was awarded 24 patents in his lifetime. His
inventions included a machine for making carpet
tacks, a steam-powered car, and a machine for
bending wood. The invention for which he is best
known is a wood lathe capable of creating
irregularly shaped objects.
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.
was the third person to be granted a patent in
the United States, for flour-milling inventions,
in 1790. He subsequently invented an improved
steam engine and a steam-powered dredger.
invented the electric starter for automobiles,
which was first used by Cadillac in 1911 and
patented in 1915. The holder of over 140 patents,
he also invented the automatic transmission,
leaded gasoline, quick-drying enamel paint,
Freon, etc. He was also the co-founder of the
Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.
began his career making improvements to the Watt
steam engine, and then developed the world's
first steam carriage. The invention for which he
is best known, however, is the use of coal gas
for lighting purposes.
patented the first man-made plastic in 1855. By
the time of his death he held over 80 patents for
processes and products related to electroplating,
rubber, and plastics.
first gained fame for the railroad air brake,
which he patented in 1869. In 1886 he founded the
Westinghouse Electric Company in order to
commercialize alternating current as the standard
for electrical transmission.