Famous Inventions and Birthdays in February

Birthdays, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

Pairs of rain boots in front of school lockers
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February is not only the month of Valentine's Day, but it's also when a great number of inventions were created, patented, trademarked, and copyrighted. That's not to mention the many great scientists, scholars, and famous figures who were born in the month.

Whether you're looking for someone who shares your February birthday or just want to know what historic event happened on a random February day, check out the following list of happenings during this month throughout history.

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

From the digital voicemail system to Kooky Doodles, February has celebrated the birth of many inventions and pieces of writing and art.

February 1

  • 1788 — The first U.S. patent for an improvement to steamships was issued to Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet.
  • 1983 — Matthews, Tansil, and Fannin obtained a patent for a digital voicemail system.

February 2

  • 1869 — James Oliver invented the removable tempered steel plow blade.
  • 1965 — Alfonso Alvarez received a patent for dual-vent windows.

February 3

  • 1690 — The first paper money in America was issued in the colony of Massachusetts.
  • 1952 — The first episode of the TV program "Dragnet" was copyrighted.

February 4

  • 1824 — J. W. Goodrich introduced the world to the first rubber galoshes.
  • 1941 — Roy Plunkett received a patent in for "tetrafluoroethylene polymers," better known as TEFLON.

February 5

  • 1861 — Samuel Goodale patented the first moving picture peep show machine.

February 6

  • 1917 — Sunmaid raisins were trademark registered.
  • 1947 — Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" was copyrighted.

February 7

  • 1995 — Larry Gunter and Tracie Williams received a patent for a personalized interactive storybook

February 8

February 9

  • 1811 — Robert Fulton was granted a patent for the practical steamboat.

February 10

  • 1976 — Sidney Jacoby was granted a patent for a combination smoke and heat detector alarm.

February 11

  • 1973 — The National Inventor's Hall of Fame was founded.

February 12

  • 1974 — Stephen Kovacs received a patent for a magnetic heart pump.

February 13

  • 1979 — Charles Chidsey received a patent for a solution to male baldness.

February 14

  • 1854 — Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson patented a firearm.

February 15

  • 1972 — William Kolff obtained a patent for the soft shell, mushroom-shaped artificial heart.

February 16

  • 1932 — James Markham received the first fruit tree patent. It was for a peach tree.

February 17

February 18

February 19

  • 1878 — Thomas Edison received a patent for the phonograph.

February 20

  • 1846 — John Drummond was granted a patent for molds for the manufacturing of candles.
  • 1872 — Luther Crowell patented a machine that manufactured paper bags.

February 21

February 22

  • 1916 — Ernst Alexanderson was issued a patent for a selective radio tuning system.

February 23

  • 1943 — The song "As Time Goes By" from the movie "Casablanca" was copyrighted.

February 24

  • 1857 — The first perforated United States postage stamps were delivered to the government.
  • 1925 — His Master's Voice was trademark registered.

February 25

  • 1902 — John Holland was granted a patent for a submarine.

February 26

  • 1870 — The first New York City subway line opened. This short-lived line was pneumatically powered.
  • 1963 — Hobie surfboards trademark registered.

February 27

  • 1900 — Felix Hoffman patented acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin.

February 28

  • 1984 — Donald Mauldin received a patent for a knee brace.

February 29

  • 1972 — Kooky Doodles were trademark registered.

February Birthdays

Many famous inventors and scientists were born in February. Against all odds, a few were even born on Leap Day, which falls on the 29th of February, every four years.

February 1

  • 1905 — Emilio Segre, an Italian physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of antiprotons, a sub-atomic antiparticle and an element used for the atomic bomb used on Nagasaki
  • 1928 — Sam Edwards, a Welsh physicist who studied condensed matter physics

February 2

  • 1817 — John Glover, an English chemist who discovered sulfuric acid
  • 1859 — Havelock Ellis, an American physician and sexologist who wrote "The Psychology of Sex"
  • 1905 — Jean-Pierre Guerlain, a pioneer in the invention of cosmetics

February 3

  • 1821 — Elizabeth Blackwell of Bristol England, the first accredited female physician

February 4

  • 1841 — Clement Ader, a French inventor who was the first to fly a heavier-than-air craft
  • 1875 — Ludwig Prandtl, a German physicist who is considered the father of aerodynamics
  • 1903 — Alexander Oppenheim, a mathematician who wrote the Oppenheim conjecture

February 5

  • 1840 — John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish inventor who invented pneumatic rubber tires
  • 1840 — Hiram Maxim, inventor of the automatic single-barrel rifle
  • 1914 — Alan Hodgkin, a British physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his work on the central nervous system
  • 1915 — Robert Hofstadter, an American atomic physicist who won a Nobel Prize in 1961 for his work on electron scattering in atomic nuclei
  • 1943 — Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and the creator of "Pong"

February 6

  • 1879 — Carl Ramsauer, a German research physicist who discovered the Ramsauer-Townsend effect
  • 1890 — Anton Hermann Fokker, an aviation pioneer
  • 1907 — Sam Green, a noted industrialist and inventor
  • 1913 — Mary Leakey, a British paleoanthropologist who discovered the first Proconsul skull, which belongs to a species of extinct ape that may be an ancestor of humans

February 7

  • 1870 — Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist who first wrote about the inferiority complex
  • 1905 — Ulf Svante von Euler, a Swedish physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1970

February 8

  • 1828 — Jules Verne, a French writer who wrote "From the Earth to the Moon" and is considered the father of science fiction
  • 1922 — Joeri Averbach, a noted Russian chess grandmaster

February 9

  • 1871 — Howard T. Ricketts, an American pathologist who studied typhus fever
  • 1910 — Jacques Monod, a French biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965 for his work on enzyme and virus synthesis
  • 1923 — Norman E. Shumway, a pioneer in cardiac transplant surgery
  • 1943 — Joseph E. Stiglitz, a noted American economist
  • 1950 — Andrew N. Meltzoff, a noted developmental psychologist

February 10

  • 1880 — Jesse G. Vincent, an engineer who designed the first V-12 engine
  • 1896 — Alister Hardy, a British scientist who was an expert on the marine ecosystems of everything from zooplankton to whales
  • 1897 — John Franklin Ender, a microbiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his research on polio
  • 1920 — Alex Comfort, an English physician who wrote "The Joy of Sex"
  • 1941 — Dave Parnas, a Canadian computer scientist who pioneered information hiding in modular programming

February 11

  • 1846 — William Fox Talbot, a pioneer photographer and inventor
  • 1898 — Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist who worked on the A-Bomb and later became a peace activist
  • 1925 — Virginia Johnson, an American psychologist and part of the noted medical team of Masters and Johnson
  • 1934 — Mary Quant, an English fashion designer who invented the mod look

February 12

  • 1809 — Charles Darwin, an English scientist who proposed the theory of evolution and wrote the "Origin of Species"
  • 1813 — James Dwight Dana, an American scientist who pioneered the study of volcanic activity and theorized on the formation of continents
  • 1815 — Edward Forbes, a British scientist who wrote extensively on marine biology
  • 1948 — Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor who invented the flatbed scanner, the Kurzweil reading machine, the Kurzweil 1000 OCR software, the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech-recognition software, and the Kurzweil 250 Music Synthesizer

February 13

  • 1910 — William Shockley, an American physicist who co-invented the transistor and won the Nobel Prize in 1956
  • 1923 — Chuck Yeager, an American test pilot and the first man to break the sound barrier

February 14

  • 1838 — Margaret Knight, inventor of a method of making paper bags
  • 1859 — George Ferris, inventor of the Ferris wheel (which is why the "F" is always capitalized in its name!)
  • 1869 — Charles Wilson, an English physicist who invented the Wilson cloud chamber and won the Nobel Prize
  • 1911 — Willem J. Kolff, an American internist who invented the artificial kidney
  • 1917 — Herbert A. Hauptman, an American X-ray crystallographer who won the Nobel Prize in 1985

February 15

  • 1809 — Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of a mechanical reaper
  • 1819 — Christopher Sholes, inventor the typewriter
  • 1834 — William Preece, an English electrical engineer who was a pioneer in wireless technology
  • 1934 — Niklaus Wirth, a Swiss computer programmer who invented the computer language PASCAL

February 16

  • 1740 — Giambattista Bodoni, an Italian printer who invented typeface designs

February 17

  • 1781 — Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, a French inventor who created the stethoscope
  • 1844 — Aaron Montgomery Ward, founder of the mail-order business Montgomery Ward
  • 1867 — William Cadbury, the English chocolate manufacturer who founded Cadbury
  • 1874 — Thomas J. Watson, the American businessman credited with establishing IBM

February 18

  • 1743 — Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist who invented the voltaic pile, the first battery
  • 1898 — Enzo Ferrari, the car manufacturer who invented the Ferrari

February 19

  • 1473 — Nicolaus Copernicus, who was famous for formulating a model of the universe with the sun at its center rather than Earth
  • 1859 — Svante August Arrhenius, a Swedish physicist and chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1903
  • 1927 — Rene Firino-Martell, a Cognac manufacturer who invented several types of Cognac

February 20

  • 1844 — Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, an Austrian physicist who is considered the father of statistical mechanics
  • 1901 — Rene Jules Dubos, a microbiologist who wrote "Health and Disease"
  • 1937 — Robert Huber, a German biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1988

February 21

  • 1909 — Helen O. Dickens Henderson, a noted American physician and gynecologist

February 22

  • 1796 — Adolphe Quetelet, a noted mathematician, astronomer, and statistician
  • 1822 — Adolf Kuszmaul, a German physician who invented the stomach pump and discovered Kuszmaul disease
  • 1852 — Pieter K. Pel, an internist who discovered Pel-Ebstein fever
  • 1857 — Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides
  • 1857 — Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist who was the first to broadcast and receive radio waves and helped to invent radar technology
  • 1937 — Samuel Whitbread, a noted English brewer
  • 1962 — Steve Irwin, the Australian biologist, zoologist, and nature TV show host

February 23

  • 1898 — Reinhard Herbig, a German archaeologist
  • 1947 — Colin Sanders, a British computer engineer who invented Solid State Logic
  • 1953 — Sallie L. Baliunas, an astrophysicist who studied global warming and ozone depletion

February 24

February 25

  • 1904 — Adelle Davis, author of "Let's Stay Healthy"

February 26

  • 1852 — John Harvey Kellogg, creator of the flaked-cereal industry and founder of Kellogg Cereal
  • 1866 — Herbert Henry Dow, a pioneer in the chemical industry and founder of the Dow Chemical Company

February 27

  • 1891 — David Sarnoff, founder of the RCA Corporation
  • 1897 — Bernard F. Lyot, a French astronomer who invented the Lyot filter
  • 1899 — Charles Best, who co-discovered insulin

February 28

  • 1933 — Geoffrey Maitland Smith, founder of Sears
  • 1663 — Thomas Newcomen, inventor of an improved steam engine
  • 1896 — Philip Showalter Hench, an American physician who discovered cortisone and won the Nobel Prize
  • 1901 — Linus Pauling, a chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1954 and 1962
  • 1915 — Peter Medawar, an English zoologist and immunologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1953
  • 1930 — Leon Cooper, an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1972
  • 1948 — Steven Chu, an American scientist who co-won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997

February 29

  • 1860 — Herman Hollerith, the inventor of the first electric tabulating machine