Philip B. Downing was the African-American inventor of the public mailbox, a metal box on four legs with an outer door and an inner safety door. He called it a street letter box and intended it to be used instead of the post office.Know More
Downing patented his mailbox on Oct. 27, 1891. Before 1891, safety was not guaranteed in public mailboxes because they were typically left half-open. With Downing's invention, the inner safety door ensured the protection of mail from theft and adverse weather conditions.
In 1890, Downing patented a railway switch controlling the power supply to trains. Residential electrical switches were later invented based on this design.Learn more about Inventions
The scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla had an idea for wireless electricity, but he never found a way to make it work during his lifetime. The Wardenclyffe Tower project is perhaps the most famous example of Tesla's efforts to invent a way to transmit wireless electricity.Full Answer >
Lawrence P. Ray, also known as Lloyd Ray, was an African-American inventor who received a patent for an improved dust pan. The dustpan was designed for use in commercial and industrial settings.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the inventor of the first pendulum clock, after his discovery of isochronism, which is the time that the pendulum takes to swing. Contrary to popular belief, Galileo was not the inventor of the telescope; Galileo built a telescope based on creations by the Dutch, and it was known as a spyglass. Galileo also built a thermometer and a compass during his lifetime.Full Answer >