Inventions

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The first electrically powered washing machine was invented by Alva J. Fisher, according to About.com. However, more primitive types of "washing machines" were in use for centuries before this invention, which was patented in 1910.

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  • Who Invented Netball?

    Q: Who Invented Netball?

    A: Dr. James Naismith is credited for inventing netball. The no-dribble game was a spinoff of basketball that he invented in 1891 at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.
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  • When Was Nuclear Power Invented?

    Q: When Was Nuclear Power Invented?

    A: In 1934, physicist Enrico Fermi discovered nuclear fission through his research and experiments. He forced together neutrons with uranium atoms and noticed that the product was lighter than that of uranium.
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  • Who Invented the Hubble Space Telescope?

    Q: Who Invented the Hubble Space Telescope?

    A: The Hubble Space Telescope was invented by Lyman Spitzer, who first proposed the concept in 1946. Spitzer, a native of Toledo, Ohio, continued analyzing photos from the Hubble Space Telescope until his passing in 1997.
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  • Who Invented Springs?

    Q: Who Invented Springs?

    A: R. Tradwell invented the first coiled spring in 1763, according to Coiling Technologies, Inc. However, non-coiled springs have been in use since the days of the bow and arrow.
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  • On What Date Was the Light Bulb Invented?

    Q: On What Date Was the Light Bulb Invented?

    A: According to the US Department of Energy, Thomas Edison and his team had produced a functional incandescent light bulb by October 1879. Before this, British inventors had been experimenting with arc lamps. The first "constant electrical light" was invented in 1835, after which inventors continued to make small improvements until Edison's commercial breakthrough.
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  • How Do a Wheel and Axle Work?

    Q: How Do a Wheel and Axle Work?

    A: The combination of a wheel and axle is a simple machine that consists of a large wheel attached to a smaller wheel called an axle that turns on the same axis. When the large wheel is turned, the axle also turns.
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  • Who Invented the Paper Clip?

    Q: Who Invented the Paper Clip?

    A: The paper clip was invented by Norwegian Johan Vaaler in 1899. Because his home country did not have any patent laws in place at the time, Vaaler patented his design in Germany the same year.
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  • Why Did Alfred Nobel Invent Dynamite?

    Q: Why Did Alfred Nobel Invent Dynamite?

    A: One possible reason for Swedish engineer Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite was the safety of construction work and blasting rock in the mid-1800s. Nobel helped build bridges in Stockholm. Nitroglycerine was used in the detonation of rock, and it was a relatively unsafe method. According to the Nobel Prize Organization, Alfred Nobel's brother Emil was killed in a nitroglycerine explosion.
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  • Who Invented Chalk?

    Q: Who Invented Chalk?

    A: Natural chalk is made up of prehistoric saltwater organisms high in calcium that formed rock-like sediment. There is no inventor. Chalk-based materials have been used in writing for centuries, with no known inventor.
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  • Who Invented Binoculars?

    Q: Who Invented Binoculars?

    A: Ignazio Porro invented the first binoculars around 1854. Since then, they have been an essential tool for outdoor use, creating a more exciting experience for the viewer.
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  • Who Invented Dry Cleaning?

    Q: Who Invented Dry Cleaning?

    A: Modern dry cleaning was invented by two men in the mid-19th century: a Frenchman, Jean Baptiste Jolly, and an American, Thomas Jennings. Though their discoveries occurred independently of each other, they both used various chemical solvents to improve upon the cleaning practices of the day.
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  • Who Invented the Second?

    Q: Who Invented the Second?

    A: The international unit of the second was first described by the Greco-Egyptian mathematician Claudius Ptolemy in his work "Almagest" around 150 C.E. He defined the second, or second-minute, as one-sixtieth of a minute.
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  • Who Was the First Person to Invent Television?

    Q: Who Was the First Person to Invent Television?

    A: The first person to invent a fully functional television was Philo Taylor Farnsworth, an amateur inventor from Idaho. He publicly displayed his invention in 1927 but had conceived of the technology as early as 1921, when he was only 14 years old.
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  • Who Invented the Pencil and When?

    Q: Who Invented the Pencil and When?

    A: Pencils were invented in 1795 by a French scientist named Nicolas-Jacques Conte. He used a mixture of graphite, clay and water baked in a kiln to create the "lead" of the pencil. He then housed this mixture in a wooden frame for writing.
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  • Who Was the First Person to Invent Medicine?

    Q: Who Was the First Person to Invent Medicine?

    A: No single person invented medicine. The science of art and healing developed over centuries, across many cultures, and it derived from many different influences. Prehistoric medical records discovered in ancient Egypt, Babylon, China, Greece and Rome share similarities, such as the use of herbs.
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  • Did Thomas Edison Invent the Light Bulb?

    Q: Did Thomas Edison Invent the Light Bulb?

    A: Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he did invent the first practical incandescent light. Edison's invention improved upon previous models that were not capable of being used in the home. Edison is also credited with inventing the first electrical system capable of powering a light bulb long-term.
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  • When Was the Rocking Horse Invented?

    Q: When Was the Rocking Horse Invented?

    A: While the actual date of its invention is unknown, the rocking horse is known to have been present at around 4000 B.C. in ancient Greece and Persia. Rocking horses with half-moon bases are thought to have originated from cradles. The oldest known rocking horse still in existence as of 2014 is from around 1610 and is thought to have belonged to King Charles I.
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  • Who Invented Cursive Writing?

    Q: Who Invented Cursive Writing?

    A: Niccolo Niccoli is credited by many scholars as the inventor of modern cursive, according to the Chicago Tribune. Niccoli's cursive is known as "italic" and does not feature elaborate curly-cues.
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  • Who Invented the First Glider?

    Q: Who Invented the First Glider?

    A: Sir George Cayley, the father of aerodynamics, invented the first glider. According to About.com, the very first model glider was smaller, controlled by the body and flown by an unknown boy. Over the next 50 years, Cayley made many improvements in size, shape and design to his gliders.
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  • Who Invented the 24-Hour Day?

    Q: Who Invented the 24-Hour Day?

    A: The Greek astronomer Hipparchus was the first to propose a day divided into 24 equal hours. Hipparchus standardized this system from the Egyptians, who also divided the day into 24 hours but did not use a standard length for each hour.
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  • What Are Some Facts About the Telephone?

    Q: What Are Some Facts About the Telephone?

    A: Alexander Graham Bell's telephone was the first of its kind to receive a patent in the United States and gain widespread commercial success. Bell was interested in sound on a conceptual level and used an observation about sound echoing from one piano to another to develop the technology that made telephone calls possible.
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