Famous July Inventions and Birthdays

Louis Pasteur (Dole, 1822-Marnes-la-Coquette, 1895), French chemist, biologist, and microbiologist, in his laboratory.
(Getty Images)

With both the first-ever U.S. patent and the first numbered patent issued in the month of July, the seventh month of the Gregorian calendar is full of historically significant inventions, patents, trademarks, and copyrights as well as a handful of famous birthdays and events.

From the trademark registration of Silly Putty to Model T inventor Henry Ford's birthday, find out what historical events took place "on this day" in the month of July.

July Inventions, Trademarks, and Patents

More than seven million patents have been registered out of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) since the Patent Act of 1836 was passed on July 20 of that year ("Patent X1"). However, there were a great many that were registered even before that, starting with the patent issued to Samuel Hopkins on July 31, 1790, for a method of producing pot and pearl ash.

July 1

  • 1952 - The trademark for Silly Putty was officially registered, though originally filed on March 31, 1950. A trademark protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services. The roar of the MGM lion and the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle are also trademarked.

July 2

  • 1907 - Emil Haefely obtained a patent for a machine that wraps electrical conductors in insulating tubes. This method is still used for a large number of electronic devices today.

July 3

  • 1979 - The phrase "Radio City Music Hall" was trademark registered.

July 4

  • 1933 - William Coolidge obtained a patent for the X-ray tube, popularly called the Coolidge tube.

July 5

  • 1988 - The Bugs Bunny phrase "What's Up, Doc?" was trademark registered.

July 6

  • 1904 - Patent #764,166 was granted to Albert Gonzales for a railway switch that's still used today on railroads across America.

July 7

  • 1989 - Warner Brothers copyright registered "Batman," a movie based on a popular cartoon character.

July 8

July 9

  • 1968 - US patent #3,392,261 for the "Portable Beam Generator," also known as a hand-held laser ray gun, was granted to inventor Frederick R. Schellhammer.

July 10

July 11

  • 1893 - Hood's Sarsaparilla CIH & CO Compound Extract was trademark registered, which was used as a medicine to "purify the blood" and treat heart disease, rheumatism, scrofula, and dropsy.
  • 1990 - Bill Atkinson, the inventor of HyperCard software, left Apple Computers along with Andy Hertzfeld, co-inventor of the Apple Macintosh, and started a new company called General Magic.

July 12

  • 1927 - "Green Giant" Great Big Tender Peas were trademark registered.

July 13

  • 1836 - Patents were first numbered, changing the way the system of patents and trademarks was organized.

July 14

  • 1885 - Sarah Goode became the first black woman to receive a U.S. patent for her invention of a folding cabinet bed.

July 15

  • 1975 - The Detroit Tigers name was trademark registered.
  • 1985 - Aldus PageMaker, the first desktop publishing program, was first shipped for sale to consumers, invented by Paul Brainard.

July 16

July 17

  • 1888 - Granville Woods received a patent for the "tunnel construction for electric railways."

July 18

  • 1950 - The patent for producing terramycin, an antibiotic, was issued to its inventors Sobin, Finlay, and Kane.

July 19

  • 1921 - The name Breyers Ice Cream was trademark registered.

July 20

  • 1865 - The Patent Act of 1865 directed the Commissioner of Patents to turn over patent fees to the Treasury and meet expenses through congressional appropriations, restructuring the department again.

July 21

  • 1875 - Mark Twain's novel "The Adventure of Tom Sawyer" was copyright registered.
  • 1984 - The first robot-related fatality in the United States occurred when a factory robot in Jackson, Michigan, crushed a 34-year-old worker against a safety bar.

July 22

  • 1873 - Louis Pasteur received a patent for the manufacture of beer and treatment of yeast, which would later influence his discovery of the process known as pasteurization.

July 23

  • 1906 - The song "America the Beautiful" was copyright registered by Katharine Lee Bates.
  • 1872 - Jonathan Hoyt patented an improved lamp.

July 24

  • 1956 - A patent for an oral form of the antibiotic Penicillin was granted to Ernst Brandl and Hans Margreiter.

July 25

  • 1876 - Emily Tassey was granted a patent for an apparatus for raising sunken vessels.

July 26

July 27

  • 1960 - The first episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" was copyright registered.
  • 1921 - Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best first isolated insulin, and within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments.

July 28

  • 1885 - The "ready light" or taper was patented by John Mitchell.

July 29

  • 1997 - Design patent #381,781 for a swimming pool leaf and debris removal net was granted to Ross Clay.

July 30

  • 1933 - The Monopoly board game was copyright registered, and Carles Darrow, the inventor, became the first millionaire game designer after he sold his patent to Parker Brothers.

July 31

July Birthdays

From the birthday of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, the German physicist who discovered branching electric discharges inside electricity insulating materials, to the birthday of John Ericsson, who invented the screw propeller for ships, a number of great inventors and idea-makers were born in the month of July. Find out who shares your July birthday below:

July 1

  • 1742 - German physicist and educator Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was known for discovering treelike patterns called Lichtenberg figures. He was known for what he called "waste books," which were the detailed notebooks that he kept full of quotes, sketches, and stories.
  • 1818 - Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, was made famous for realizing that many diseases were contagious and could be drastically reduced by enforcing appropriate hand-washing behavior by medical caregivers.
  • 1872 - Louis Bleriot was a French aviator, inventor, and engineer; the first man to fly an airplane across the English Channel, and the first to invent a working monoplane.
  • 1904 - Mary Calderone was a physician and the founder of Planned Parenthood.
  • 1908 - Estee Lauder is famous for founding Estee Lauder cosmetics, one of the most popular brands of makeup in the world.

July 2

  • 1847 - Marcel Bertrand was a French mine engineer who founded tectonic geology and formulated the orogenic wave theory of mountain-building.
  • 1888 - Selman Waksman was an American biochemist and microbiologist who researched organic substances and their decomposition that led to his discovery of Streptomycin and other antibiotics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1951.
  • 1905 - Jean Rene Lacoste was a French designer who used a crocodile logo on his Lacoste shirts when he introduced them in 1929. Also a tennis player, Jean Rene Lacoste won the U.S. Open in 1926.
  • 1906 - Hans Bethe was a physicist who contributed to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics, and particle astrophysics. He was the director of the theoretical division at the Los Alamos laboratory and helped invent the first atomic bombs, receiving a Nobel Prize in 1967.
  • 1932 - Dave Thomas was the founder of Wendy's Restaurants chain of fast-food restaurants.

July 3

  • 1883 - Alfred Korzybski was a Polish scientist who formulated the theory of semantics.

July 4

  • 1753 - Jean Pierre Francois Blanchard was a French balloonist who made the first aerial crossing of the English Channel and made the first balloon flight in North America
  • 1776 - The birth of the United States. The Declaration of Independence was signed, officially separating the United States from the United Kingdom.
  • 1847 - James Anthony Bailey was a circus promoter who co-started the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • 1883 - Rube Goldberg was an American inventor, engineer, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist famous for the Rube Goldberg machine, which uses a series of moving parts to perform simple tasks.
  • 1885 - Louis B. Mayer was a motion-picture executive who founded the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and invented the star system of actors.

July 5

  • 1794 - Sylvester Graham invented the graham cracker.
  • 1810 - Phineas Taylor Barnum was a circus promoter who co-started the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
  • 1867 - Andrew Ellicott Douglass invented the dendrochronology method that's used for tree-ring dating.
  • 1891 - John Northrop was an American biochemist who crystallized several enzymes and won the Nobel Prize in 1946.
  • 1904 - Ernst Mayr was a German biologist who formulated the biological species concept.

July 6

  • 1884 - Harold Vanderbilt was known for inventing the game of contract bridge.

July 7

  • 1752 - Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the Jacquard loom that weaved complex designs.
  • 1922 - Pierre Cardin was a French fashion designer who invented the unisex look.

July 8

July 9

  • 1802 - Thomas Davenport invented the first completely electric motor.
  • 1819 - Elias Howe invented the first American-patented sewing machine.
  • 1856 - Nikola Tesla was a Croatian electrical engineer who invented the radio, X-rays, vacuum tube amplifier, alternating current, Tesla Coil, and more, completely reshaping the world of electrical engineering, even to this day.
  • 1911 - John Archibald Wheeler was born in Florida, a theoretical physicist who coined the terms black hole and wormhole.

July 10

  • 1879 - Harry Nicholls Holmes was a chemist who crystallized vitamin A.
  • 1902 - Kurt Alder was a German chemist who formulated the Diels-Alder reaction and won a Nobel Prize in 1950.
  • 1917 - Don Herbert was an American television personality who was Mr. Wizard on a science show called "Mr. Wizard's World" (1983–1990).
  • 1920 - Owen Chamberlain was an American physicist who discovered antiprotons and a subatomic antiparticle, and won the Nobel Prize in 1959.

July 11

  • 1838 - John Wanamaker invented one of the first (if not the first) true department store, the first White Sale, the first modern price tags, and the first in-store restaurant. He also pioneered the use of money-back guarantees and newspaper ads to advertise his retail goods.

July 12

  • 1730 - Josiah Wedgwood, an England pottery designer and manufacturer, invented the technique for making Wedgwood china and industrialized the manufacturing of pottery.
  • 1849 - William Osler was a Canada physician who is considered a father of modern medicine and wrote about the circulatory system.
  • 1854 - George Eastman was an American inventor who invented the Kodak camera and rolled photographic film.
  • 1895 - Buckminster Fuller was an American architect who invented the geodesic dome.
  • 1913 - Willis Lamb was an American physicist who discovered how electrons behave in the hydrogen atom and who won the Nobel Prize in 1955.

July 13

  • 1826 - Stanislao Cannizzaro was an Italian chemist who formulated the reaction of Cannizzaro.
  • 1944 - Erno Rubik was a Hungarian inventor who invented the Rubik's cube.

July 14

  • 1857 - Frederick Maytag invented the Maytag washing machine.
  • 1874 - Andre Debierne was a French chemist who discovered the element actinium.
  • 1918  - Jay Forrester was a digital computer pioneer who invented core memory.
  • 1921 - Geoffrey Wilkinson was an English chemist who pioneered inorganic chemistry, invented Wilkinson's catalyst, discovered the structure of ferrocene, and won a Nobel Prize in 1973.
  • 1924 - James Whyte Black was a Scottish doctor and pharmacologist who invented propranolol, synthesized cimetidine, and won a Nobel Prize in 1988.

July 15

  • 1817 - John Fowler was an English engineer who built the London Metropolitan Railway.

July 16

  • 1704 - John Kay was an English machinist who invented the flying shuttle that improved looms.
  • 1801 - Julius Plucker was a German mathematician and physicist who formulated Plucker formulas and was the first person to identify Cathode rays.
  • 1888 - Frits Zernike invented the phase-contrast microscope that allowed for the study of colorless and transparent biological materials; he won the Nobel Prize in 1953.
  • 1907 - Orville Redenbacher invented and sold Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popcorn. 

July 17

  • 1920 - Gordon Gould was an American physicist made famous for inventing the laser.

July 18

  • 1635 - Robert Hooke was an English physicist and the first person to see micrographia by using a microscope.
  • 1853 - Hendrik Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who discovered and explained the Zeeman effect and derived the transformation equations used by Albert Einstein to describe space and time. Lorentz won the Nobel Prize in 1902.

July 19

  • 1814 - Samuel Colt was an American gunmaker who invented the Colt revolver.
  • 1865 - Charles Horace Mayo was an American surgeon who started the Mayo Clinic.

July 20

  • 1897 - Tadeusz Reichstein won the Nobel Prize in 1950 and was a Swiss chemist who invented a method to artificially synthesize vitamin C.
  • 1947 - Gerd Binnig was a 1986 Nobel Prize winner and German physicist who invented the scanning tunneling microscope that could view individual atoms.

July 21

  • 1620 - Jean Picard was a French astronomer who first accurately measured the length of a degree of a meridian (longitude line) and from that computed the size of the Earth.
  • 1810 - Henri Victor Regnault was a French physicist and chemist known for his research on the thermal properties of gasses as well as a photographer who invented the use of pyrogallic acid as a developing agent.
  • 1923 - Rudolph Marcus was a Canadian chemist who formulated the Marcus theory of electron-transfer reactions in chemical systems and who won a Nobel Prize in 1992.

July 22

  • 1822 - Gregor Mendel was the geneticist who discovered the laws of heredity through experimentation in his garden.
  • 1844 - William Archibald Spooner invented spoonerisms, a play on words wherein the first letters of two words are switched, often to humorous effect.
  • 1887 - Gustav Hertz was a German quantum physicist who experimented with inelastic electron collisions in gasses known as the Franck–Hertz experiments and who won a Nobel Prize in 1925.
  • 1908 - Amy Vanderbilt might be the inventor of etiquette and wrote the "Complete Book of Etiquette."

July 23

  • 1827 - Pieter Caland was a Dutch hydraulic engineer who built the New Waterway of Rotterdam.
  • 1828 - Jonathan Hutchinson was an English surgeon who was the first to describe the medical signs of congenital syphilis.

July 24

  • 1898 - Amelia Earhart was an American aviator who was the first woman to pilot across the Atlantic; she disappeared during one of her trans-Atlantic flights.

July 25

  • 1795 - James Barry was a female disguised as a man who became the surgeon general of the British army.
  • 1866 - Frederick Frost Blackman was an English plant physiologist who wrote the 1905 paper "Optima and Limiting Factors," in which he demonstrated that where a process depends on a number of independent factors, the rate at which it can take place is limited by the rate of the slowest factor.

July 26

  • 1799 - Isaac Babbitt invented "babbitt's metal" used in engine bearings.
  • 1860 - Philippe Jean Bunau-Varilla was a French engineer who helped build the Panama Canal.
  • 1875 - Carl Jung was a Swiss psychologist who invented analytical psychology, known as Jungian psychology, who greatly influenced later works of many psychologists around the world.
  • 1894 - Aldous Huxley was the English science fiction author who wrote "Brave New World."
  • 1919 - James Ephraim Lovelock was an English scientist and futurist known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, in which he postulates that the Earth functions as a kind of superorganism.

July 27

  • 1848 - Roland Baron von Eötvös was a Hungarian physicist who formulated the concept of molecular surface tension and the Eötvös torsion balance.
  • 1938 - Gary Gygax was an American game designer who co-invented the "Dungeons & Dragons" role-playing game.

July 28

  • 1907 - Earl Silas Tupper invented Tupperware.

July 29

  • 1891 - Bernhard Zondek was a German gynecologist who invented the first reliable pregnancy test in 1928.

July 30

  • 1863 - Henry Ford was an American automaker who invented the Model T Ford.
  • 1887 - Felix Andries Vening Meinesz was a Dutch geophysicist who invented a precise method for measuring gravity called the gravimeter. The gravimeter allowed for a precise measure of gravity at sea, which led Meinesz to discover gravity anomalies above the ocean floor due to continental drift.
  • 1889 - Vladimir Zworykin was a Russian electronics engineer who invented an electronic television system.

July 31

  • 1803 - John Ericsson was an American inventor of the screw propeller for ships.
  • 1918 - Paul D. Boyer was an American biochemist and Nobel Prize winner in 1997.
  • 1919 - Primo Levi was an Italian chemist turned writer best known for his autobiography, "Survival in Auschwitz."