bamboo was used for the filaments in Edison's bulbs until it began to be replaced by longer-lasting materials in the 1880s and early 1900s. [Related: What's the Longest Burning Light Bulb?]
In 1882, Lewis Howard Latimer, one of Edison's researchers, patented a more efficient way of manufacturing carbon filaments. And in 1903, Willis R. Whitney invented a treatment for these filaments that allowed them to burn bright without darkening the insides of their glass bulbs.
William David Coolidge, an American physicist with General Electric, improved the company's method of manufacturing tungsten filaments in 1910. Tungsten, which has the highest melting point of any chemical element, was known by Edison to be an excellent material for light bulb filaments, but the machinery needed to produce super-fine tungsten wire was not available in the late nineteenth century. Tungsten is still the primary material used in incandescent bulb filaments today.
The success of Edison's light bulb was followed by the founding of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York in 1880. The company was started with financial contributions from J.P. Morgan and other wealthy investors of the time. The company constructed the first electrical generating stations that would power electrical system and newly patented bulbs. The first generating station was opened in September 1882 on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan.
Today, lighting choices have expanded and people can choose different types of light bulbs, including compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs work by heating a gas that produces ultraviolet light and LED bulbs use solid-state light-emitting diodes.
The history of saunas is quite long, and no one really knows who invented them, though usually they are attributed to Finland, where they have been around it is thought for thousands of years. However, there are many other saunas in other parts of the world, such as the Japanese onsen, the Turkish hamam, the Native American inipi or sweat lodge, and the Russian banya. Finland though has the most sauna establishments, including in private homes, hotels, apartments, summer cottages, and public swimming pools.
If you have a sauna in Finland, the accepted manner of doing so is to take a shower, dry off, enter the sauna with your towel and stay there for about 5-8 minutes. You then exit the sauna and cool off. In Finland, the preferred manner to do this is to roll around in the snow! Once you are cooled off, you re-enter the sauna and start over again.
The reason why this is repeated a number of times is that the recurring heating then cooling supposedly pulls out the poisons out of the skin, along with many other impurities. It also theoretically enables the body to fight off colds and the flu, as it is believed that the hot and cold treatment makes the body ready to fight them by preventing chills when one is sickly. The Finns frequently take the matter further, and have been known to whip each other with dried birch twigs, which are supposed to make the poisons rise faster.
There are countries where saunas are taken in the nude and some not. In Japan, Croatia, Sweden, Slovenia, Russia, Finland, NE Italy, Austria and Germany they take their saunas in the nude. However, in Africa, South America, Hungary, United States, United Kingdom and in France, a sauna is taken covered by a towel. Strangely enough sitting on a tower is absolutely required in NE Italy, Austria and in Germany.
Elijah McCoy (1843 or 1844-1929) was a mechanical engineer and inventor. McCoy's high-quality industrial inventions (especially his steam engine lubricator) were the basis for the expression "the real McCoy," meaning the real, authentic, or high-quality thing.
McCoy was born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada, to former slaves (George and Emillia McCoy), who had fled the USA. McCoy was educated as a mechanical engineer in Edinburgh, Scotland; he then moved to Detroit, Michigan, USA. Despite his education (and due to racism - he was of African descent), he could only get a job as a fireman and oilman on a steam-engine train, shoveling coal into a train's engine and periodically lubricating the engine.
McCoy's first invention (1872) was a revolutionary way of lubricating steam engines without having to shut them down - this automatic lubricator saved an enormous amount of time and effort in transportation and in industrial production. McCoy eventually had a total of 57 patents, and was known throughout the world for his inventions. In 1920, McCoy opened his own company, the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company.
Garrett Augustus Morgan (March 4, 1877 - August 27, 1963), was an African-American inventor and businessman. He was the first person to patent a traffic signal. He also developed the gas mask (and many other inventions).
Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky, and was the son of former slaves (and the 7th of their 11 children). His formal education ended during elementary school.
As a a teenager (in 1895), Morgan moved north to Cincinnati, Ohio, looking for opportunity. His incredible ability to repair machinery led to many job offers from factories. In 1907, he started his own sewing equipment and repair shop. His business expanded in 1909; he employed 32 people, who used equipment that Morgan made (and invented) himself.
In 1920, Morgan went into the newspaper business, starting the "Cleveland Call." He was very successful, and eventually bought a car. While he was driving along the streets of Cleveland, he realized how unsafe intersections were, and was determined to make driving safer.
Morgan patented a traffic signal on November 20, 1923 (U.S. patent No. 1,475,024, issued in 1923) - this was the first traffic signal patented, but not the first invented. His traffic signal was a T-shaped pole with arms (but with no lights) that has three signs, one or more of which popped out at a time: a red "stop," a green "go," and another red "stop in all directions." This last signal let pedestrians cross the street. It was controlled by an electric clock mechanism. This device became very popular, and was used all around the USA. Morgan sold his device to the General Electric Corporation for $40,000 (a huge sum at that time). His device was used until the three-light traffic light was developed.
Morgan developed many other inventions, including a safety hood and smoke protector for firefighters (patent No. 1,113,675, in 1912), a gas mask (patent No. 1,090,936, in 1914). He also developed a zig-zag sewing machine attachment, a hair straightener, hair dying lotions, de-curling hair combs (patent No. 2,763,281, in 1956), and other inventions.
George Washington Carver (1865?-1943) was an American scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave. Carver developed hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and soybeans; his discoveries greatly improved the agricultural output and the health of Southern farmers. Before this, the only main crop in the South was cotton. The products that Carver invented included a rubber substitute, adhesives, foodstuffs, dyes, pigments, and many other products.
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