Subscribers: LOG IN to access quizzes, worksheets, and more! Not a subscriber? SUBSCRIBE!
TFK Family Edition
Get the monthly edition for tablets
Who invented windshield wipers?
Mary Anderson (1905). Anderson patented a rubber blade that would clear windshields in rainy or snowy weather.
Who invented the cotton gin?
Eli Whitney (1794). Whitney’s machine separated cotton fibers from the seed. Before, this work was done by hand.
Who invented Scotch tape?
Richard Drew (1930). Drew’s invention was the first waterproof, see-through adhesive, or sticky, tape.
Who perfected the lightbulb?
Thomas Edison (1879). Edison produced a reliable, long-lasting source of light that was practical, affordable, and safe.
Who invented the tractor?
Benjamin Holt (1904). Holt’s tractor used flat tracks instead of wheels to keep the vehicle from sinking into soft ground.
Who invented the Aqua-Lung?
Jacques Cousteau (1942). The Aqua-Lung was a tank of oxygen used by divers for underwater breathing.
Who invented the Model T automobile?
Henry Ford (1908). Ford’s was the first motor vehicle produced in large amounts, on an assembly line.
Who invented the telephone?
Alexander Graham Bell (1876). Bell’s telephone let people talk at a distance for the first time.
Who invented the airplane?
Orville and Wilbur Wright (1903). The Wright brothers’ airplane was the first machine that allowed people to fly.
Who invented chocolate chips?
Ruth Wakefield (1930). Wakefield broke a chocolate bar into bits. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe became nationally famous.
Who invented the hot-air balloon?
Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier (1783). Their balloon carried a sheep, rooster, and duck for eight minutes.
Who invented the World Wide Web?
Tim Berners-Lee (1991). This invention brought humankind into a digital world and helped advance research and communications.
Who invented the Slinky?
Richard James (1945). In 1943, James watched a spring bouncing on the floor and thought it would make a fun toy.
Who invented the Kodak handheld camera?
George Eastman (1888). Eastman made photography available to everyone, not just professionals.
Who invented blue jeans?
Levi Strauss (1873). Strauss used a fabric called denim to make durable pants for workers. The pants became known as blue jeans.
Who invented the sewing machine?
Elias Howe (1846). Howe’s machine put out 250 stitches a minute. Before that, stitching was done by hand, and took much longer.
Who invented the printing press?
Johannes Gutenberg (1436). This simple machine made books available to the public.
Who invented bifocals?
Benjamin Franklin (1784). Franklin developed eyeglasses with special lenses for seeing both at a distance and close up.
Who invented the motion-picture camera?
Thomas Edison (1888). The first motion picture was of an Edison employee pretending to sneeze.
Who invented Velcro?
Georges de Mestral (1955). Through a hook-and-loop system, de Mestral invented a way to fasten materials together.
© 2013 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.