January Calendar of Famous Inventions and Birthdays

Celebrate January's Famous Inventions and Birthdays

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January is a historic month. Over the years, many patents, trademarks, and copyrights for inventions, products, films, and books were issued during these 31 days. That's not to mention the plethora of famous inventors, scientists, authors, and artists who were born in January.

If you were born in this first month of the Gregorian calendar, be sure to check out what historic event you may share a birthday with. Maybe an important invention was debuted on your day, or maybe you and a famous could have split a birthday cake.

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

From the trademarking of Willy Wonka candy to the release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" song, many inventions and creations were patented, trademarked, and copyrighted in January throughout history. Find out which household items and famous inventions got their official start during this month.

January 1

January 2

January 3

  • 1967 — Harry Thomason received a patent for an apparatus for cooling and heating a house using solar energy.

January 4

  • 1972 — Willy Wonka's trademark was registered.

January 5

  • 1965 — The phrase "Home of the Whopper" was trademark registered by Burger King.

January 6

January 7

  • 1913 — Patent No. 1,049,667 was granted to William Burton for the manufacture of gasoline.

January 8

  • 1783 — Connecticut became the first state to pass a copyright statute. It was entitled "Act for the Encouragement of Literature and Genius" and was enacted with the help of Dr. Noah Webster.

January 9

January 10

  • 1893 — Thomas Laine patented the electric gas lighter.

January 11

  • 1955 — Lloyd Conover patented the antibiotic tetracycline.

January 12

  • 1895 — The Printing and Binding Act of 1895 prohibited the copyrighting of any government publication.

January 13

  • 1930 — The first-ever Mickey Mouse cartoon appeared in newspapers throughout the U.S.

January 14

  • 1890 — George Cooke received a patent for a gas burner.

January 15

  • 1861 — E.G. Otis was issued Patent No. 31,128 for "improvement in hoisting apparatus" (a safety elevator).

January 16

  • 1984 — Jim Henson's copyright claim on "Kermit, the Muppet" was renewed.

January 17

  • 1882 — Leroy Firman received a patent for the telephone switchboard.

January 18

  • 1957 — Lerner and Lowe's musical "My Fair Lady" was registered.

January 19

  • 1915 — Doublemint Gum was trademark registered.

January 20

  • 1857 — William Kelly patented the blast furnace for manufacturing steel.
  • 1929 — "In Old Arizona," the first outdoor feature-length talking motion picture, was made.

January 21

  • 1939 — Arlen and Harburg's song "Over the Rainbow" was copyrighted.
  • 1954 — The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched. It was christened by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.

January 22

  • 1895 — "Lifebuoy" soap was trademark registered.
  • 1931 — Dutch broadcast company VARA began experimental television broadcasts from Diamantbeurs, Amsterdam.

January 23

  • 1849 — A patent was granted for an envelope-making machine.
  • 1943 — The movie "Casablanca" was copyrighted.

January 24

  • 1871 — Charles Goodyear Jr. received a patent for the Goodyear Welt, a machine for sewing boots and shoes.
  • 1935 — The first canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by the Kruger Brewing Company of Richmond, VA.

January 25

  • 1870 — Gustavus Dows patented a modern form of the soda fountain.
  • 1881 - Michael Brassill obtained a patent for a candlestick.

January 26

  • 1875 — The first electric dental drill was patented by George Green.
  • 1909 — Milk-Bone brand was trademark registered.

January 27

January 28

  • 1807 — London's Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.
  • 1873 — Patent No. 135,245 was obtained by French chemist Louis Pasteur for a process of brewing beer and ale.

January 29

  • 1895 — Charles Steinmetz patented a "system of distribution by alternating current" (A/C power).
  • 1924 — Carl Taylor of Cleveland patented a machine that made ice cream cones.

January 30

  • 1883 — James Ritty and John Birch received a patent for the cash register.

January 31

  • 1851 — Gail Borden announced his invention of evaporated milk.
  • 1893 — Coca-Cola trademark for "nutrient or tonic beverages" was registered.
  • 1983 — Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ​was copyrighted.

Famous January Birthdays

From Scottish scientists to the inventor of the computer mouse, many famous figured were born in the month of January. Find out who shares your January birthday and how their accomplishments changed the world.

January 1

  • 1854 — James G. Frazer, a Scottish scientist

January 2

  • 1822 — Rudolph J. E. Clausius, a German physicist who researched thermodynamics
  • 1920 — Isaac Asimov, a scientist who also wrote "I, Robot" and the "Foundation Trilogy"

January 3

  • 1928 — Frank Ross Anderson, the International Chess Master of 1954

January 4

  • 1643 — Isaac Newton, a noted physicist, mathematician, and astronomer who invented a telescope and developed many important theories
  • 1797 — Wilhelm Beer, a German astronomer who made the first moon map
  • 1809 — Louis Braille, who invented a reading system for the blind
  • 1813 — Isaac Pitman, a British scientist who invented the stenographic shorthand
  • 1872 — Edmund Rumpler, an Austrian auto and airplane builder
  • 1940 — Brian Josephson, a British physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1973

January 5

  • 1855 — King Camp Gillette, who invented the safety razor
  • 1859 — DeWitt B. Brace, who invented the spectrophotometer
  • 1874 — Joseph Erlanger, who invented shock therapy and won the Nobel Prize in 1944
  • 1900 — Dennis Gabor, a physicist who invented holography

January 6

January 7

  • 1539 — Sebastian de Covarrubias Horozco, a famed Spanish lexicographer

January 8

  • 1891 — Walter Bothe, a German subatomic particle physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1954
  • 1923 — Joseph Weizenbaum, an artificial intelligence pioneer
  • 1942 — Stephen Hawking, an English physicist first who revealed black holes and baby universes

January 9

  • 1870 — Joseph B. Strauss, the civil engineer who built the Golden Gate Bridge
  • 1890 — Karel Capek, a Czech writer who wrote the play "R.U.R." and introduced the word "robot"

January 10

  • 1864 — George Washington Carver, a famed African American agricultural chemist who is credited with inventing peanut butter
  • 1877 — Frederick Gardner Cottrell, who invented the electrostatic precipitator
  • 1938 — Donald Knuth, an American computer scientist who wrote "The Art of Computer Programming"

January 11

  • 1895 — Laurens Hammond, an American who invented the Hammond organ
  • 1906 — Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist who was the first to synthesize LSD

January 12

  • 1899 — Paul H. Muller, a Swiss chemist who invented DDT and won the Nobel Prize in 1948
  • 1903 — Igor V. Kurtshatov, a Russian nuclear physicist who built the first Russian nuclear bomb
  • 1907 — Sergei Korolev, the lead spaceship designer for Russia during the Space Race
  • 1935 — "Amazing" Kreskin, a noted mentalist and magician
  • 1950 — Marilyn R. Smith, a noted microbiologist

January 13

  • 1864 — Wilhelm K. W. Wien, a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1911
  • 1927 — Sydney Brenner, a South African biologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to our understanding of genetic code

January 14

  • 1907 — Derek Richter, a British chemist who wrote "Aspects of Learning and Memory"

January 15

  • 1908 — Edward Teller, who co-invented the H-bomb and worked on the Manhattan Project
  • 1963 — Bruce Schneier, an American cryptographer who wrote many books on computer security and cryptography

January 16

  • 1853 — Andre Michelin, the French industrialist who invented Michelin tires
  • 1870 — Wilhelm Normann, a German chemist who researched the hardening of oils
  • 1932 — Dian Fossey, a noted zoologist who wrote "Gorillas in the Mist"

January 17

  • 1857 — Eugene Augustin Lauste, who invented the first sound-on-film recording
  • 1928 — Vidal Sassoon, an English hairstylist who founded Vidal Sasson
  • 1949 — Anita Borg, an American computer scientist who founded the Institute for Women and Technology and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

January 18

  • 1813 — Joseph Glidden, who invented useable barbed wire
  • 1854 — Thomas Watson, who assisted in the invention of the telephone
  • 1856 — Daniel Hale Williams, the surgeon who performed the first open-heart operation
  • 1933 — Ray Dolby, who invented the Dolby noise-limiting system

January 19

  • 1736 — James Watt, a Scottish engineer who invented a steam engine
  • 1813 — Henry Bessemer, who invented the Bessemer engine

January 20

  • 1916 — Walter Bartley, a famed biochemist

January 21

  • 1743 — John Fitch, who invented a steamboat
  • 1815 — Horace Wells, a dentist who pioneered the use of medical anesthesia
  • 1908 — Bengt Stromgren, a Swedish astrophysicist who studied gas clouds
  • 1912 — Konrad Bloch, a German biochemist who researched cholesterol and won the Nobel Prize in 1964
  • 1921 — Barney Clark, the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart

January 22

  • 1909 — Lev D. Landau, a Russian physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1962
  • 1925 — Leslie Silver, a noted English paint manufacturer

January 23

  • 1929 — John Polanyi, a Canadian chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1986

January 24

  • 1880 — Elisabeth Achelis, who invented the World Calendar
  • 1888 — Ernst Heinrich Heinkel, a German inventor who built the first rocket-powered aircraft
  • 1928 — Desmond Morris, an English zoologist who researched body language
  • 1947 — Michio Kaku, an American scientist who wrote "Physics of the Impossible," "Physics of the Future," and "The Future of the Mind," as well as hosted a number of science-based television programs

January 25

  • 1627 — Robert Boyle, an Irish physicist who wrote "Boyle's Law of Ideal Gases"
  • 1900 — Theodosius Dobzhansky, a noted geneticist and the author of "Mankind Evolving"

January 26

  • 1907 — Hans Selye, an Austrian endocrinologist who demonstrated the existence of biological stress
  • 1911 — Polykarp Kusch, an American nuclear physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1955

January 27

  • 1834 — Dmitri Mendeleev, the chemist who invented the periodic table of elements
  • 1903 — John Eccles, a British physiologist and neurologist who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synapse

January 28

  • 1706 — John Baskerville, the English printer who invented typeface
  • 1855 — William Seward Burroughs, who invented the adding machine
  • 1884 — Lucien H d'Azambuja, a French astronomer who discovered the chromosome of the sun
  • 1903 — Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, a noted crystallographer and the first woman member of the Royal Society
  • 1922 — Robert W. Holley, an American biochemist who researched RNA and won the Nobel Prize in 1968

January 29

  • 1810 — Ernst E. Kummer, a German mathematician who trained German army officers in ballistics
  • 1850 — Lawrence Hargrave, who invented the box kite
  • 1901 — Allen B. DuMont, who invented an improved cathode ray tube
  • 1926 — Abdus Salam, a noted theoretical physicist

January 30

  • 1899 — Max Theiler, an English microbiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1951
  • 1911 — Alexander George Ogston, a biochemist who specialized in the thermodynamics of biological systems
  • 1925 — Douglas Engelbart, who invented the computer mouse
  • 1949 — Peter Agre, a noted American scientist and the director of the John Hopkins Malaria Research Institute

January 31

  • 1868 — Theodore William Richards, a chemist who researched atomic weights and won the Nobel Prize in 1914
  • 1929 — Rudolf Mossbauer, a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1961