Famous Inventions : A to Z

Research the history of famous inventions - past and present.

Pattern cutting
Mads Perch/ Stone/ Getty images

The safety pin was invented by Walter Hunt in 1849.


The very first sailboards (windsurfing) date back to the late 1950s.

Samhain Related

Objects invented for use on Samhain or Halloween.


The origins of the sandwich.

Saran Wrap

The origins of Saran Wrap film and the history of the Dow Chemical Company.


History changed on October 4, 1957, when the former Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. Also See - Satellite Explorer 1


The history of the saxophone.

Scanning and Sorting Machine

Jacob Rabinow received a patent for a automated scanning and sorting machine.

Scanning Tunneling Microscope - STM

Gerd Karl Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer are the inventors of the STM, which provided the first images of individual atoms.


There is history behind this cutting invention.


The invention of scooters. Also See - Early Patent Drawings

Scotch Tape

Scotch Tape was patented by the banjo playing, 3M engineer, Richard Drew.


Patsy Sherman received a patent for scotchgard fabric protector.

Screws and Screwdrivers

Early wooden screws - Archimedes Screw - Phillips Head Screw - Robertson Screw - Square Drive Screws - screwdrivers.

Scuba Diving Equipment

In the 16th century, barrels were used as primitive diving bells, and for the first time divers could travel underwater with more than one breath of air, but not much more than one.


Wolf Hilbertz patented sea-cretion, a construction material made from the electrolytic deposition of minerals from seawater.

Seat Belts

Never drive without first buckling up you seat belt. But which inventor brought us this safety invention?


The seaplane was invented by Glenn Curtiss.
See Also - Seaplane
On March 28, 1910, the first successful seaplane take-off from water at Martinque, France.


John Milne was the English seismologist and geologist who invented the first modern seismograph and promoted the building of seismological stations.

Self-Cleaning House

This amazing home was invented by Frances Gabe.

Segway Human Transporter

What was once a mysterious invention created by Dean Kamen that had everyone speculating as to what it was, was revealed and demonstrated as the now familiar Segway Human Transporter.


Seven-Up is the bubbling lemon lime drink invented by Charles Grigg.

Sewing Machines

The history behind sewing machines. See Also - Brother Sewing Machines


Shrapnel is a type of antipersonnel projectile named after the inventor, Henry Shrapnel.

Shoe Related

An interesting tale of the sole - "As late as 1850 most shoes were made on absolutely straight lasts, there being no difference between the right and the left shoe." Learn about the history of footwear and shoe making technology

Shoe Manufacturing Machine

Jan Matzeliger developed an automatic method for lasting shoes and made the mass production of affordable shoes possible.

Shopping Related

Who created the first shopping mall and other trivia.

Sierra Sam

The history of crash test dummies - the first crash test dummy was the Sierra Sam created in 1949."

Silly Putty

Silly Putty is a result of history, engineering, an accident and entrepreneurship.

Sign Language

The history of sign language.

Signaling System (Pyrotechnic)

Martha Coston invented a system of maritime signal flares.


The skyscraper like many other architectural forms, evolved over a long period of time.


A short history of the skateboard.

Skates (Ice)

The oldest pair of ice skates known, date back to 3000 B.C.

Skiing Related

There is a long history behind the sport of Skiing. The idea of skiing dates as far back as the stone-age period.

Sleeping Car (Pullman)

The Pullman sleeping car (train) was invented by George Pullman in 1857.

Sliced Bread

The history of sliced bread and the toaster, the best thing since sliced bread, but actually invented before sliced bread.

Slide Rule

Around 1622, the circular and rectangular slide rule was invented by Episcopalean minister William Oughtred.


The slinky was invented by Richard and Betty James. Also See - Slinky in Motion

Slot Machines

The first mechanical slot machine was the Liberty Bell, invented in 1895 by Charles Fey

Smart Gels

Toyoichi Tanaka received a patent for Smart Gels, a synthetic (polyacrylamide) polymer gel with unusual properties.

Smart Pills

The name of smart pill now refers to any pill that can deliver or control its delivery of medicine without the patient having to take action beyond the initial swallow.

Smoke Detectors

The first battery operated home smoke detector was patented in 1969, Randolph Smith and Kenneth House.

Snack Related

Snack food history - pretzels, popcorn, ice cream, soft drinks, gum and more.


Modern athletic shoes were designed by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.


Canadian, Arthur Sicard invented the snowblower in 1925.

Snowmaking Machines

The history of snowmaking machines and facts about making snow.


In 1922, Joseph-Armand Bombardier developed the type of sport machine that we know today as the snowmobile.


Soap making was known as early as 2800 B.C. - in the synthetic detergent industry it is not as easy to pinpoint exactly when the first detergents were invented.


Not much is known about the origin of soccer, however, football and ball kicking games were played by the ancient Greeks and Romans.


The first real knit socks were discovered in Egyptian graves in Antinoe.

Soda Fountain

In 1819, the "soda fountain" was patented by Samuel Fahnestock.

Softball Related

George Hancock invented softball.

Soft Drinks

An introduction to the history of soft drinks including Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and the history behind other pop drinks. See Also - Timeline


The history of different software programs.


  • Safety Pin to Software
  • Solar-Powered Cars

Solar-powered electric demonstration vehicles were first built by universities and manufacturers during the late eighties.

Solar Cell

A solar cell directly converts light energy into electrical energy.


Experience the history of Sonar.

S.O.S Soap Pads

Ed Cox invented a pre-soaped pad with which to clean pots.

Sound Recording

The history of sound recording technology - from early recorded sounds and wax cylinders to the latest in broadcasting history.

Soup (Campbell's)

Where did soup come from.


The history of spacesuits.


In 1962, Steve Russell invented SpaceWar, one of the first games intended for computer use.

Spark Plugs

The history of spark plugs.


The history of eyeglasses from the oldest known glass lens to the first pair of spectacles invented by Salvino D'Armate and beyond.


George Carruthers received a patent for the far-ultraviolet camera and the spectrograph.


The history of the spectrometer.

Spinning Jenny

Hargreaves patented the spinning jenny used for weaving yarn.

Spinning Mule

Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule.

Spinning Wheel

The spinning wheel is an ancient machine that turned fibers into thread or yarn, which were then woven into cloth on a loom. The spinning wheel was probably invented in India, though its origins are obscure.


The spork is half spoon and half fork.

Sports Related

Yes, there are patents related to sports.

Sporting Goods

Learn who invented the skateboard, the frisbee, sneakers, the bicycle, the boomerang and other sporting goods.

Sprinkler Systems

The first fire sprinkler system was invented by American, Henry Parmalee in 1874.


Rowland Hill invented the postage stamp in 1837, an act for which he was knighted.


Brass paper fasteners were introduced in the mid-1860s, and by 1866 George W. McGill had developed a machine to insert these fasteners into papers. The first stapling machine with a magazine that held a supply of preformed wire staples that were fed automatically to the staple-driving mechanism was patented in 1878.

Statue of Liberty

Bartholdi was a French sculptor born in Alsace - He created many monumental sculptures - his most famous work was the Statue of Liberty.


Robert Fulton invented the first successful steamboat on August 7, 1807. Also See - Steamboats American

Steam Engines

Thomas Newcomen invented the atmospheric steam engine in 1712 - steam engine history and information on the men and women involved with steam engines.


Henry Bessemer invented the first process for mass-producing steel inexpensively.

Stem Cell Research

James Thomson was the first scientist to isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells.


William Ged invented stereotyping in 1725. Sterotyping is a process in which a whole page of type is cast in a single mold so that a printing plate can be made from it.


The history of stoves.


In 1888, Marvin Stone patented the spiral winding process to manufacture the first paper drinking straws.

Street Sweeper

C. B. Brooks invented an improved street sweeper truck and patented it on March 17, 1896.


What we commonly call styrofoam, is actually the most recognizable form of foam polystyrene packaging.


Study the evolution of submarine design, from the submarine's beginning as a compressed air or human-powered warship to today's nuclear-powered subs.

Sugar Processing Evaporator

The sugar processing evaporator was invented by Norbert Rillieux.


Around the year 1752, James Ayscough introduced his spectacles with lenses made of tinted glass.


The first commercial sunscreen was invented in 1936.


Seymour Cray and the Cray Supercomputer.


In 1986, Alex Müller and Johannes Bednorz patented the first high-temperature superconductor.

Super Soaker

Lonnie Johnson invented the Super Soaker® a squirt gun. Johnson also patented thermodynamics systems.


The first patent ever issued for modern suspenders, the kind with the familiar metal clasp was patent by Roth.

Swimming Pools

The history of swimming pools - the first heated swimming pool was built by Gaius Maecenas of Rome.


The history behind this medical device.

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