The active imaginations of children develop them into natural creative geniuses. Did you know that some of the things we use on a daily basis were created by a child?
1. Philo Farnsworth (Early Developer of Electronic Television)
Children have a bad reputation for sitting in front of the television for hours on end, so it’s natural that the man behind it all was a kid himself. Philo Farnsworth had the idea for the world’s first electric television when he was just 15 years old.
Farnsworth, an electronics whiz kid, aimed to revolutionize the image scanning process of the time, which was purely mechanical and included scanning an image through a rotating disc with holes before projecting it onto a screen.
A young Farnsworth was inspired by the back and forth motion of plows in fields and came up with a unique approach to scan images electronically as a series of lines. Farnsworth sketched his invention and submitted it to his chemistry teacher.
With the support of his friends, he was able to bring his vision to reality four years later. The invention worked, and Farnsworth established his reputation as one of television’s forefathers.
2. George Nissen (Inventor of Modern Trampoline)
George Nissen invented the trampoline while he was 16 years old, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most fun toys in the world.
Nissen was attracted by the trapeze artists as they bounced and flipped onto safety nets while seeing a circus with his parents. He was so fascinated by the act that he imagined how thrilling it would be if the gymnasts could just keep bouncing and flipping even if they fell.
Nissen worked with his gymnastics instructor Larry Griswold as a University student to realize his bouncy dreams. In 1941, they founded the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline and Tumbling Company, which sold trampolines all over the world and even received orders from the US military to use them as a training tool.
By the mid-1960s, the trampoline had become so popular that Nissen had given up on enforcing the patent. But, despite the trampoline’s popularity, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that Nissen fulfilled his dream.
Trampolining received the respectability as a sport that Nissen had dreamed for since he was a boy when it was finally included in the Sydney Olympics.
3. Louis Braille (Creator of Braille)
Louis Braille was born in 1809 and was blinded in both eyes when he was only a few years old. He struggled for years to trace his finger over raised letters and had a lot of trouble doing it.
The tactile writing system used by blind and visually impaired individuals is known as Louis Braille. But did you know that the revolutionary communication method was conceived by a child?
Despite this, he was able to excel in school, obtaining a scholarship at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France. Braille heard about ‘night writing,’ a code developed by Captain Charles Barbier when he was there.
The code, which was made composed of dots and dashes imprinted on thick paper, allowed soldiers to communicate silently and without the use of light. Braille was inspired by this and set out to create his own method tailored to the needs of the blind.
Braille’s system was complete by 1824 when he was 15 years old. His school, however, refused to teach it. Braille spent the rest of his life perfecting and expanding the technique, but the Institute didn’t adopt it until 1854, two years after his death.
Braille’s idea eventually spread throughout the French-speaking world, and it is now widely used globally.
4. Blaise Pascal (First Digital Calculator)
Blaise Pascal was a young prodigy who grew up to become one of France’s most famous mathematicians and physicists. Pascal invented the first mechanical calculator at the age of 18 in 1642, influenced by his father’s work as a tax accountant.
To do additions and subtractions, the calculator used metal wheel dials, and it could also perform more complicated tasks like division and multiplication. Surprisingly, it used techniques that are similar to those used by modern computers.
He introduced his concept to the public after making 50 prototypes. As a result, King Louis XIV of France granted him exclusive design and manufacturing rights to calculating machines.
Although the calculator was not a commercial success, it was a significant step forward in the use of technology to make boring tasks easier.
5. Param Jaggi (Algae Mobile)
Listed twice in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2011 and 2012. When Param Jaggi was still in high school, he invented a world-changing system to transform carbon dioxide emitted by automobiles into oxygen.
Jaggi was interested in environmental issues and world concerns as a child. After seeing the amount of gases generated from a car while learning to drive in 2008, Jaggi decided to design a device that would reduce his carbon impact.
He built his bio-reactor while he was only 17 years old. The Algae Mobile, which is filled with algae and hence named, fits over a car’s tailpipe, allowing the algae to convert the toxic gas. Jaggi won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency for his invention.
6. Ralph Samuelson (Inventor of Water Skiing)
Water skiing was first displayed in the summer of 1922 when 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson invented it. It is now a worldwide sport with millions of participants.
The daring teenager came up with the idea for water skiing as a new take on snow-based skiing after learning the water sport aquaplaning, which required standing on a board while being pulled by a powerboat.
Samuelson made water skis out of pine boards, bending the tips by softening the wood with boiling water, after experimenting with both wooden barrels and snow skis.
Samuelson’s skiing brought attention from the local community, but he failed to file a patent application for his invention, which went to inventor Fred Waller.
In 1972, 50 years after his invention, Samuelson was honored for his contribution to the sport and was named guest of honor at a celebration celebrating the sport’s 50th anniversary.
7. Frank Epperson (The Popsicle)
|Credit: Google Pics | nrg.org|
A hot day isn’t complete without an ice pop, yet this delicious summertime treat was invented by a child’s innocence. When Frank Epperson was 11 years old, he was preparing a powdered soda and water drink.
On a cold night, he became distracted and forgot about the drink, leaving it on his front porch with a mixing stick. It was morning when he found it again, and the drink had fully frozen. Epperson was delighted about his unintentional yet delicious invention.
He named it the Epsicle and served it at a local ball seventeen years later. Epperson experimented with a variety of flavors after the frozen treats were a huge hit. After a quick rebranding to Popsicle, the rest is frozen confectionery history.
8. Eesha Khare (Super Capacitor Energy Storage Device)
Khare, who has always been fascinated by innovative science, took advantage of the chance to construct a supercapacitor. People would no longer need to rely on electrical outlets because the energy storage device can store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space.
Not only might the device charge phones but it could also potentially be used to charge electric cars. Khare submitted her invention in the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and was awarded $50,000 as the runner-up. Her design was so impressive that it caught the eye of major corporations such as Intel and Google.
9. Chester Greenwood (Earmuff inventor)
Greenwood For the past 39 years, the US state of Maine has recognized Chester Greenwood Day on the first day of winter, in honor of the 15-year-old who invented the modern-day earmuff in 1873.
Chester Greenwood, an avid ice skater, was frequently forced to cut his enjoyment short due to his ears becoming too cold. Greenwood approached his grandmother and asked her to sew some ‘ear muffs’ out of wire, beaver fur, and cotton for him because he was allergic to wool caps.
Greenwood’s odd ear coverings were originally mocked, but his friends soon realized that they served a useful purpose, and soon everyone was wearing them.
Greenwood set up a small factory and began mass-producing his ear protectors as an adult. Greenwood’s factory was enlisted to supply earmuffs for thousands of troops when World War 1 broke out, and by 1936, the company was producing 400,000 pairs each year.
10. Boyan Slat (Ocean Cleanup)
Boyan Slat, 16, was shocked to see so much plastic in the sea while diving with his family in Greece. Over the previous few decades, millions of tonnes of plastic have contaminated the world’s waterways, and Slat was surprised to hear that there was no clear solution for cleaning up the sea.
He became eager about doing something about it. Rather than trying to clean the ocean by picking up trash, which would take thousands of years, Slat developed a mechanism that would bring the waste to him.
Slat’s invention would catch and concentrate floating garbage while allowing sea life to pass past it by forming an array of floating barriers anchored to the seafloor.
The plastic collected could then be recycled or converted into oil. Slat plans to deploy a pilot device near the Japanese island of Tsushima in 2017 after raising more than $2 million.