Matilda Lucid served as a mission
specialist on four Space Shuttle flights, and was
the only American woman to ever serve aboard the
Soviet Space Station Mir.
Alva Edison was granted 1,093
patents in his lifetime, with the best known
being for the phonograph, the incandescent
lightbulb, and the Kinetoscope. His lesser-known
inventions include a stock ticker, an improved
typewriter, and an electric vote-recording
was a motion picture viewing device developed by
The Edison Laboratory and patented in 1891. It
consisted of a wooden cabinet in which a loop of
film passed through an electric lamp, shutter,
and lens assembly that projected a series of
still images in such a way as to give the
appearance of motion.
Graham Bell became interested in the
electrical transmission of speech due to an
interest in helping deaf people learn to speak.
His experiments led to development of the
telephone, for which he received a patent on
March 7, 1876.
Howe patented a lockstitch sewing
machine on September 10, 1846, and then spent ten
years first trying to find a market for his
machine and then fighting patent infringements.
Bennett was the co-pilot on Richard
Byrd's 1926 flight to the North Pole and back. He
was helping to plan Byrd's flight to the South
Pole when he died in 1928.
Pie was invented by Christian K.
Nelson in 1920, after he watched a boy have to
choose between ice cream and a chocolate bar
because he couldn't afford to buy both. Initially
called an "I-Scream Bar," it was
renamed "Eskimo Pie" by chocolate maker
was an early film projector developed by Charles
Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat and demonstrated
publicly for the first time in September of 1895
(the men called the machine a Phantoscope
at the time).
was created in 1937 as a way for Hormel to use
leftover pork shoulder. By prominently featuring
the brand name on the packaging and spending
lavishly on advertising, it had achieved an 18
percent market share within a year. Its biggest
boost came with World War II, during which
American soldiers came to either love it or hate
Drushel Perky was a lawyer by
training who developed a machine that could shred
wheat and "weave" it into a
"biscuit." Unable to interest anyone in
his machine, he decided to sell the
"biscuits" instead, and the Shredded
Wheat cereal brand was born.
Ammann earned great recognition as
the designer and builder of the George Washington
Bridge. He went on to design several other
notable bridges, including the Triborough, Throgs
Neck, and Verrazano-Narrows, as well as to
oversee construction of the Hudson Tunnel.
Stevens demonstrated the first
steamship built in America in 1804, and the first
steam locomotive built in America in 1825. He
also designed a bridge and underwater tunnel from
Hoboken to New York, as well as an elevated
railroad system for New York City.
Julius Oberth became interested in
rocketry at the age of 11, after reading Jules Verne's From the Earth to the
Moon. By the time he was 14 he had developed
a theoretical model for a "recoil
rocket" that could propel itself through
space by expelling exhaust gases from its base,
as well as the concept of multi-stage rockets.
Congreve invented war rockets for
Britain that helped inspire The
Star-Spangled Banner. A very busy inventor,
he also received patents for a canal lock and
sluice, a method for manufacturing gunpowder,
counterfeit-resistant bank-note paper, a steam
engine, and many, many other devices.
Canal is a
101-mile-long manmade waterway that connects the
Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea (via the Gulf
of Suez), beginning at Port Said on the
Mediterranean and ending at Suez on the Gulf. It
averages 984 feet in width and can accomodate
ships with a draft of up to 66 feet.