Inventors and their inventions
New inventions are appearing every day to make our lives easier, longer, warmer, speedier and so on. But only a few inventors design a new machine or product that becomes so well-known that the invention, named after its creator, becomes a household word. Here are ten famous inventors and the inventions that are named after them:
1. Ladislao Biro, a Hungarian artist who emigrated to Argentina. In about 1943 he invented the ball-point pen or biro.
2. John Bowler, a London halter who designed the hard round hat known as the bowler in about 1850. It has become the symbol of British male respectability. And you can still see businessmen wearing bowlers in the City, the centre of London's commerce.
3. Louis Braille (1809 — 1852), born at Couvray, France. He became blind as a child. In 1824 he developed his own alphabet patterns known as Braille by which the blind could read by touch, based on a French army officer's invention for reading messages in the dark.
4. Samuel Colt (1814 — 1862), an American gunsmith. He designed a pistol, patented in 1836, with a revolving barrel that could fire six bullets, one after the other. The Colt was the first of its kind. Many "six-shooters" came later.
5. Rudolf Diesel (1858 — 1913), a German engineer who invented the diesel engine in 1897 and so began a transport revolution in cars, lorries and trains.
6. Hans Wilhelm Geiger (1882 — 1945), a German nuclear physicist. From 1906 — 1909 he designed a counter for detecting radioactivity. This was the beginning of modern geiger counters.
7. Charles Mackintosh (1766 — 1843), a Manchester textile chemist who, in 1823, developed a rubber solution for coating fabrics which led to the production of waterproof raincoats or mackintoshes.
8. Samuel Finley Breeze Morse (1791 — 1872), an American portrait painter who invented the telegraphic dot-dash alphabet known as morse code.
9. Louis Pasteur (1822 — 1895), a Frenchman who was both a chemist and a biologist. Pasteurisation is a method of sterilising milk by healing it.
10. Charles Rolls, a car salesman who with the engineer Henry Royce created the world-famous Rolls-Royce car. Rolls died in 1910.