Since the invention of the wheel, ingenious visions have shaped the development of our lives both physically and mentally; rationally and emotionally. Although the motives and reasoning behind these visionaries may be at opposite ends of the scale, their work is among some of the most influential. Among some of the most rational thinkers are:
1. Thomas Edison
With 1,093 US patents to his name, Thomas Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors of history. At Menlo Park – the first ever industrial research laboratory – he developed technology such as the telephone phonograph, the electric railway and electric lighting. Edison died on October 18 1931 at his hone in New Jersey, and his last breath is allegedly contained in a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum.
2. Isaac Newton
Newton’s work laid the foundations for classical mechanics, introducing the concept of a universal set of laws; according to the well-known story, the origins of his theories arose from seeing an apple fall in his orchard, and comparing the force of earthly and celestial objects. In 2005, a poll of the Royal Society deemed Newton more influential than Albert Einstein in respect of having the greatest effect on science.
3. George Fuller
A Boston architect and engineer, George Fuller invented the modern contracting system for building construction. Fuller’s became one of the first construction firms to be organised as a corporation having already built several skyscrapers including the Tacoma building. By the time Fuller died in 1900, Fuller Co. was serving as the general contractor across the country for large commercial buildings. His family tomb is Oak Wood’s largest and most spectacular on the Western shore of Symphony Lake.
4. John Kay
John Kay substantially contributed to the Industrial Revolution with the creation of the flying shuttle, greatly accelerating the speed of weaving. Despite providing an invaluable system to increase the efficiency of a production process struggling to keep up with demand, the flying loom went unappreciated by weavers who saw it as a threat to their jobs. His constructions were damaged or destroyed, and with a similar lack of success after fleeing to France, Kay died in penury in 1780.
5. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is known as the father of evolutionary biology – perhaps surprising considering he was a slow learner in his youth and was removed from school at 16 for poor grades and laziness! His revolutionary insights into the process of natural selection – most notably through his controversial 1859 publication On the Origin of Species – are now widely accepted as the basis of modern evolutionary theory.
And equally inventive and innovative, yet emotionally creative...
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