Scientists Behind Life-Changing Inventions Who Went Unnoticed

4 Popular Life-Changing Inventions that Went Unnoticed

24 Aug 2023 6356 8 minutes

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At present, a wide community of researchers is engaged in experimenting with new ideas and discoveries. The best thing about being a scientist at this age is that one can avail enough financial and technical support from government agencies and research institutions. But scientific endeavours had not been that simple in the past in light of the fact that there were no such support groups or institutions. Moreover, scientific illiteracy was so widespread that it was tough to convince the public regarding the benefits of an invention or discovery. In this blog, we have discussed how some of the erstwhile scientists created their life-changing inventions. Reading about them will let you know their determination to their resourcefulness and sacrifices.

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Read on further to know what made these inventors go unnoticed even after giving such popular inventions.

Christopher Cockerell

The Hovercraft

When in the early 1950s, Cockerell began considering the possibility of travel by a hovercraft, scientists had already discovered a basic prototype that could float on water. But Cockerell wanted to come up with a vehicle that could be driven on both water and land. He started thinking about how friction might be reduced between hull and water to make a boat go faster. One day he came up with the idea that a large craft could be supported on a cushion of air produced by a relatively small amount of thrust. But again the problem was how to devise an effective way to hold the air cushions in place. The first few models that he developed did not work as the air quickly escaped from the sides. He concluded that there must be something that would let the air be trapped inside. Later, he experimented by fitting a cat food tin inside a coffee tin and pumped air from a vacuum cleaner between them. With this idea, he developed a hovercraft that emerged successful in traveling along the South Coast of England. This vehicle gave people the chance to travel through different landscapes and proved to be especially useful in countries where there are worn roads and railway tracks.

Frank Whittle

The Jet Engine

Sir Frank Whittle was a student at the Royal Air Force College from where he got the basic training for becoming a pilot. After working as a test pilot in the year 1931-1932, he entered into the RAF engineering school and pursued his further education from the University of Cambridge (1934–37). While studying at the Royal Air Force College, Frank White wrote a research paper on the topic “Future Developments in Aircraft Design.” In this write-up, he focused on how airplanes would soon be able to travel at the speed of more than 800 kilometers per hour. He focused on the point that equipping these air vehicles with jet engines instead of propellers will help them travel fast. What more, he described how his engine design would use cheap fuel oil to turn the turbine blades that would cause the plane to go forward from the sheer force of the gases. Later, he proposed the idea to the British Air Ministry, but sadly it did not get convinced. In 1936, soon after filing a patent for his turbojet engine, Franck started his own company called Power Jet Ltd. It took him one year to develop an airplane model on this design, and four years after this, he successfully flew it for more than one hour. In this way, the world got its first jet airplane.

John Logie Baird


Transmitting signals over long distances was one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. Many scientists were trying to find out a way to telecast live videos and sound via a televisions set, the most famous being the Scottish engineer John Logie Baird. At the age of 35, he spent his entire money on developing a TV-like machine that failed miserably. But later in 1923, he invented the machine that could transmit images and sound via radio signals. He tested it by sending some crude images by wireless transmitters. In 1929, German post office provided him with resources to create a television service. But when the British television company started in 1936, it chose Marconi’s televised system instead of Baird’s. While the world forgot the role of John Logie Baird in the invention of television due to the bitter patent dispute with the US electronics company, later it was found that he was the actual inventor of this electronic device.  

Trevor Baylis

Wind-Up Radio

Trevor Graham Baylis invented the wind-up radio in the early 90s. What makes this device distinct from other radios is that it does not need batteries to run. Rather, it can generate power by winding a crank. He took the idea from the wind-up record players and used a clockwork motor to develop the first prototype of his radio. In 1995, he established the BayGen Power Industries in Cape Town, South Africa where he employed disabled workers to build wind-up radios.  

Throughout history, there had been many scientists who failed to get recognition for their efforts. Well, the contributions brought forth by those innovative minds have in some way made our lives easier. So their experiments deserve our attention. But in case loads of assignments are not letting you  explore the biographies of these early researchers, take college assignment help from our experts. We have highly qualified writers for various specializations who can help you with well-researched documents on time.

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