40 Inventions Named After Actual People

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is take out my phone, turn off the alarm, and brush my teeth. I then proceed to make a cup of coffee, maybe watch some TV, or read an article, I then get in my car, and drive on to work. At work, I open my computer, put on a podcast, and begin to write. My morning routine would not be possible without countless inventions that subconsciously help me throughout the day. I’ll say it plainly because it’s true, humans take simple inventions for granted. That’s why inventors named them after themselves. So at least when you buy a Mason Jar or some Tupperware, their names are honored! Heck if I invented a wrench, I would call it an Edan wrench, not that I ever created anything. Inventing is harder than it looks, but a useful invention can shape the future. We have gathered up 40 inventions named after the people who gifted them to us. Chances are you have used each one of them at least once!

From Point A to Point B

1898: German engineer Rudolf Diesel with his workers at an engineering exhibition in Munich. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Getting on a bus to go to work may feel like second nature to us. A majority of the world relies on transportation to get from point A to point B on a daily basis. Gerald Ford may have invented the first vehicle in history, but had it not been for the diesel engine, there would be no cars on our roads today, no tanks fighting for freedom, and no trucks transporting our mail. This is all thanks to a man by the name of Rudolf Diesel. French-born Rudolf would spend 13 years working on the diesel engine beginning from 1885 and stretching the project all the way to the 1890s. Had it not been for his invention, the industrial revolution would not have existed as we know it.

Sparking Imagination

Photo by Cincinnati Museum Center/Getty Images

Invented by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Gifted to the world in 1893 at the Chicago Worlds Columbian Exposition, the Ferris Wheel was not exactly mean to be a staple in every amusement park in the world, but rather an answer to the Eiffel Tower in France. Today almost every city in the world has one. Imagine how many children have been inspired to reach great heights in life just by sitting on Wheel for a couple spins. Maybe it’s a bit cliché, and the need to be in the sky has existed throughout history, but perhaps this was a short cut to inspire more than just a philosopher, and it gave everyone in the world a chance to think big.

Modern Electioneering

George Gallup, American public-opinion statistician who created the Gallup Poll. Source: Getty Images

If you have come of age to vote and tune into the TV during election season, one of the most common phrases you may hear is something called the “Gallup Poll,” but what exactly is a Gallup poll? Invented by George Horace Gallup, the Gallup poll is a successful technique for surveying, sampling, and measuring public opinion by looking at varying statistics. Gallup polls are accurate equations that help us understand the scope of possible election results, and help tame our anxiety before the true results come out.

Detecting Fallout

Rutherford and Geiger with their apparatus for counting alpha particles. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

Have you ever seen a movie or documentary about nuclear fallout? There are even video games that focus on the very real, very possible, and very scary possibility of things becoming radioactive. Maybe you heard about the fallout in Chernobyl. Chances are you have seen pictures of scientist walking around with an odd sensor pointing it at different things after nuclear tests. This sensor is called the “Geiger Counter,” (invented by Hans Geiger.) It can detect an atomic nucleus in thin air, and gives scientists an idea of how much radiation there is in vicinities of nuclear blasts. Without it, humankind would be in big trouble after a nuclear fallout.

Saving Lives

Dr. Henry Heimlich, administers the ‘treatment’ to New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images

It’s on posters in schools, hospitals, airports, and any other public service building you can think of. By law in the US, it needs to be posted in precise locations in restaurant’s across America, and for a good reason. The Heimlich maneuver saves lives. First published in 1974 by thoracic surgeon Henry Heimlich, the Heimlich maneuver is still the first thing to do if you catch someone choking on their taco!

Safety First

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

American businessman King Camp Gillette was not the first man to invent the safety razor, but a drop of competition in the brand-new product of the industrial revolution but it would be the Gillette Razor’s thin style, disposable blade, and cheap price that would make his company the leading shaving company in the world today!

Dominating Clean

Source: cantonrep.com

Like the Gillette disposable safety razor, the Hoover vacuum cleaner (invented by William Henry Hoover) was not the first of its kind when it was developed in the 20th century. The first vacuum cleaner was actually designed in June 1908 by an Ohio department store janitor named James Murray Spangler. When Spangler gifted his invention to his cousin Susan Troxel Hoover, she would be so impressed that she would show it to her husband and there you have it, the first industrialized version of an essential to every American household today!

Not Invented for the Rich

Candido Jacuzzi and Son, Ken. Source: Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

When you think of the word Jacuzzi, the next word that probably pops up in your head is probably “wealth,” or “expensive.” But the Jacuzzi (invented by Candido Jacuzzi in 1963) was actually created for Candido’s 15-month-old son, Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis. Since then his pain-relieving invention caught the eyes of the world and became a thing of luxury and wealth. Many countries actually enforce a hefty tax on jacuzzies seeing them as nothing more than unnecessary gifts for the wealthy.

Still Being Used

The Louis Braille. Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Daniel Chapman Stillson (March 25, 1826 – August 23, 1899) Was a machinist during the American Civil War and served as vice admiral on David Glasgow Farragut’s first voyage. But that would not be his only contribution in American society, and after the war, while working for the J. J. Walworth company, he would develop the first adjustable pipe wrench. Seems trivial today, but it had come from somewhere and is significantly essential in any tool kit even today!

Staying Warm

James Thomas Brudenell, seventh Earl of Cardigan. Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images

Staying warm is vital to every human on earth, we wear sweaters, coats, jackets, gloves, and when someone in the office cries about it being too cold in the office in the middle of July, you tell them to “bring a damn cardigan to work!” The Cardigan came around during the 1920s and was named after (no other?) than James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan. It was said that during the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War it was the garment of battle that his troops wore. Who knows? The name sticks though.

Invented in the 60s Huge in the 80s

Joe Pilates, Inventor, physical fitness guru and founder of the Pilates exercise method. Photo by I.C. Rapoport/Getty Images

Healthy eating is one of the most important subjects in society today, with more than 1/3 of Americans suffering from obesity you would think we would have found a solution to the carnage that junk food has bestowed upon us. One thing you can try is an exercise and personal training lifestyle called Pilates. Pilates was invented by a man by the name of Joseph Pilates between the 50s and early 60s. He would argue that the exercise routine helps with cardio, lousy posture, and all-around health. This exercise style would be a massive hit during the 80s.

Important for so Many Reasons

John Landis Mason patented the screw-top Mason jar in 1858. Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Okay maybe for more food-related reasons then lifesaving/changing ones. The Mason Jar, first patented by John Landis Mason in 1858. Is one of the most essential storage devises for foods like pickles, jams, and other food items that need to be preserved for long periods of time. Before the mason jar, you could not enjoy a good pickle without some good old bacteria all over it.

The First Text Message

Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Today, you can order a pizza from Dominos by merely texting a pizza emoji with your phone to your nearest Dominos. If you want to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, no worry’s, just shoot them a Facebook Message and change your status. Pain-free! None of this would be possible without Boston born Samuel F. B. Morse. Name sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you didn’t listen well in history class. Samuel invented “Morse Code.” Without it, America would never have won WW1, and we would not have had a clue what happened to the Titanic.

Saving Childbirth

Ernesto Jorge Odón. Source: demandsolutions.iadb.org

More than 13 million births face severe complications in the world each year, and before Jorge Odon invented the Odon Device. Having a complicated delivery either always meant a C section, or the use of forceps to extract the baby. The Odon device uses unique mechanisms to obtain the baby with the help of a vacuum.

Keeping you Fed Longer

Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Ever wonder why a lot of the products you have in your fridge can last some times more than a month in the refrigerator? After all, that’s not too normal, if you went and got milk straight from the cow, it would not even last the week, let alone a month. This is because of an invention by a man by the name of Louis Pasteur called Pasteurization. Pasteurization is the process of using mild heat to eliminate pathogens and extend the shelf life of food products.

Elegance in Cake

Anna Pavlova with one of her pet swans. Source: Getty Images

The Pavlova cake is both sweet and bitter, Elegant yet sloppy, creamy, and silky. That’s why it’s most befitting that it would be named after ballerina Anna Pavlova. It was created as an honor to the dancer during her time touring Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. It has since become a staple Christmas dessert, and you can even find ice cream boasting the delicious wild berry flavors, and meringue.

Modern Medicine

Source: twitter.com

Back in Medieval time medicine practices were administered by churches and religious organizations, and theories were based only on divine word of a priest of how to handle diseases. Today modern medicine can do everything from treating cancer to lowering the temperature of your fever. No medication today, no medical study, no stem cell would exist without the help of the simple invention (that someone needed to invent!) called the Petri Dish that was developed by Julius Richard Petri.

Dad’s Best Friend

Source: oregonencyclopedia.org

When I was a young boy under the Christmas tree, or opening presents on my birthday, I quickly learned about one very important thing I should prepare for my father for when I unwrap the gifts. Well, two things mostly. The first is a set of battery’s, and the second and more valuable item I knew we would need is a Phillips Screw Driver. The Phillips Screw Driver was invented by a man by the name of Henry F. Phillips

Food on the Go

Source: Pinterest

Every other weekend I go to my grandmother’s house for dinner. We are usually around 10 people coming over for dinner, yet she cooks enough food for 40! You can make the argument that she’s senile, my father always does, but I think she does it so she can pack food for me to take home, I have no one else to thank for this blessing other than Earl Tupper. The man who invented Tupperware. Without him, my grandmother may have only cooked enough food for 10 people, not 40.

Home Safety

Source: yalelock.it

Locking your door may seem second nature, but had it ever accrued to you that it is actually a commodity that you may have taken for granted? Before American mechanical engineer Linus Yale Jr. Locks up a cabinet, or a door was something only the vibrant had access to locking up their favorite belongings.

Hurricane Gore-Tex

Source: evtoday.com

Hurricane season is one of the best times for news channel ratings of the year. That’s when you see your favorite newscasters who usually sit in a comfortable climate-controlled room battle it out in 180 miles an hour winds in the middle of Miami. Ever wonder how they are able to stay warm and cozy in that weather? Just look at their coats. They are wearing a material invented by a man by the name Bill Gore who invented the Gore-Tex fabric. A waterproof fabric that is breathable, and can repel liquid while allowing vapor to pass through it. Thus, keeping their body’s just as climate controlled as they are in the studio.

Ice Skate Santa

Photo by Bob Riha Jr/WireImage

When I was a kid, I grew up in South Jersey, and one of the only things close to home in the winter that I could walk to happen to be the same ice-skating ring that the Philadelphia Flyers would practice in. If I were lucky, I would get to meet a couple of their players, and if I were even luckier, I would catch a glimpse of Santa on the Zamboni (invented by Frank Zamboni) resurfacing the ice.

Stairway to Ferdinand

The dirigible Zeppelin and its Creator, Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, circa 1900. Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Ever hear the song Stairway to Heaven? The first time I heard it, I must have been 14 years old, and I was hooked! Soon after I would run to the nearest CD store and grab myself every Led Zeppelin album that I could get my hands on. I later called my friend Rob and thanked him for introducing me to the band. I should have thanked the inventor of the actual Zeppelin, Ferdinand von Zeppelin for if it were not for him, there would have never been a Led Zeppelin. Rock on!

What the Heck is That Thing?

Source: airfreshener.club

That’s what I thought the first time I saw the high school marching band while watching the tuba Player, scratching my head. My teacher then turned to me and told me “it’s a Sousaphone” I then replied, “what did you just call me!” The brass instrument in the same family as the tuba was invented by inventors J.W. Pepper & John Phillip Sousa. Well, thanks, I guess.

I think I’m Crazy

Source: Pinterest

Ever heard that Gnarls Barkley song “Crazy.” The music video for the song showcases what’s called the Rorschach test, invented by Hermann Rorschach to as a psychological test in which patients give their own interpretations of ink blots, they see in front of them. The test can be used to examine a person’s personality, characteristics, and emotional functioning.

Rubik’s Craze

The Rubik cube’s inventor Professor Erno RubikPhoto by Alastair Martin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

I remember the first time I saw a person solve a Rubik’s Cube. I was amazed, I went over and proceeded to ask the man how he did it. As he began to explain to me how he did it, I began to realize that I would never be able to do it, seeing as to I had so much ADD I could not even finish listening to the man while he was explaining. The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian professor of architecture. I’m sure he had the opposite of ADD when he made it.


Source: lightbulbs.com

It’s kind of a privilege to be able to use technology that was invented by the founding fathers of your country. That’s the case at least with the Edison Screw, developed by no other than Thomas Edison. It’s no more interesting than that though, after all, it is just the standard screw of a light bulb.

Universally Loved

Source: thevintagenews.com

I don’t quite understand this one so bear with me. We all love sandwiches, right? In the US we put our bacon egg and cheese in a roll or a bagel, in France they got their delicious baguette, in the middle east they wrap it all in a pita for an excellent shawarma, and in Greece they got their own version called the gyro, yet for some reason, some Lord Named “Earl of Sandwich” got the covenant prize of being named after arguably the most fun food on the planet. I tried to figure out why, but could not get passed the 5 paragraphs or family lineage and boring facts. But there you have it; sandwiches were named after this guy!

Jumping in Puddles

Source: blog.english-heritage.org.uk

Ever get a nice pair of rubber rain boots that you can fit your shoes right into during a storm as a kid. Then you can jump and down in puddles without your socks getting wet. You can credit this great childhood experience to the first man who wore such a boot to whom it was named after. Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington.

The Real Way to Get a Girl

Source: kitchendecor.club

When I was in high school, I had two friends who played a lot of music. One played guitar, the other played Saxophone, and I played the ADD card. I would observe the girlfriend getting skills of both friends at the time, and for some odd reason, it seemed that for every girl my guitarist friend would be with, my Saxophone friend would be 3 ahead of the count. He can thank a man by the name of Adolph Sax for that.

How to Win A War?

British engineer Sir Donald Bailey. Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images

Since the 1940s winning war became way more than just engaging the enemy, and it’s often said that wars cannot be won without the presence of a tank. I beg the differ, winning a war is not possible without bridges, and in case you didn’t know, the Germans would blow their bridges way before the allies could advance in WW2 That’s until a mand by the name Donald Baily invented the Baily Bridge, had it not been for his bridge design, the world would look a lot different today.

Before Screwing Was a Thing

Source: beachpackagingdesign.com

Relax I’m talking about bottles! Before bottle caps would be screwed on and off a plastic coke bottle. There was the glass Codd-neck Bottle. The Codd-neck would be a design that made it easy to transport carbonated drinks, open them, and then seal them back up again to be enjoyed later. It’s still a fresh and loved design today, for you retro lovers! Let’s thank Hiram Codd for this one.

Taking a Bath

Source: Wikipedia

Got you again! We are not talking about baths. We are actually talking about the first biscuit ever invented. The “Bath Oliver” was often eaten with cheese, or jam, and was created in 1750 by a man by the name of Oliver Bath. The name didn’t stick century’s later though. I wonder why?

Punk it Up

Source: fashionmodeldirectory.com

Do not get caught dead in a punk rock concert without a brand-spankin’ new pair of the one and only Dr. Martens, or “Doc Martens” boots. These big old boots have been making their mark ever since being invented by Klaus Märtens in 1947. Not much punk rock going on back then, but somehow, they made it into modern pop culture, and are stamped into young society today!

Not Your Average Raft

Source: Wikipedia

A cheap way to ship material across the ocean. That’s all this was. A colossal football field size rafts made from logs would be towed through the open sea to different destinations, and until a big break of one ended the practice. They were the cheapest way to transport timber across the Atlantic. The Benson raft is named after its inventor Simon Benson.

Very Important Music Stuff

Source: hispasonic.com

Okay, I’ll be honest with you, I’m not very sure what this thing does, but according to my research, it seems to be very important music-related activities that are very necessary to producers. But who cares about the “Dolby noise -reduction system,” let’s talk about Dolby for a second. This household named company is everywhere from your gaming counsel to your local movie theatre. The Iconic name did not come from nowhere. The founder of Dolby sound systems is actually named Ray Dolby.

You Get 5 Ballpoints

Source: wcsa.world

No that’s not a score I got for anything or something like that. That was the number of Ballpoint pens I got from the military when I began my three-year service. The Staff Sargent actually told us we only need one to last us three years, but that it was evident in his eyes that we were not organized enough to keep one without losing it. He was right, I lost five. The impressive human feet that is the Ballpoint Pen was invented by no other than László Bíró.

Sort of the First Shorts

Amelia Jenks Bloomer, an American magazine editor who introduced the fashion for Bloomers, loose trousers gathered at the knee or ankle, they did not catch on but did re-appear as swimwear. Original Artwork: Lithograph by Noyce (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

There was a time when women wore nothing but modest clothing in almost every western Judeo-Christian culture required women to wear either dresses or other garments that covered their legs all the way to their ankles. Eventually, women were sick of dealing with the heat and that when the first sort of shorts came out. Also called Bloomers (name after Amelia Bloomer) their inventor.

Fascinating Little Road Lights

Source: Wikipedia

I used to love looking out the window during long car rides in the night and seeing the lights on the road wiz by me at 80 MPH. These are actually called Botts’ dots and are not lights but reflective dots stuck to the pavement that gets lit up by car lights. They were invented by a man named Elbert Dysart Botts.

By Far the Most Important

Source: Wikipedia

If you never heard of Braille, that means you never needed to use it and never met anyone who needed it as well. Braille is a language of the alphabet intended for the blind. Instead of reading a book with your eyes, with Braille (invented by Louis Braille 1824) the blind could finally learn to reads with their eyes.